So, this column was supposed to be singing the praises of our local hoops hero, Jimmer Fredette.
The Glens Falls graduate is the best player in college basketball, and on Feb. 26, he and his Brigham Young University teammates knocked off San Diego State and moved to third in the rankings.
But, that's not what this column is about.
After perhaps the greatest moment in BYU Cougars hoops history came perhaps the two worst moments.
First, center Brandon Davies was kicked off the team for an Honor Code violation, later reported as having relations with his girlfriend, a violation of the rules at the school run by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Then, the Cougs lost by almost 20 to New Mexico, sending them from the penthouse to the outhouse in just over 48 hours.
Around here, the Honor Code and the violation have been met with mocking and confusion. How can a kid get kicked off the team for a little loving? Isn't boozing and debauchery part of college life? He's young, what's the harm in that? He shouldn't be suspended.
Actually, he's lucky to still be in school.
Full disclosure time. In case you don't know, I am a Mormon. I served a two-year mission in California and lived in accordance with the Honor Code while going to school, not at BYU, at school in Orem, Ut.
The Honor Code is a way of life, and everyone who goes to BYU or lives in BYU housing (what I did) knows that - member or non-member. Davies is not a member of the church, but he lived in Provo and knew very well what he was getting into. He made a choice against those rules, and now he (and his teammates and fans) are paying for it.
The Honor Code is based on the church's beliefs and moral standards. A local radio guy called the rules "archaic" during a radio show recently. I call them eternal.
Here's the Honor Code:
Live a chaste and virtuous lifestyle (what Davies' folly falls under);
Obey the law and all campus policies;
Use clean language;
Abstain from alcoholic beverages, tobacco, tea, coffee and substance abuse;
Participate in regular church service;
Observe dress and grooming standards;
Encourage others in their commitment to comply with the Honor Code.
This comes down to a couple things. The first one is a lot like the moral of another column I wrote recently: if you can't live the standards, don't go there. It's that simple.
The other is not telling me that the way I live my life is archaic. I still strive to live by the standards I have learned in church, on my mission, in school and throughout my life. If you can't live by the principals listed above, that's fine and I wish you all the best on your personal path. But don't tell me the way I live my life is "ridiculous," and should be "thrown out like all other archaic rules."
Also, when you make a commitment and you do not live up to it, you're not just hurting yourself. You hurt your teammates, your school or organization, your family, your friends and your reputation. This is on Davies. He signed the Code and committed to live the standards of the Mormon Faith. He made the decision he did, and he has to live with the consequences while BYU fans like myself may be left to wonder, "what if."
It's a lesson in being responsible for your actions and for your responsibilities. I applaud BYU for holding to their standards and Davies for stepping up, being a man and doing what he has to to get back on the court next season - sans Jimmer.
And maybe next week I can give Jimmer his due when BYU is advancing in the tourney. Go Cougs!
Keith Lobdell is the Editor of the Valley News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org