SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Forward Brandon Davies expects to suit up next season for BYU despite missing this year’s NCAA tournament run for violating the university’s honor code.
Carri Jenkins, a university spokesperson, said Friday that Davies voluntarily withdrew from school after completing his winter semester finals but is working with the dean of students to meet conditions so he’ll be eligible to return for the fall semester.
If he meets those conditions, Jenkins said the expectations are the 6-foot-9 Davies will return for his junior year.
Davies’ honor code violation involved premarital sex. He acknowledged the violation when it became known to school officials. BYU has not commented on how it became aware of the violation.
Davies issued a statement released by BYU saying he looked forward to continuing his education at BYU and playing basketball.
“There’s a pretty long list of people that I’d like to thank who are helping me through this difficult time,” Davies said in the statement. “It’s been very hard emotionally but thanks to the love and support of many, I’ll be able to get through it. There’s a plan in place, and I intend to follow through and return to BYU in the fall. I’m looking forward to coming back to school to continue my education and getting back on the court.”
The school announced Davies’ dismissal from the team March 1 after being made aware of the violation one day earlier – the same day BYU vaulted to No. 3 in the AP poll.
Davies started 26 of 29 games before the announcement. He was the team’s second-leading scorer (11.1 points) behind star point guard Jimmer Fredette and was leading the team in rebounds (6.2). Davies was not allowed to represent BYU on the court after violating the school’s honor code, but he cheered his teammates on from the end of the bench.
BYU, behind Fredette, still managed to advance to the NCAA tournament round of 16 for the first time in 30 years but lost to Florida in overtime. The team missed Davies’ inside presence down the stretch but still finished 32-5 overall.
BYU’s honor code requires students to live a chaste and virtuous life, be honest, abstain from alcoholic beverages, tobacco, tea, coffee and substance abuse, and attend church regularly.
Jenkins said BYU’s student population, including graduate students, is slightly more than 34,000. She said between 1.5 and 3.5 percent of students over the past decade have had some honor code issues but most have been minor matters. She said suspensions and dismissals are rare.
“Even with the suspensions, the hope is that we will be able to work with students to be able to return to the university and graduate,” Jenkins said.
Next season, BYU will be without all-time scoring leader Fredette, all-time steals leader Jackson Emery and a third senior captain, Logan Magnusson. James Anderson, who filled in during Davies’ absence, also announced recently he won’t return for his senior season.
BYU also won’t have all-everything freshman Kyle Collinsworth next season. He’ll head to Russia in a few months for his Mormon mission.
The new-look Cougars will move into a new conference, leaving the Mountain West for the West Coast Conference. They’ll play Gonzaga, which knocked them off in the third round.
Returning is coach Dave Rose, who recently received a new five-year contract. His top assistant, Dave Rice, left to take the vacant UNLV job.