It had been BYU's best basketball season ever -- and the Cougars' starting center, Brandon Davies - was partly the reason. The 6-foot-9 sophomore electrified the court as one of the teams' leading scorers. But this week - BYU shocked fans by bouncing Davies off the team - not for a criminal offense, but a personal one.
"This involved a very serious infraction and it certainly was not for something very minor," said Carri Jenkins, BYU
The infraction? BYU won't say. But from sports talk shows -- to the nation's sports pages - it's been widely reported Davies was booted for having pre-marital sex.
"Players get kicked out of school all the time, but not for the things that byu players do, and theirs ends up on the front page," said Brad Rock, Columnist the Deseret News.
Now, pre-marital sex might not sound like a headline these days, but at BYU- that's a violation of the honor code - something the school considers more important than a potentially historic season.
"it's not about right and wrong, it's about commitment," said Dave Rose, BYU's Cougars' basketball coach. BYU's honor code is a reflection of the lds church - Mormons run the private university.
Not only does their code require students to "live a chaste and virtuous life" - which the school says, pre-marital sex is not - but it also insists students "abstain from tea, coffee" - and "use clean language."
"We understand that people across the country might think this is foreign to them, and they're shocked and surprised. but for us, we deal with this quite often," said Tom Holmore, BYU athletic director.
Reno Mahe learned the hard way - an honor code violation got him sidelined from BYU's football team in 1998. He went on to play for the Philadelphia Eagles and says, looking back, it was a good thing.
"You get a lot of schools that say they have codes, but i don't think anyone enforces it the way byu does," said Reno Mahe, former BYU student. Students say the message isn't intolerance of sex or caffeine or anything else -- it's about sticking to a promise - no matter the cost.
"People do get by, people do get away with bad things sometimes, but that doesn't make it right," said Scott Maddux, BYU senior. College sports may be a religion in itself -- but students know at BYU - the school practices what it preaches.
Reported by NBC NEWS