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Media MonsterNCAA Basketball

Too Far? Orlando Sentinel Columnist Asks About Florida Players’ Sex Lives

With BYU set to play Florida in the Sweet 16 tonight, the Orlando Sentinel’s Mike Bianchi set out to write a piece focusing on BYU’s honor code in the wake of the Brandon Davies controversy. Sure, the issue’s been beaten into the ground already, but Bianchi went for it anyway. His angle: what if Florida players had to follow BYU’s honor code? He set about finding out. That entailed asking about premarital sex. Things got weird.

Bianchi documents the exchanges he had with Florida coach Billy Donovan, forward Chandler Parsons, and athletic director Jeremy Foley in his piece, which concludes that BYU’s run is “remarkable and refreshing” and “lifted college athletics up.” The responses Bianchi printed sound so uncomfortable it almost hurts to think about them:

Later, when I asked [Parsons] again to give me a percentage of UF players who have had premarital sex, he would only say, “We don’t share that information.”

Florida coach Billy Donovan was asked how hard it would be to lure players to UF if he had to tell five-star recruits they couldn’t have sex if they signed with the Gators.

Donovan, too, dodged the question.

“I’m not going to get into that,” he said. “I’ll pass on that one.”

We wouldn’t blame you if reading this made you think, “Come on, Bianchi…did you really need to go there? Is this really what we need to know?” Many did feel that way, like ESPN’s Andy Katz, who called Bianchi’s line of questioning “embarrassing journalism,” and 30fps’ Tim Burke, who went as far as saying Bianchi was a “pervert” for asking what he did.

However, one thing we’ll say is that seeing video of a couple of these exchanges, it doesn’t appear quite as squirm-inducing as it seems just reading about it:

Donovan doesn’t seem all too shocked to be fielding such a question from Bianchi (though of course he still wants no part of it), and Parsons at least got a good laugh.

We still wouldn’t have asked these questions ourselves, but we’ll concede that someone like Bianchi, who writes for a Florida paper and has developed a rapport with the people in Florida’s program over the years, probably knew what Donovan and Parsons would and wouldn’t consider appropriate. Perhaps Donovan’s reaction would have been different had someone he was unfamiliar with asked the same question, but in this case, he didn’t seem outraged.

In fact, our bigger criticism of Bianchi is something we mentioned in passing above – this story was a dead horse long ago. It’s been everywhere, with everyone from Jon Stewart to those who’ve experienced BYU first-hand weighing in. BYU did what it does when it’s notified of an honor code violation, Davies accepted. That was that.

This situation doesn’t: 1) need to be looked into further at all, at this point; 2) merit a BYU/Florida comparison. BYU is a private school with a strict religious affiliation. Florida is a large public state school. Comparing the two on “allowing premarital sex” grounds struck us as a little creepy, yes, but it’s also irrelevant. Each school is run a certain way, that’s fine, and pitting the codes of conduct of these two vastly different institutions against one another just isn’t worth it.

Photo via Mike Bianchi’s Twitter

  • Clp15

    Even if a reporter thought this were a valid line of questioning, who would really believe that a coach would be able to answer the question?

    “Well, let’s see, according to our media guide, our point guard has had sex with 5 different young ladies, our low-post man has racked up 8, then there’s our center…”

  • Anonymous
  • Rimcnabb

    hahaha…..I LIKE IT! Obviously the questions were asked by someone the team was comfortable with, or his reputation preceded himself, because they didn’t seem angry about it. And I don’t really feel like Bianchi was trying to down-play the Florida program, I think it seemed more like he was just putting into perspective just what an accomplishment the BYU program had achieved. I mean…if you really did have to ask that question, it may as well be rhetorical. Don’t get me wrong, I think Florida had the better overall team, but kudo’s to the BYU program for assembling a decent program under the honor code they operate under. And on a side-note, i don’t really think Bianchi is that far off in his giving recognition for the same, considering our country was founded on christian principles and the majority of christian religions don’t believe in pre-marital sex. The interview is obviously geared at drawing attention, which is probably a good thing for a journalist to do, lol. WOULD’VE MADE A GREAT ARTICLE IN “THE ONION”.

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous


  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Savage/1795285921 Brian Savage

    Good question. Most schools would not be able to recruit if all schools had BYU’s honor code which also includes no drinking nor smoking. I wonder how many single moms are out there from top atheletes?
    btw, despite popular opinion, it wasn’t pre-marital sex that took Brandon Davies out. At least Davies has the class and the courage to correct things before they become a problem.

  • NC

    My beef is this —was Davies the only one who was questioned? If so, why? Was it the fact that he is black and his girlfriend (not even at the same college) isn’t? How many students in the band are questioned? How many students with engineering scholarships are questioned? etc., etc.

    Was Davies just singled out?

    That is the key.

  • Anonymous

    Only been a few years since Mormons strapped electrodes to Gay BYU students in order to “cure” them of their thoughts of homosexuality. (True) How Time Marches On!

  • Rimcnabb

    lol, what???? i’m left wondering how this random homosexual thought ties into the topic of student athletes adhering to an honor code they chose to live by? That comment is like saying “it’s only been a couple months since the catholics molested another little boy.” Just because a priest commits a crime, doesn’t mean the pope sanctioned it. It CERTAINLY wouldn’t mean that the entire entity of “catholics” would share in the same view on child molestation. I’m really left scratching my head on how well you thought that commment out “great_1″.

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