Seriously: for the past two days, brandon davies has been a trending topic on Twitter. That means, in the entire worldwide Twittersphere, with violent upheavals in the Middle East, a new iPad announced, and Charlie Sheen redefining “radical,” Brandon Davies is one of the top 10 topics on Twitter.
This follows the ESPN story divulging Davies’ Honor Code violation: he had sex with his girlfriend. The chatter on Twitter is deafening and polarized, with SocialMention.com reporting that he’s getting tweeted about every 7 seconds. From what I can tell, half of the tweets are “Good for BYU,” and the other half are “Whaaaaa????”
While it’s not surprising to most people that BYU and the Mormon church frown upon sex outside of marriage, and however hopelessly backward that may seem to outsiders, the Mormons are not the only religion with such a belief. Indeed, BYU isn’t even the only major school with such a rule against sex–Notre Dame has a similar one, which mandates expulsion for fooling around.
Since the initial story on ESPN, nearly every news outlet has provided coverage of Davies’ dismissal from the team–including radio programs such as the Dan Patrick Show, and The Petros & Money Show, as well as continued additional coverage on ESPN, such as this very complimentary piece from Pat Forde. The overwhelming majority of this coverage has been positive toward BYU’s decision and has applauded BYU’s willingness to stand up for its own principles.
However, as noted above, the response on Twitter has been very different: lots of ridicule, confusion, and general pfffffting going on. Why do we see this divergence in response–the media outlets are praising BYU, while the Twittersphere is scorning it?
 BTW, this isn’t the first time BYU sports has been in the Trending Topics. Actually, they get there quite a bit, presumably because they’re the team people love to hate. I’m betting that translates to good ratings for ESPN next year (plus they have legions of fans distributed around the country).