The collective Mormon reaction has been somewhat divided; some people say it's bad publicity for the church, some say it's good publicity for the church, some respect him for his willingness to come forward and confess, and some say "good riddance, sinner!"
The rest of the country (coz let's be honest; Mormons make up less than 1.98% of the population here) has been similarly torn. Some say we're archaic in our beliefs, some say it's good to see a college sticking by its rules, etc etc.
So that's the basic back story. It hasn't really affected me much except it's been all over my school's paper, my friends' Facebook statuses, and whatnot.
I was watching the Weekend Update on Saturday Night Live (my only real contact with current events) and lo and behold, there was that story. Again. Here's what Seth Meyers had to say:
A member of the Brigham Young University basketball team has been suspended for the rest of the season for violating the school's honor code by having pre-marital sex. The player says he feels terrible, but has a pretty good idea how he's gonna cheer himself up. (laughter from the audience)
And instead of feeling outraged and indignant, I just felt...amused. Amused in a sad sort of way. People just don't get the gravity of sexual sin. There's a great talk by Elder Holland called "Of Souls, Symbols, and Sacraments." Messing with procreative powers and bringing souls into this world without proper authority is just as harmful as taking souls out of it unbidden. Even with protection, it's a communion, a sacred act used to bring man and wife closer to each other and God.
Anyway, that's all. I feel blessed to have this knowledge and to go to a school where it's the norm.