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NCAA Announces BYU Penalties In Nick Emery Case

Brigham Young Cougars head coach Dave Rose and guard Nick Emery (4) walk off the court after their 81-50 loss to the St. Mary's Gaels during a West Coast Conference semifinals game at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas on Monday, March 06, 2017. (Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

PROVO, Utah – The NCAA has announced sanctions against BYU for violations related to guard Nick Emery. The punishment includes the loss of a scholarship and may force the team and coach Dave Rose to vacate up to 47 wins.

In their investigation, the infractions committee found that, “Four Brigham Young boosters provided more than $12,000 in complimentary all-inclusive vacations, cash, meals, golf and the use of a car to a men’s basketball student-athlete in violation of NCAA rules.”

The decision came following a year-long investigation, after the university self-reported the violations.

BYU was made aware of the penalties earlier this year, and argued the vacation of wins was “extremely harsh and unprecedented.” After meeting with the university, the NCAA felt the punishment was warranted.

“It was appropriate based on the scope of the violations. The decision noted that vacation of records is an important penalty that addresses competitive advantage gained over other NCAA member schools that follow the rules,” the report stated.

Among the punishments dolled out to the Cougars were:

  • Two years of probation from November 9, 2018, through November 8, 2020.
  • A vacation of records in which the student-athlete participated while ineligible.
  • A reduction of one men’s basketball scholarship, served during the earliest possible academic year (self-imposed by the university).
  • Recruiting restrictions detailed in the public report.
  • A disassociation of one of the boosters (self-imposed by the university).
  • A $5,000 fine (self-imposed by the university).

In response to the NCAA’s announcement, BYU’s athletic department released the following:

“We are disappointed with the decision announced today by the NCAA Committee on Infractions (COI). The COI review is the result of a BYU self-report to the NCAA. From the beginning, BYU has considered the possible infractions a serious matter, and we have cooperated in every way with the NCAA review. There was no institutional knowledge of or involvement in the infractions. In fact, the NCAA found that Coach Rose promotes an atmosphere of compliance and monitors the program.

“The vacation-of-records penalty is extremely harsh and unprecedented given the details of the case. For more than two decades, the NCAA has not required an institution to vacate games in similar cases where the COI found there was no institutional knowledge of or involvement in the violation by either the coaching staff or other university personnel. In fact, this sanction includes the most severe vacation-of-record penalty ever imposed in the history of NCAA Division I basketball for infractions that included no institutional knowledge or involvement. In addition, in the case most similar to this situation, appropriate penalties were imposed, but no wins were vacated. BYU believes the vacation-of-records penalty is unfair and not consistent with recent NCAA precedent. The university plans to appeal the decision.”

BYU planned to appeal the decision.

Emery played in 70 games from 2015-2017, with BYU winning 47 of those games. The vacating of wins changes the total for BYU head coach Dave Rose down from 329 to 282.

“I’m very disappointed with today’s NCAA ruling. I strongly support the university’s plan to appeal the decision. That being said, my focus is on our team and tonight’s game with Utah Valley,” said Rose.

In a previously announced decision, Emery was suspended for the first nine games of the 2018-19 season as part of the investigation, after missing the entire 2017-18 season.

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