NCAA penalizes BYU after player received improper benefits
PROVO, Utah (AP) — The BYU men’s basketball program was placed on probation for two years and must vacate 47 wins under sanctions imposed Friday by the NCAA in an improper-benefits case involving guard Nick Emery.
The NCAA said the player received more than $12,000 in benefits from four boosters, including travel to concerts and an amusement park and the use of a new car. The NCAA also accepted the university’s self-imposed penalties of reducing one scholarship, disassociation of one of its boosters and a $5,000 fine.
BYU said in a statement that the university, the coaching staff and the athletic department had no knowledge of the infractions and that they disagreed with vacating wins. The NCAA didn’t identify Emery by name but the university’s statement said the case involved him.
The university also said that it plans to appeal the decision because it considers the vacating of wins to be too harsh and not consistent with recent cases.
“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,” the statement said. “In addition, in the case most similar to this situation, appropriate penalties were imposed, but no wins were vacated.”
Cougars coach Dave Rose said in a statement that he was disappointed by the ruling and supported the university’s plan to appeal.
Emery withdrew from school last season due to personal problems and the reports of improper benefits. The 6-foot-2 guard returned to the program in April and has been reinstated by the NCAA but is sitting out the first nine games of this season. He served as a captain during the 2016-17 season and was third on the team with 13.1 points per game and second with 75 3-pointers.
Emery said on Twitter on Friday that “my intentions were never to hurt the program or university. I’m grateful to Coach Rose and the university for standing by me throughout this entire process.”