While we do not comment on a pending investigation, we note that relevant NCAA rules concerning eligibility do not impact a player’s ability to participate in practices, scrimmages or exhibition games. —BYU officials said in a statement
PROVO — As the BYU basketball team gets set to tip off the 2017-18 season, the status of junior guard Nick Emery is uncertain as the school has confirmed that he is the focus of an NCAA investigation.
“BYU is in the process of working with the NCAA regarding issues related to Nick Emery,” the school confirmed in a statement Friday morning.
Later on Friday, BYU officials added some clarification: "After receiving information about alleged violations of NCAA rules, BYU contacted the NCAA and has been working to address issues related to Nick Emery’s eligibility."
The story was first reported by the Salt Lake Tribune early Friday morning.
The probe, according to the Tribune story, relates to the use of a car as well as travel and entertainment — such as concerts and visits to amusement parks in California — that Emery indulged in, and whether they were paid for by BYU booster Brandon Tyndall, who is an executive with Fun For Less Tours. Tyndall is also a member of the Cougar Club, which is BYU’s booster organization.
In an interview with the Tribune, Tyndall said Emery, a former Lone Peak High star, paid for the trips and entertainment himself. Tyndall did not respond to repeated attempts by the Deseret News to reach him Friday.
Emery's family declined to comment for this story.
As per NCAA rules, student-athletes are not allowed to receive benefits from boosters. NCAA violations involving improper benefits can result in a variety of penalties, including suspension.
Depending on the case, the NCAA can impose penalties on the school or it can let the school impose its own punishment.
Emery played in BYU’s Cougar Tipoff on Wednesday night, scoring nine points and dishing out four assists. He made the trip to Albuquerque for BYU's exhibition charity game at New Mexico Friday night.
"While we do not comment on a pending investigation, we note that relevant NCAA rules concerning eligibility do not impact a player’s ability to participate in practices, scrimmages or exhibition games," BYU officials said in a statement.
The Cougar guard has run into trouble before during his time in Provo. As a freshman, Emery threw a punch at Ute guard Brandon Taylor under the basket with 1:44 remaining in Utah’s 83-75 victory at the Huntsman Center in December 2015. Emery was whistled for a flagrant 2 foul for fighting and was ejected.
The following day, the West Coast Conference reprimanded Emery for his actions and the flagrant 2 foul invoked the NCAA automatic one-game suspension. Emery was suspended for the next game against Weber State and isssued a public apology.
By the end of that year, Emery had produced one of the best freshman seasons in BYU history. He averaged 16.1 points per game and knocked down 97 3-pointers.
Emery set BYU freshman records for points in a single game, 3-pointers in a single game, games scoring in double figures, 3-point field goals, 3-point field goals per game, and games with 3-plus and 5-plus 3-pointers.
As a sophomore last season, Emery's offensive production dipped. He averaged 13.1 points per game and made 75 3-pointers.