PROVO — BYU basketball player Nick Emery will be required to sit out the first nine games of the Cougars' upcoming season, but has been reinstated to the BYU program, according to a decision by the NCAA that was released late Thursday afternoon.
Emery withdrew from school last fall after BYU confirmed the guard had been referred to the NCAA to investigate allegations that he received improper benefits as a student-athlete.
“We are excited to have Nick back with us," said BYU assistant coach Tim LaComb at a recent charity golf event for head coach Dave Rose at the Alpine Country Club. "He has joined us in workouts and is anxious to go forward and be a part of this team.”
“Nick is good to go,” said LaComb.
The first 10 games on BYU’s schedule are among its toughest and include Nevada, Utah, UNLV, San Diego State, Mississippi State, Houston, Illinois State, Utah State and Utah Valley.
This past year, Emery went through a divorce coupled with the allegations of the improper benefits, which led to his withdrawal from school. In his latest public statement on social media, Emery discussed how anxiety and depression have led him to find greater faith in his beliefs and himself.
“I'm back, but not only back, I’m better,” he wrote in a blog in April. “The tiny little ounce of faith I once had got me through even the darkest and loneliest of times. I had to accept God was in control of my life and could see way more than I ever could. Living and experiencing all of that has helped me become such a better person in every aspect of life.”
Emery said he has never been “healthier and happier” in his life.
A junior from Alpine, Emery sat out the 2017-18 season after withdrawing from school in the fall of 2017. He will rejoin the BYU basketball program this summer as it begins preparation for the 2018-19 season. Emery has two years of eligibility remaining.
In two seasons as a Cougar, Emery has averaged 14.7 points per game and became just the fourth BYU player to reach 1,000 career points as a sophomore. As a freshman, he was named second team All-West Coast Conference and made the All-WCC Freshman Team.