BYU basketball program penalized by NCAA, will vacate wins after current player received extra benefits

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The BYU men's basketball program was sanctioned Friday by the NCAA and faces six major punishments, including vacating as many as 47 wins in total during a period in which a player deemed ineligible by accepting benefits participated in games.

The sanctions handed down are related to the eligibility of former four-star prospect Nick Emery, who upon investigation by the NCAA was given benefits by boosters. The benefits, as reported by The Salt Lake Tribune, include travel to amusement parks and concerts with Brandon Tyndall, an executive at the Tyndall family's travel company called Fun For Less Tours. Tyndall was also a member of the Cougar Club – a BYU booster organization.

Emery during his time at BYU drove a Volkswagen Jetta that was leased to Tyndall.

NCAA findings also revealed two other boosters provided golf outings and meals at a country club to Emery, one of which left him $200 in cash in the locker room. Another booster was said to have arranged a stay for Emery at a resort for a weekend. In total, the investigation found that the boosters' total benefits amounted to more than $12,000 in total by way of vacations, meals and cash.

The NCAA responded by doling out the following penalties:

  • Two years of probation beginning Nov. 8, 2018 and running through Nov. 8, 2020
  • A vacation of records, including wins.of games in which Emery participated while ineligible
  • A reduction of one scholarship served during the earliest possible academic year
  • A $5,000 fine
  • A disassociation of one of the boosters in the case
  • Recruiting restrictions related to limiting of official visits, unofficial visits, recruiting communications and recruiting person days

BYU announced it intends to appeal the NCAA's COI decision. 

"The vacation-of-records penalty is extremely harsh and unprecedented given the details of the case," read part of BYU's statement on the NCAA's decision. "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 the interim, Emery has been suspended for the first nine games of the 2018-19 season.

"I'm very disappointed with today's NCAA ruling," BYU coach Dave Rose said in a statement. "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."

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