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Nick Emery will play in exhibition games pending NCAA ruling on eligibility

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BYU then-sophomore Nick Emery celebrates a made 3-point shot during a game against Colorado. Now a junior, Emery is under investigation for allegedly accepting gifts from a BYU booster. (Photo by Rebecca Lane/UV360)

BYU junior Nick Emery will continue to play in BYU basketball’s exhibition games until the NCAA makes a ruling on Emery’s eligibility, BYU coach Dave Rose said Tuesday evening.

Last week, The Salt Lake Tribune broke the news that Emery was under investigation for allegedly accepting gifts from a BYU booster.

Rose said he’d “love to talk about Nick” at a press conference Tuesday night, but of course was restricted in speech as the investigation is ongoing. Instead, Rose expressed sympathy for Emery and what he is going through while applauding his team on their support for their teammate.

“I can say this — I don’t know if I can or not, but I will — the process of what Nick has been through in the spring and the summer and now the fall has been pretty tough to watch from a coach’s point of view,” Rose said. “I am really proud of our team and how they have supported Nick through a pretty difficult time.”

Emery has been enduring difficult times both on and off the court over the pasts few months.

“Hopefully we can get some closure, but our guys have got their arms around him and they are helping him through each day,” Rose said. “Some days are tougher than others. As a coach, I’ve been doing this a long time, I have seen these guys really embrace this kid. Hopefully we get him back to where we know he can be helping this team.”

“I can say this … the process of what Nick (Emery) has been through in the spring and the summer and now the fall has been pretty tough to watch from a coach’s point of view. I am really proud of our team and how they have supported Nick through a pretty difficult time.” — Dave Rose, BYU basketball coach

BYU has hired a law firm with expertise in NCAA infractions to investigate the case. The university released a statement on Friday saying: “BYU is in the process of working with the NCAA regarding issues related to Nick Emery.”

Since practices, scrimmages and exhibition games are not restricted by eligibility, Emery played in the Blue vs. White intrasquad scrimmage on Wednesday, Oct. 25, as well as in the Friday, Oct. 27, charity exhibition game against New Mexico at The Pit. The Cougars won 79–73 and helped raise about $50,000 for the Hurricane Harvey Recovery Fund.

While the investigation continues, Rose intends to play Emery in the exhibition games. First up, is Westminster College on Wednesday, Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. at the Marriott Center. Followed by Colorado College on Nov. 8. Then the season opener is on Nov. 11 against Mississippi Valley State at the Marriott Center.

The Cougars take on the Griffins Wednesday night at the Marriott Center at 7 p.m. The Division II team is coached by former Salt Lake Community head coach Norm Parrish. In the 2016–17 season, Westminster was 16–8 overall and 16–6 in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.

BYU’s game vs. Westminster will be broadcast on BYUtv.

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