BYU basketball junior Nick Emery has withdrawn from BYU and will no longer play for the Cougars during the 2017–18 season, BYU announced Friday night.
“I have decided to withdraw from BYU today,” Emery said in a press release. “Unfortunately, I am mentally not where I need to be in order to perform in basketball and in school this year. As it has been made known, I went through a divorce this year and it has been really difficult for me. I have confidence that I will come back stronger and better. I have every intention on coming back to BYU and representing Cougar nation on the basketball floor. I thank everyone for their love and support, especially my teammates, coaches and the BYU administration that have been an incredible support system. Go Cougs!”
In October, The Salt Lake Tribune broke the news that Emery was under investigation for allegedly accepting gifts from a BYU booster. The NCAA is continuing the investigation and BYU is still awaiting an eligibility decision on Emery.
BYU has hired a law firm with expertise in NCAA infractions to investigate the case. The university released a statement saying: “BYU is in the process of working with the NCAA regarding issues related to Nick Emery.”
Since the news broke, BYU coach Dave Rose says his team has been supportive on the junior guard.
“Hopefully we can get some closure, but our guys have got their arms around him and they are helping him through each day,” Rose told the media on Nov. 1. “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.”
Rose added in Friday night’s press release that he supports Emery’s decision to take the season off.
“Nick’s personal well-being is my number one concern right now,” Rose said. “He’s going through a very difficult time, and we’ve had a lot of discussions about what he needs to do to be able to move forward. We both feel like the best thing for him is to take time off before continuing with his basketball career. As coaches and his teammates, we want what is best for Nick, and we know he has a great family that will help him navigate this difficult time. We look forward to welcoming him back at BYU soon.”
As a freshman at BYU in 2015-16, Emery averaged 16.3 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists. He set the Cougar freshman record for 3-point field goals with 97 and helped BYU reach the semifinals of the NIT. Emery was named to the All-WCC Second Team and the All-WCC Freshman Team at the end of the season.
During the 2016–17 season, Emery posted averages of 13.1 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.4 assists. He also had a team-high 55 steals and hit 75 3-pointers. Emery became the fourth BYU player to reach 1,000 career points as a sophomore.