BYU guard Emery retires after NCAA investigation

PROVO, Utah -- BYU guard Nick Emery said Tuesday he is retiring from basketball following a college career that began with high expectations but that ended with him at the center of an NCAA investigation.

Emery used social media to announce he is stepping away with a year of eligibility still remaining, and BYU confirmed the retirement.

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The day has come that I hang up the #4 Emery jersey. Basketball has taught me more about life than I could have ever imagined. Playing for a university like BYU and playing with some of the best guys has been an incredible blessing. My time here has been a rocky at times, but the good times definitely outweighed the bad. I've learned so many life lessons and this journey has been so rewarding. I am at a point in life where I am happy with what I've accomplished with basketball and I'm ready to start the next chapter of my life with my wife and son. So I want to say thank you to my coaches, teammates and administration for all the memories and love. And a huge thank you to all of the fans who stuck with me through the good times and the bad times and cheered me on even in my darkest hours. I am a changed man from your unwavering support and love and I am forever grateful. Because of you guys, I was able to accomplish dreams I never thought would happen. Thank you BYU for the amazing opportunity to represent your school. I have been forever blessed! 🙏🏼

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"We are excited for Nick as he begins this next stage of his life," BYU coach Mark Pope said in a news release. "He has great things ahead."

Emery made a splash right away at BYU, averaging a career-best 16.3 points per game during his first season and setting a BYU freshman record with 97 3-pointers. He helped the Cougars reach the semifinals of the 2016 NIT.

After playing for two years, he withdrew from school for the 2017-18 season, citing personal reasons. The 6-foot-2 guard returned to the program in 2018 and he began his third and final season serving a nine-game suspension following the NCAA investigation.

The NCAA last year placed the men's basketball program on probation for two years and said it must vacate 47 wins from Emery's freshman and sophomore seasons.

The NCAA said Emery received more than $12,000 in benefits from four boosters, including travel to concerts and an amusement park, and the use of a new car. The NCAA also accepted the university's self-imposed penalties of reducing one scholarship, disassociation of one of its boosters and a $5,000 fine.

The NCAA didn't identify Emery by name, but the university said the case involved him.

Emery averaged 12.6 points, 2.9 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.4 steals per game over his three seasons with the Cougars.

With grad transfer Jake Toolson joining BYU from Utah Valley for the upcoming season, Emery's role with the Cougars would likely have been greatly reduced this fall. Toolson earned WAC Player of the Year honors as a junior after averaging 15.7 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 2.3 assists for Utah Valley.