The following are excerpts from documents Brigham Young University and the NCAA shared with each other concerning the impermissible benefits received by basketball player Nick Emery.
The excerpts describe the roles four boosters played in violating NCAA rules on gifts to athletes. The findings have resulted in a number of sanctions against the Cougar men’s basketball team, including the elimination of 47 wins. BYU is appealing.
• BYU’s summary of the benefits Brandon Tyndall provided to Nick Emery:
From April through June 2017, Tyndall, whose family owns a local travel agency, arranged four trips on Emery’s behalf, and did not charge Emery upfront for the travel arrangements. Instead, Tyndall tallied invoices for most of the charges for these trips, on two of which Tyndall traveled as well. The expenses for each trip included airfare, hotel lodging, concert tickets, amusement park tickets, and/or transportation to and from airports. The total value of impermissible benefits received in connection with these trips was at least $8,310.
Additionally, from May 22 to August 21, 2017, Tyndall provided Emery with the use of a new 2017 Volkswagen Jetta that Tyndall was leasing, and for which Emery’s own vehicle was traded in as a down payment on the lease. Tyndall also paid for the automobile insurance during that time period. The institution and NCAA enforcement staff calculated the total value of the lease/insurance benefit to be $1,952.
• BYU’s summary of the benefits Keith Nellesen provided to Emery:
Between August 2015 and approximately May 2017, Nellesen provided Emery golfing fees, a meal, and cash, totaling approximately $440. ... Specifically:
(1) On about three occasions between approximately August 2015 and May 2017, Nellesen invited Emery to play golf with him at the Riverside Country Club in Provo, Utah. Nellesen paid for Emery’s golfing fees and a meal using his Riverside Country Club account. The total value of these impermissible benefits was approximately $240.
(2) On one occasion around October 2016, Nellesen gave Emery $200 to buy new shoes. Emery reported that Nellesen wanted Emery to buy new shoes because his old shoes were worn out, and that Nellesen then left $200 cash in Emery’s locker.
• BYU’s summary of the benefits Dave Hunter provided to Emery:
On about 10 occasions between approximately August 2015 and August 2017. Emery golfed with Hunter at Riverside Country Club in Provo, Utah, where Hunter is a member. Hunter paid for Emery’s golfing fees and meals using his Riverside Country Club account. The total value of the impermissible benefits was approximately $800.
• BYU’s summary of the benefits Jeff Smith provided to Emery:
In December 2016, Smith arranged for Emery and his then-wife... to stay at the Sundial Lodge in Park City, Utah, on December 23-25, 2016. Despite Sundial Lodge records showing a two-night reservation, Emery and his wife reported that they stayed only one night before returning home to spend Christmas Eve with family. Neither Emery nor his then-wife paid for the lodging, which has an estimated value of $360/night, and no evidence was discovered of Smith paying for lodging.
• BYU’s description of other impermissible benefits given to Emery:
On Valentine’s Day 2017, Emery and his wife were provided a meal at no cost while eating at a local restaurant (La Jolla Groves). When time came for the bill to be paid, Emery and his wife were informed that the bill had been taken care of. Emery did not question this; however the institution determined that this constituted preferential treatment, which had an approximate value of $60.
• Description in NCCA summary disposition of Nellesen giving Emery money for shoes:
In addition to the golf fees, Nellesen gave $200 in cash to N. Emery after a men’s basketball practice in October 2016 so N. Emery could buy new basketball shoes. Nellesen reported that at the practice he noticed N. Emery “had a hole in the bottom of his shoes” and he heckled N. Emery and a men’s basketball coaching staff member to get N. Emery a new pair of shoes. Nellesen reported that after practice, he gave $200 in cash directly to N. Emery in the men’s basketball locker room. Nellesen added that none of the men’s basketball staff were aware that he gave N. Emery the cash. Additionally, he acknowledged that he knew providing cash to N. Emery was against NCAA bylaws.
When the institution and enforcement staff initially interviewed N. Emery in August 2017, he denied receiving $200 in cash from Nellesen. However, in October 2017, N. Emery requested an opportunity to clarify and correct certain statements from his initial interview. During his October 24 interview, N. Emery described how he and Nellesen bantered back and forth about his basketball shoes at a men's basketball practice in October 2016. During the conversation, Nellesen was urging N. Emery to get new basketball shoes, but N. Emery told Nellesen that he loved his old shoes "because they mold to his feet." N. Emery reported that after practice, he found $200 in cash in the spot in his locker where he stored his shoes and assumed it was from Nellesen because of their earlier conversation. He denied that Nellesen handed the cash to him directly, and said he did not tell his coaches, compliance staff or other athletics staff members about the cash despite knowing it was impermissible.
• Description in NCCA summary disposition of Hunter paying for Emery to golf:
Hunter reported that he has no affiliation with his alma mater or BYU athletics. He said that he has attended only one BYU football game, against Notre Dame University, in the last five years and one BYU men’s basketball game since N. Emery enrolled at BYU in 2015. Hunter added that he has not donated money to BYU and instead donates money to the University of Southern California’s film school. Following the interview with Hunter, the institution searched its athletics donor records and identified a record indicating that Hunter made a $650 donation to the BYU Cougar Club on March 29, 2005. Hunter made no other donations to BYU athletics, and after obtaining this information, the institution reinterviewed Hunter to determine the facts and circumstances surrounding the $650 donation. Hunter had no recollection of the donation.
It is important to note that N. Emery stated Hunter was not a representative of the institution's athletics interest because "he has no affiliation with BYU." Therefore, he did not believe the benefits from Hunter were impermissible. Similarly, Hunter did not see himself as an athletics representative subject to NCAA rules because he is not a supporter, fan of, or donor to BYU athletics.
Hunter and N. Emery reported that they met while golfing prior to N. Emery’s LDS mission in Germany. ... Nellesen reported that he arranged for their introduction because Hunter “was the most successful missionary in Germany in the modern era for the LDS Church.” Regardless of how they met, Hunter and N. Emery described themselves as good friends who have a strong personal connection because of their LDS missions in Germany.
Both Hunter and N. Emery reported that they often played golf together since N. Emery became a men’s basketball student-athlete at BYU, usually at the behest of Hunter. Hunter estimated that he played golf with N. Emery about 15 times, while N. Emery estimated that he golfed with Hunter between 10 and 20 times. Both Hunter and N. Emery reported they always played golf at Riverside, where Hunter is a member, and Hunter always paid for N. Emery’s green fees. N. Emery also reported that he ate meals after some of the rounds of golf and Hunter paid for those meals via his membership account.
• Description in NCCA summary disposition of Tyndall paying for Emery to travel and role of his brother, Jackson Emery:
Near the end of May 2017, J. Emery took over N. Emery's finances and was aware that N. Emery had an outstanding balance owed to Tyndall for the trip to New York and Germany. J. Emery said he told Tyndall that the balance would be paid once N. Emery's divorce became final at the end of August 2017.
In the meantime, J. Emery told N. Emery to visit "places that make you feel good." J. Emery encouraged N. Emery to take trips to see his favorite band in Los Angeles and Toronto, and to visit friends in Austin, Texas. J. Emery told N. Emery to ask Tyndall to add these trip expenses to his outstanding bill. J. Emery emphasized that money was not an issue as he was trying to improve N. Emery's mental state. Like the New York and Germany trip, Tyndall made and paid for the travel arrangements for N. Emery's trips to Austin, Los Angeles and Toronto, and billed N. Emery after the trips. In addition, it should be noted that Tyndall accompanied N. Emery on the Los Angeles and Toronto trips.
In addition to paying for the trips, Tyndall provided N. Emery the use of a leased 2017 Volkswagen Jetta and paid its automobile insurance. Tyndall did so because shortly after the couple separated, N. Emery’s 2008 Honda Civic broke down.