Utah cancels annual game with BYU next season

1:13 | College Basketball
Utah cancels 2016 basketball game with BYU over rivalry's escalating tensions
Thursday January 7th, 2016

Utah has canceled its annual rivalry game against the BYU Cougars next season. The game was set to be played at the Marriot Center in Provo, UT.

Tensions during this season’s game escalated when BYU freshman Nick Emery punched Utah guard Brandon Taylor. Emery was ejected from the game and given a one-game suspension.

After the situation got out of control, Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak said he felt it was best to take a break from the rivalry.

“The events that have occurred in our recent games with BYU led me to ask [athletic director] Dr. Hill several weeks ago if we could take a cooling off period and put the rivalry on hold,” Krystkowiak said in a statement. “The level of emotions has escalated to the point where there is the potential for serious injury. Chris said he would support me in canceling next year's scheduled game against BYU. I called and let Coach (Dave) Rose know our intentions a few days after our game [on Dec. 2].”

However, Rose and BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe said they disagree with the decision.

Holmoe voiced his opinion on Twitter Thursday writing, “Cancelling the BYU/Utah basketball series is RIDICULOUS. #letsplaythegame”

​Rose told reporters Wednesday that he was shocked by the decision.

“I know our students, our players, our fans and college basketball fans in the intermountain area want to see this long-standing rivalry continue,” Rose said.

Utah defeated BYU 83–75 this season. The Utes have won the last three meetings, but BYU leads the series 129–128.

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