Utah cancels annual rivalry game with BYU for 2016-17

Utah and BYU have been playing each other in basketball since 1909, with only a one-year break in-between due to World War II.

That will change in 2016.

In a statement, BYU announced that Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak has informed BYU coach Dave Rose that the series will not take place during the 2016-17 season.

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

The decision comes after an incident in this season’s game in which BYU guard Nick Emery threw a punch at Utah guard Brandon Taylor and was ejected. Emery was then also suspended for another game for his actions.

For his part, Krystkowiak released a statement discussing why the decision was made from Utah’s point of view.

“The events that have occurred in our recent games with BYU led me to ask (Utah athletic director) Dr. (Chris) Hill several weeks ago if we could take a cooling off period and put the rivalry on hold,” Krystkowiak said. “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 Rose know our intentions a few days after our game (on Dec. 2).”

Hill released a statement of his own echoing Krystkowiak’s, and adding that the series is canceled until further notice.

“We will revisit resuming the rivlary at some point in the future,” Hill said.

Larry Krystkowiak and Dave Rose will not face off against one another next season. (USATSI)
Larry Krystkowiak and Dave Rose will not face off against one another next season. (USATSI)

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