Utah cancels basketball game against BYU next season

Jan 7, 2016 - 12:09 AM SALT LAKE CITY (AP) Utah has canceled its contracted basketball game next season against rival BYU because of events that occurred in recent games, Utes coach Larry Krystkowiak said in a statement Wednesday.

Krystkowiak approached athletic director Chris Hill last month about canceling the game scheduled for Provo, and Hill agreed.

''(The incidents) led me to ask Dr. 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.''

BYU coach Dave Rose said he's disappointed in the decision and believes the rivalry should continue.

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

There was controversy at the end of this season's game when BYU guard Nick Emery was kicked out for throwing a punch and was suspended for a game by the West Coast Conference. Utah won the game 83-75 in Salt Lake.

The series dates to 1909 and has only not been played once, in 1944 due to World War II. BYU leads the series 129-128.

''Coach Krystkowiak came to me last month and expressed a deep concern about the incidents that have occurred in recent years during our games with BYU,'' Hill said in a statement. ''In the interests of our student-athlete welfare, he requested we cancel the BYU series until further notice. Given his reasons, I agreed to cancel next year's game. We will revisit resuming the rivalry at some point in the future.''

Utah dropped BYU from the football schedule the last two seasons. The two programs met in the 2015 Las Vegas Bowl and are scheduled to face each other again in 2016.

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