SALT LAKE CITY — As Saturday’s Rivalry Game at the Marriott Center approaches, Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak revealed that he and former BYU player Nick Emery exchanged text messages during the summer.
“It was pretty cool,” said Krystkowiak, who explained that he received a random text message while spending time with his family at the friend’s ranch on the Fourth of July.
Krystkowiak said he wasn’t sure what to make of the text orginally. He added that he’s received a few text messages from a variety of people over the past 18 months since canceling Utah’s scheduled game at BYU in 2016 in the wake of Emery’s behavior when the teams played at the Huntsman Center. Emery hit Brandon Taylor of the Utes and then reportedly told him to stay on the ground. He then had words with Krystkowiak.
Flash forward to the text. Krystkowiak said he didn’t immediately respond to it until he heard from a BYU assistant that it was, indeed, Emery who reached out.
“I don’t think I’m violating any trust between the two of us, but he was super sincere about how he was growing up and didn’t handle it right,” Krystkowiak said. “And he’s felt bad for quite a long time and, you know, kudos to him for reaching out.
“To be honest with you, if that would have happened a little bit earlier — and this is no disrespect to him — we would never have taken any time off. That was part of the holding pattern that I was waiting to see what would take place before I kind of got my undies in a bunch and wanted to put an end to it,” he continued.
Krystkowiak went on to say that Emery has grown up significantly as a result of what he’s been through.
“It felt good to have that conversation, although it was just text message with him, and move forward,” Krystkowiak concluded. “I think we’re all in a better place.”