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PROVO — The NCAA announced Wednesday its denial of an appeal by Brigham Young University over sanctions levied against the men's basketball program over rules violations by former player Nick Emery.

The NCAA upheld sanctions against BYU, which was forced to vacate 47 wins from 2015-17 as a result of an improper-benefits case involving former player Nick Emery.

BYU's appeal of penalties announced in November was denied by the NCAA's Infractions Appeals Committee.

The NCAA said a player, later revealed by BYU to be Emery, received more than $12,000 in benefits from four boosters. It ruled the school must vacate the wins and BYU was placed on probation for two years.

BYU voiced its disappointment in the NCAA's decision in a statement, calling the penalties "unprecedented for a case in which the institution had no knowledge of or involvement in the infractions."

BYU, which self-reported the violations to the NCAA, said the penalties were too harsh because no one within the coaching staff or athletic department was aware of the infractions.

"The NCAA wrongly suggests that case precedent supports this decision, but the undisputed fact is that this is the first time ever that the NCAA Committee on Infractions has vacated team records where the institution itself was not aware of and had no involvement in the violations," BYU said in a written statement.

"Despite undisputed findings that BYU and former head coach Dave Rose properly monitored and controlled the program and promoted an atmosphere of compliance, the NCAA still determined to punish the university, Coach Rose and the entire men’s basketball team, who did not participate in or know about the violations of one student-athlete."

BYU said it is "concerned about the harmful precedent that this case sets and the message it sends to NCAA membership."

Emery returned to BYU last season as a junior after a suspension over the case and was set to return as a senior for the 2019-20 season before announcing his retirement from the game in July.

Standard-Examiner sports editor Brett Hein contributed to this story.

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