LOGAN –Both Utah State head coach Tim Duryea and Utah head coach Larry Krystkowiak discussed the reasons for the cancellation of the basketball series between the two schools in separate press conferences Monday.
For the bulk of his press conference Krystkowiak discussed his decision to cancel next year’s BYU game, but the Utah State series was brought up. According to Krystkowiak, the decision to cancel the BYU game was based out of concern for the safety of his players. In the most recent meeting BYU freshman guard Nick Emery was ejected for punching Utah ‘s Brandon Taylor.
“If you know me, I’m not interested in backing down,” he said. “That’s probably been one of my shortfalls, kind of an eye for an eye mentality.”
Krystkowiak said he believes rivalries are what make college sports great, but said he and former USU head coach Stew Morrill decided to discontinue the series because the two “are really good friends and (they) didn’t want to play each other.”
“That’s the facts, you know,” he said. “Maybe it looked a little more political, but when we visit with each other Stew said ‘I don’t want to play you.’ I said ‘I don’t want to play you,’ and through our athletic directors we managed to not play each other. Nobody is hiding, I have no problem with that. Everybody has got a different agenda, a different team.”
Duryea, who was in charge of scheduling as an assistant, said he doesn’t know why the series was cancelled, but that he was never given a reason for it.
“All I was told was that Utah wanted the series to end,” he said. “And then we tried to start the series back up and offer some dates, but those dates were never accepted because of conflicts on their end so at the point the series has kind of been in limbo ever since then. We asked for dates, dates were never really given back to us. I think at that point, Larry (Krystkowiak) and Stew (Morrill) both kind of decided they weren’t going to play and that’s where it stands right now.”
The last time the Aggies met the Utes was a game during the 2010-11 season in Logan that resulted in a 79-62 win for the Aggies. Krystkowiak was hired as the head basketball coach the following season and the teams haven’t met since.