NC State receives NOA from the NCAA, relating to Dennis Smith Jr

NC State lawyers

NC State lawyers

Former Alabama player and coach Mark Gottfried is mentioned prominently in an NCAA notice of allegations received this week by North Carolina State, the school acknowledged Wednesday.

Smith won ACC Freshman of the Year during the 2016-17 season as he averaged 18.1 points and 6.2 assists per game. "Early and the men's basketball staff members arranged for and/or provided Smith and individuals associated with him approximately $46,700 in impermissible inducements and benefits".

N.C. State head coach Mark Gottfried walks off the floor with Dennis Smith Jr.

For his part, Gottfried is accused of a Level I violation due to "head coach responsibility". The most significant allegation was that a $40,000 payment was orchestrated to Smith's family by former assistant coach Orlando Early provided by former Adidas representative T.J. Gassnola.

It'll be interesting to see what happens here.

The school is charged with four violations, two of them Level I, the most severe.

Gassnola testified during the October trial that he made two payments to people close to Smith, who spent one-and-a-half seasons at NC State before becoming a lottery pick in the 2017 National Basketball Association draft. Then there is the conspiracy angle where State will get hammered because the NCAA is going to want to look strong after the UNC debacle, and what better way to do that than have the NCAA, which has a surprisingly high number of UNC Alumni within it, drop an absolute hammer on NC State.

The Wolfpack are the first of several schools expected to be targeted by the NCAA as a result of the FBI investigation and federal trial.

"NC State is committed to the highest levels of compliance, honesty and integrity", Chancellor Randy Woodson said in a statement.

Parties hit in the NOA - Gottfried, Early and NC State - have 90 days to respond to the NCAA's allegations. "As the university carefully reviews the NCAA's allegations and thoroughly evaluates the evidence in order to determine our response, we are prepared to be accountable where we believe it is appropriate and to vigorously defend this great university and its Athletics program where we feel it is necessary".

At the same time, the university has begun to distance itself from Gottfried and Early, stating that the former coaches "were well educated about the rules and knew the rules, and that if the allegations are true, those coaches chose to break the rules".

The school received a verbal notice of inquiry from the NCAA last fall signifying the start of an investigation, and N.C. State said in its statement that it remains in communication with the NCAA.

Gottfried, a former ESPN analyst, was sacked in February 2017 by NC State after six seasons.

"We will make every effort to support Coach (Kevin) Keatts, the student-athletes and staff of our men's basketball program in achieving their long-term goals", wrote Corrigan, who took over for the retiring Debbie Yow on May 1. "This affirmation is included in his employment documents and is a condition of employment".

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