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Eric Leak, The Ever-Worrisome 'Friend Of The Program'

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Jason Miller

WRAL's big investigative piece on Eric Leak sheds some additional light on both his relationships with former NC State athletes and his business dealings, but as far as NCAA violations are concerned, there's nothing new here beyond what we already knew. (Which is that Leak provided impermissible benefits to C.J. Leslie and Tracy Smith.)

What it does is paint a picture of a situation that could have escalated into something worse had NC State not chosen to do anything about it. There's lots of stuff about Leak's association with Leslie and David Amerson that doesn't qualify as illegal in the NCAA's eyes, but a lot of it does make me uncomfortable as a fan. For example:

Neighbors of a property in Raleigh owned by Emily Carter, Leak's wife, said they often saw Leslie coming and going - both during and after his playing days at NC State. They complained of loud parties at the townhome possibly involving NC State athletes.

When confronted with the information of Leslie sightings on his property, Leak only concedes that it is possible, but not while he was there.

Leak said Leslie had the garage code to get in.

Leak also co-owns cars with both Leslie and Amerson, and he has a business relationship with those two and other former State players--a "sports management company called Hot Shot Sports." There's nothing necessarily wrong with any of this, but it's all a little too close to the line for comfort.

Leak also runs two mental health counseling businesses, one of which allegedly billed Medicaid for services it didn't provide, leading the state to order the repayment of close to $500,000. This is not a guy you want hanging around your athletes if you can at all help it.

And of course, NC State can't help it, not all the time.