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Former NC State staff implicated in latest from FBI probe into college basketball

Oh, Gott man, what have you done?

NCAA Basketball: North Carolina State at Louisville Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

The U.S. Attorney’s Office on Tuesday announced a new indictment that expands the breadth of the FBI’s current probe into college basketball. Both Louisville and Miami had already been implicated in a pay-for-play scheme involving Adidas officials, and you can add to that list both Miami and ... NC State. All four schools have Adidas apparel deals.

This latest indictment alleges that at least one member of NC State’s former coaching staff helped to arrange the transfer of $40,000 to the father of Dennis Smith Jr. after Smith began to feel unhappy about his commitment to the Wolfpack. Here is a relevant portion of the document, which you can read in full right here:

The document continues by saying that the payment was “designed to be concealed” from both the NCAA and NC State officials, and that “one or more” NCSU coaches were a party to the scheme. The identity of “Coach-4” is unclear, but it stands to reason this is not Heath Schroyer or Butch Pierre, who were not hired until the spring of 2016. Bobby Lutz and Rob Moxley were both re-assigned after the 2016 season to make way for Schroyer and Pierre, while Orlando Early remained on staff.

NC State released a statement later Tuesday evening. One important section:

In September 2017, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced a series of complaints against Adidas, several basketball programs and top prospects. In response, NC State’s Office of General Counsel and Athletics’ Compliance staff contacted former basketball coaches asking whether they had any knowledge of or involvement in any activity related to the allegations coming from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Former staff questioned stated they had neither any knowledge nor involvement.

As far as the NCAA is concerned, I’m not sure where this all leads, but the good news at least is that NC State effectively cleaned house when it fired Gottfried following the 2017 season and no member of the current staff was around when the recruitment of Dennis Smith took place.