NC State chancellor Randy Woodson provided an update Tuesday on the federal investigation into college basketball, and more specifically, NCSU’s role in the ongoing probe. Among other documents shared, the school released a detailed timeline of the events leading up to the federal subpoena that was sent to NC State in January.
State first learned of a potential payment to Dennis Smith Jr.’s father in October of last year, when a local sports agent—who we know now was Gary Shipman—contacted the school with his concerns about Adidas’ influence over DSJ’s father.
On October 25, 2017, Athletics Compliance staff conducted a face-to-face interview with the agent. The agent stated having no direct knowledge of any payments and declined to share names of anyone who might be involved. He also stated that no NC State employees were involved, and had no information that Dennis Smith Jr. was involved.
On October 30, 2017, Athletics Compliance sent the agent a letter via certified mail outlining details of the interview for confirmation, providing the agent time to review and provide any corrections. The agent did not respond with any corrections.
After providing the agent time to respond, General Counsel called the FBI providing them information from the agent’s report in case it was germane to the federal investigation.
Shipman provided no evidence that Smith Jr.’s pops was on the take, but NC State went ahead and alerted the FBI with this information anyhow, which is what led to the subpoena early this year. By that point, NC State had already done an email search looking for any signs of malfeasance in communications with any of the three major shoe companies and hadn’t found anything.
So there appears to be no direct evidence of a deal between Adidas and Smith Sr. in the documents and communications to which the school has access. (Which makes sense, because you’d have to be the biggest dummy in college basketball to use your school-issued email/phone to set up an illegal payment.) That doesn’t mean DSJ’s dad didn’t get paid, and certainly doesn’t rule out NCAA sanctions. That’ll likely be a lengthy process.