Ex-NC State coach Gottfried sues school for remainder of buyout money


North Carolina State head coach Mark Gottfried, center, reacts after North Carolina State guard Dennis Smith Jr. (4) was called for a third foul and heads toward the bench during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against North Carolina as North Carolina State assistant coach Orlando Early, right, ooks on Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017, in Chapel Hill, N.C. Gottfried was called for a technical foul. (AP Photo/Ellen Ozier)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Former North Carolina State men’s basketball coach Mark Gottfried is suing the school for the rest of the buyout money he says he is owed after he was fired.

CBS 17 News on Wednesday obtained the lawsuit filed earlier this week — and five months after he says the final payment was due — by lawyers for Gottfried in U.S. District Court in Raleigh.

The lawsuit does not specify how much money Gottfried is owed except to say it is “far in excess of $75,000” with the exact amount “to be proven at trial.”

Gottfried, who has coached the past two seasons at Cal State Northridge, is also seeking interest and attorney fees.

N.C. State spokesman Fred Demarest told CBS 17 News that the school does not comment on pending litigation.

Gottfried was fired in February 2017 but finished the final three weeks of a season in which the Wolfpack finished 15-17.

The school received a notice of allegations from the NCAA in July 2019 that alleged two top-level violations — both connected to the recruitment of guard Dennis Smith Jr., whose only season at N.C. State was Gottfried’s last.

According to the lawsuit, Gottfried’s termination agreement with the school required N.C. State to make “certain post-termination monthly payments” to the former coach.

The lawsuit also says the Gottfried received a notice of intent to discharge for cause in May 2018. Two months earlier, the school released details about an FBI subpoena it received that January as part of the federal investigation into corruption in college basketball.

The court filing says Gottfried received his last payment on Aug. 31, 2018, and accuses the school of breaching his termination agreement by failing to make those payments through April 4.

The lawsuit says the school “acted without substantial justification” in not making the payments to Gottfried.

The NCAA alleges that from 2014-17, former assistant coach Orlando Early provided Smith and his associates approximately $46,700 in impermissible inducements and benefits — including $40,000 that former Adidas consultant TJ Gassnola testified he delivered to Early and was intended for Smith’s family in 2015.

The school’s NCAA infractions case will be heard by a newly created independent panel consisting of “independent investigators, advocates and adjudicators.”

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