RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Former North Carolina State Wolfpack guard Dennis Smith Jr. is at the center of allegations of recruitment violations handed down by the NCAA.
According to a news release from the NCAA, from September 2014 through March 2017, Orlando Early, then the men’s basketball assistant coach and lead recruiter for N.C. State violated NCAA principles of “ethical conduct.”
The NCAA says the Wolfpack basketball program provided extra benefits during the recruitment and subsequent enrollment of Dennis Smith Jr., who was a prospective student-athlete at the time. Smith was afforded approximately $46,700 in impermissible inducements and benefits, the NCAA said.
As a result, Smith competed in 32 contests but was deemed ineligible due to the aforementioned benefits received.
The NCAA also said former coach Mark Gottfried, now coaching at Cal State Northridge, was “presumed responsible” and “did not demonstrate” that he monitored Early for compliance.
N.C. State University released a statement regarding the news:
N.C. State has strong and clear compliance policies, and puts extensive effort into annual training and education to ensure coaches and athletes are fully aware of those policies and NCAA rules. All four allegations are tied to former coaches who were well educated about the rules and knew the rules, and if the allegations are true, those coaches chose to break the rules. No current coaches are named or implicated in the allegations.
The Notice of Allegations is the expected next step in an NCAA process following the federal government’s inquiry into college basketball. NC State received a verbal Notice of Inquiry from the NCAA in October 2018. NC State has voluntarily and fully cooperated, and will continue to fully cooperate, with the NCAA throughout this process.
NC State has 90 days from receipt of the notice to provide a written response, after which the NCAA will set a hearing date. The university is reviewing the allegations and will determine the appropriate next steps and response.
“NC State is committed to the highest levels of compliance, honesty and integrity,” said Chancellor Randy Woodson. “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.”
Consistent with NCAA rules regarding pending infractions matters, NC State will not have any further comment at this time.
To read the NCAA’s full list of allegations against NC State read here:
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