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News & Record (Greensboro, North Carolina)
RALEIGH — N.C. State has been fully cooperative, Chancellor Randy Woodson says, and has disclosed a timeline of the university's actions related to the federal investigation into college basketball.
Woodson said the university has worked to "responsibly and proactively search for, and when identified, report relevant information."
An unidentified State basketball coach is alleged to have received $40,000 to deliver to the parent of a Wolfpack basketball recruit, according to a federal indictment. The unnamed recruit is believed to be Dennis Smith Jr., a point guard who played one season under former coach Mark Gottfried before leaving for the NBA.
"If the allegations from the superseding indictment are proven true, any former employees involved knew they were breaking the rules and chose to keep it hidden," Woodson said. "We have no tolerance for those who would choose to damage the reputation of this great university."
Saying he wants to be "as open and transparent as possible," Woodson described the events that occurred since late last year when the U.S. Attorney's Office on Sept. 26 announced complaints against Adidas and several college programs, though there was no mention of N.C. State in initial media reports.
State has been proactive in seeking out information, Woodson said, first contacting current and former basketball coaches to ask whether they had knowledge of or involvement in the allegations. The coaches told N.C. State that they had no information about it.
Here's what happened next, according to Woodson:
Oct. 19. The university's general counsel spoke with a Wilmington registered sports agent, Gary Shipman, who stated he believed Dennis Smith Jr. attended State because of influence by Adidas through the player's father, Dennis. The agent did not provide specifics about any other individuals involved. General counsel informed the agent she would report the information and further investigate. General counsel directed athletics compliance staff to conduct an in-person interview with the sports agent.Oct. 25. Athletics compliance staff conducted a face-to-face interview with Shipman. 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 State employees were involved and had no information that Dennis Smith Jr. was involved.Oct. 30. Athletics compliance sent the agent a letter via certified mail outlining details of the interview for confirmation, providing Shipman time to review and provide any corrections. The agent did not respond with anycorrections. The university's general counsel then called the FBI to provide the information from the agent's report.Jan. 16. U.S. attorney contacted State's general counsel about the forthcoming grand jury subpoena, stressing the need to keep the investigation details confidential. University officials begancollectingrecords requested in the subpoena. Only a handful of individuals who needed to know to collectrecordswere informed: No coaches or student-athletes were informed about the subpoena.March 9. The university confirmed that it had received a subpoena on Jan. 16.March 16. In consultation with the N.C. Attorney General's Office, State released the subpoena under state public records laws.
The News & Observer had requested the subpoena and reported its contents.
Woodson defended the university's response to the situation.
"As the outline demonstrates, NC State has acted proactively, ethically and responsibly," his statement said. "For example, as soon as we received unsubstantiated information from a third party we immediately investigated and reported it to the FBI. I'm pleased with the way our Office of General Counsel and Athletics Compliance has managed this process."
Woodson said the university wants to do "the right things for the right reasons."
"N.C. State will continue playing by the rules, winning the right way and succeeding with Wolfpack character," he said.
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