N.C. State Latest to Seek Restitution in Adidas Case

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North Carolina State University this week submitted a "victim impact statement" to a federal court in New York, claiming the government's well-publicized fraud trial involving N.C. State shoe and apparel partner Adidas has damaged the university.

In the letter submitted to the court on Wednesday, N.C. State is seeking a total amount of $258,585 from James Gatto, the former Adidas executive who last October was found guilty of felony charges of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. As reported by the Charlotte Observer, the school claims it has spent $234,685 on legal fees and that it should also be reimbursed for $23,900, the cost of tuition it provided for Dennis Smith Jr., who played one season with the Wolfpack and is currently a member of the NBA's New York Knicks.

During the fraud trial, evidence indicated that Gatto had provided a $40,000 payment for former N.C. State assistant Orlando Early to deliver to Smith’s father in 2015 to persuade Smith, one of the top recruits in the country out of Fayetteville, to commit to N.C. State.

N.C. State is the latest major universities with multimillion dollar apparel deals with Adidas to seek restitution from Gatto. According to the Observer, Kansas is seeking $1.13 million from Gatto for the payment of two former players, their subsequent tuition and legal fees associated with the case. Louisville is seeking $31,922.75 for the tuition and amount expended on Brian Bowen Jr., a former student who was recruited to play basketball but was not eligible to play for the Cardinals.

In the letter to Senior U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan, N.C. State athletic director Deborah Yow wrote that the "trial and the attendant publicity has unquestionably damaged the reputation of our University."

She explained that upon arriving at N.C. State, she made strengthening the athletic department's compliance unit a priority. However, she added, there was no "detection technique" to identify Gatto’s pay-for-play scheme with Smith. â€śDespite these commitments and the purposeful efforts of dedicated individuals to create and reinforce a culture of compliant athletics teams and programs, regrettably, there is no detection technique to identify an individual who intentionally chooses to violate an NCAA rule and then hides the misconduct from both the University and the NCAA."

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