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NC State receives notice of allegations from NCAA related to Dennis Smith Jr., former coach Mark Gottfried

NC State is facing real trouble from the NCAA after a notice of allegations was sent to the school on Wednesday. The NOA alleges multiple violations — Level I and Level II, the most severe and the second-most severe — related to the recruitment of former five-star point guard Dennis Smith Jr.

Included in the NOA are two Level I violations, both of which are connected to the recruitment of Smith Jr., and both tied to former assistant coach Orlando Early and former head coach Mark Gottfried. There are two Level II violations connected to Smith being provided complimentary tickets to home games at NC State and to parking passes provided to him for home football games.

The first Level I allegation, and the most significant, alleges a payment in the amount of $40,000 was made from a former Adidas executive to Smith’s family in 2015. The second is levied against Gottfried for failure to monitor the NC State program as it relates to Early’s allegedly nefarious recruitment of Smith. In total, the NCAA alleges $46,700 was provided to either Smith or to his family in inpermissible benefits and inducements.

Gottfried, the head coach at NC State at the time facing significant consequences as a part of this, is currently the head coach at Cal State Northridge.

Punishment for Level I violations vary on a case-by-case basis and are subject to the Committee on Infractions’ judgement. For NC State, Gottfried and Early, it could be severe.

As described by the NCAA, Level I violations are those that “seriously undermine or threaten the integrity of the NCAA collegiate model as set forth in the Constitution and bylaws, including any violation that provides or is intended to provide a substantial or extensive recruiting, competitive or other advantage, or a substantial or extensive impermissible benefit.” Level II violations “provide or are intended to provide more than a minimal but less than a substantial or extensive recruiting, competitive or other advantage,” the NCAA says.

NC State Chancellor Randy Woodson responded to the allegations on Wednesday by providing the following statement: 

“NC State is committed to the highest levels of compliance, honesty and integrity. 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.”

Parties hit in the NOA — Gottfried, Early and NC State — have 90 days to respond to the NCAA’s allegations.

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