Report: Former NC State HC Mark Gottfried 'Directly Connected' to Paying Players

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMarch 9, 2019

North Carolina State basketball coach Mark Gottfried speaks during his annual summer news conference, Tuesday, July 7, 2015, in Raleigh, N.C. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Gerry Broome/Associated Press

Former North Carolina State head coach Mark Gottfried has become the first head coach directly linked to the FBI's probe into bribery and corruption in college basketball. 

Per ESPN.com's Mark SchlabachGottfried was named by the attorney for former NC State assistant coach Orlando Early for having given Early envelopes containing what was believed to be cash on two different occasions "to deliver to star guard Dennis Smith Jr.'s trainer to ensure he signed with the Wolfpack in 2015."

The envelopes were supposed to be delivered from Smith's trainer, Shawn Farmer, to Dennis Smith Sr.

Gottfried's attorney, Scott Tompsett, denied his client's involvement in a statement provided to Schlabach:

"The statement being reported on is false and conflicts with the sworn testimony of the government's lead witness in the trial last fall. Specifically, at trial, [former Adidas consultant] T.J. Gassnola testified, under penalty of perjury, that he did not discuss the payment to Dennis Smith with anyone at N.C. State other than one assistant coach. Thus, the statement being reported on as it refers to Mr. Gottfried is not corroborated by a single shred of evidence and it conflicts with the sworn testimony of the government's lead witness at the trial last fall."

During the disclosure phase of the case, Early said he believed the total amount Smith's family was seeking to commit to North Carolina State was "in the ballpark of $100,000 or more."

Gottfried said "he would take care of the payments to the Smith family himself," per the disclosure. 

Fred Demarest, N.C. State senior athletic director, told Schlabach the school did not know of the allegations against Gottfried. 

Gottfried was the head coach at North Carolina State from 2011-17. The 55-year-old went 123-86 with four NCAA tournament appearances in six seasons with the program. He is currently serving as head coach at Cal State Northridge.

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