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Mark Gottfried Placed on Leave by Cal State Northridge Amid Investigation

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistApril 30, 2021

North Carolina State head coach Mark Gottfried protests a call during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Virginia in Raleigh, N.C., Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)
Karl B DeBlaker/Associated Press

Cal State Northridge placed men's basketball coach Mark Gottfried and his staff on paid administrative leave on Thursday.

Mark Schlabach of ESPN reported the news, noting the decision was made while the school conducts an internal investigation into alleged rules violations that were not specified. 

Cal State Northridge athletic director Michael Izzi issued a statement:

"Upon learning of potential rules violations within our men's basketball program, I directed an immediate review and have placed our men's basketball coaching staff on paid administrative leave while we complete this internal review. 

"Our focus will be on the welfare of our student-athletes and ensuring the academic, athletic and personal success. However, CSUN is committed to ensuring full compliance with all university and NCAA regulations while maintaining the highest standards of integrity and institutional responsibility."

Gottfried coached at Murray State, Alabama and North Carolina State before coming to Cal State Northridge prior to the 2018-19 campaign.

He is 37-51 in three seasons with the Matadors and yet to make the NCAA men's tournament.

That is a far cry from some of his previous stops, as he made the Big Dance twice in three years with Murray State, five times in a row with the Crimson Tide and four times in a row with the Wolfpack. Overall, he is 438-292 in his career.

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However, this is not the first time his name has been connected to potential rules violations.

Schlabach noted the FBI investigated North Carolina State as part of its probe into college basketball. The school received a notice of allegations from the NCAA in July 2019 that included a failure-to-monitor charge against Gottfried.

There were accusations against former assistant coach Orlando Early that said he helped make sure Dennis Smith Jr.'s family received a $40,000 payment from former Adidas consultant T.J. Gassnola.

Gottfried sued North Carolina State in September 2020 and said it did not make all its settlement payments after firing him in February 2017.