NC State was hit with a Notice of Allegations from the NCAA on Tuesday and will now have to answer several questions surrounding its recruitment of former basketball player Dennis Smith Jr. Payments to Smith and his associates during Gottfried's tenure are alleged by the NCAA.
Gottfried - now at Cal State-Northridge - and former top assistant Orlando Early (who was also on his Alabama staff), are alleged to have provided more than $47,000 in impermissible benefits to Smith or his handlers, money that allegedly came from former Adidas consultant T.J. Gassnola. 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.
N.C. State became the first school mentioned in the Federal Bureau of Investigation probe into college basketball corruption to receive an NCAA Notice of Allegations. Yahoo Sports reported last month that at least six schools are expected to be formally charged by the NCAA.
"N.C. State is committed to the highest levels of compliance, honesty and integrity", Chancellor Randy Woodson said in a statement. He resurfaced two years later at N.C. State, where he reached the Sweet 16 twice in his first four years before being fired in 2017 after back-to-back losing seasons.
At the same time, the university has begun to distance itself from Gottfried and Early, stating that the former coaches "were well educated about the rules and knew the rules, and that if the allegations are true, those coaches chose to break the rules".
Smith won ACC Freshman of the Year during the 2016-17 season as he averaged 18.1 points and 6.2 assists per game.
New athletic director Boo Corrigan said in an open letter to fans that the school is being transparent in acknowledging the receipt of its notice and "we will make every effort" to support Keatts and the current players and staff.
Smith and "individuals associated with him" received "approximately $46,700 in impermissible inducements and benefits" between September 2014 and March 2017, according to the allegations.
NC State, Gottfried and Early have 90 days to respond to the notice, but Gottfried released a statement through his attorney Scott Tompsett on Wednesday.
N.C. State head coach Mark Gottfried walks off the floor with Dennis Smith Jr.