In the most shocking development in NCAA history, the 2020 basketball tournaments (men and women) are cancelled. In addition, the ACC has suspended all sports operations, including practices, games, and even recruiting events.
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Thread: Independent panel to review Dennis Smith NCAA case

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    Administrator Ken Stallings's Avatar
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    Default Independent panel to review Dennis Smith NCAA case

    The NCAA case regarding recruiting violations by NC State and Dennis Smith, will be handled by an independent panel.

    https://www.espn.com/mens-college-ba...cruitment-case

    NC State has agreed to have this case handled by this panel, which was set up last year by the NCAA as a new means to handle what are referred to as "complex cases."

    The Independent Resolution Panel has no affiliation with the NCAA nor to NC State, and its conclusion will be final -- no appeal is possible.

    For its part, NC State's prime defense appears to be that the NCAA's investigation showed no evidence of actual transfer of money to Smith. The NCAA however has shown considerable evidence of an actual withdrawal of funds immediately preceding a trip taken by Adidas executive T.J. Gassnola to Raleigh. In addition, the NCAA appears to have strong evidence, including statements from former NC State associate head coach Bobby Lutz, indicating that Gassnola flew to Raleigh and met with NC State assistant head coach Orlando Early. The NCAA alleges that Gassnola gave the money to Early who then gave it to Smith's family.

    Lutz left the NC State program after the 2016 season. Smith was recruited during the 2016 season and played for NC State for only the 2016-17 season, Gottfried's last at NC State. The Pack finished with a record of just 15-17 overall (4-14 ACC).

    Ken

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Stallings View Post
    The NCAA case regarding recruiting violations by NC State and Dennis Smith, will be handled by an independent panel.

    https://www.espn.com/mens-college-ba...cruitment-case

    NC State has agreed to have this case handled by this panel, which was set up last year by the NCAA as a new means to handle what are referred to as "complex cases."

    The Independent Resolution Panel has no affiliation with the NCAA nor to NC State, and its conclusion will be final -- no appeal is possible.

    For its part, NC State's prime defense appears to be that the NCAA's investigation showed no evidence of actual transfer of money to Smith. The NCAA however has shown considerable evidence of an actual withdrawal of funds immediately preceding a trip taken by Adidas executive T.J. Gassnola to Raleigh. In addition, the NCAA appears to have strong evidence, including statements from former NC State associate head coach Bobby Lutz, indicating that Gassnola flew to Raleigh and met with NC State assistant head coach Orlando Early. The NCAA alleges that Gassnola gave the money to Early who then gave it to Smith's family.

    Lutz left the NC State program after the 2016 season. Smith was recruited during the 2016 season and played for NC State for only the 2016-17 season, Gottfried's last at NC State. The Pack finished with a record of just 15-17 overall (4-14 ACC).

    Ken
    NC State in its response to the NCAA with the acceptance of moving to the independent panel stated it does not waive its right to appeal or other legal recourse. So if it does not go the way we think is fair, dont be surprised to see us sue.
    "You have to understand, I grew up a NC State fan. Every State-Carolina basketball game, football game, I've been there. It's fun, and if you like to competing and I love competing... that will be extra special."

    Coach Avent

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    Administrator Ken Stallings's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derreck View Post
    NC State in its response to the NCAA with the acceptance of moving to the independent panel stated it does not waive its right to appeal or other legal recourse. So if it does not go the way we think is fair, dont be surprised to see us sue.
    That would be extremely difficult, as the NCAA set up the independent board with the agreement by the member schools that the decisions rendered by the panel would be accepted without appeal. In effect, NC State is trying to back out of a tort agreement that the school previously agreed to.

    In my view of the law, it would be easier for NC State to instead withdraw from the NCAA.

    While that option might seem appealing for a great number of reasons, especially since I consider the NCAA an arcane and often capricious operation now, for it to have any likelihood of happening, NC State would have to be part of a mass exodus from the NCAA spearheaded by all or at least nearly all of the Power 5 conference schools. Frankly, I have long believed the current NCAA tournaments should be abolished and the Power 5 conferences form their own oversight organization, and thereby form their own national competitions and tournaments.

    The schools that use to be in divisions classified below Division I, and therefore ineligible for the Dance, would suddenly revert back to their pre-money enticed selves. Most of these so-called mid-major programs went into Division I in basketball just because they saw basketball as a relatively low cost platform to leverage the big money of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.

    A Power 5 only tournament would be quick, as there would be fewer initial schools in the bracket, and there wouldn't be any cupcake round one matchups.

    The Power 5 oversight organization would then be able to offer up a legal stipend option to student-athletes on scholarship, without bankrupting the member schools of the current NCAA, who would frankly be unable to make those payments given their more limited income sources.

    Perhaps also, a new organization of Power 5 schools might free itself from the bureaucratic weight within the NCAA, and be able to immediately pass a unified recruiting rule, where every kid is able to be drafted out of high school, have a contract placed before them, and then choose to go to college for a minimum of three years, or accept the actual contract offer presented to him by the professional organization. No more taking chances. Everyone gets to make the same fully informed decision that baseball players have enjoyed for decades.

    Finally, such a new organization, also unburdened from bureaucratic inertia, could actually enforce academic eligibility with a keen focus on quality of student-athlete degree pursuit, making it impossible for the UNC treatment where a school can nakedly offer up phony classes to the entire student body, knowing 90% or more of the students in the classes were jocks looking for a no-work high grade in a pointless effort of maintaining the barest minimum overall academic qualification.

    Ken

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Stallings View Post
    That would be extremely difficult, as the NCAA set up the independent board with the agreement by the member schools that the decisions rendered by the panel would be accepted without appeal. In effect, NC State is trying to back out of a tort agreement that the school previously agreed to.

    In my view of the law, it would be easier for NC State to instead withdraw from the NCAA.

    While that option might seem appealing for a great number of reasons, especially since I consider the NCAA an arcane and often capricious operation now, for it to have any likelihood of happening, NC State would have to be part of a mass exodus from the NCAA spearheaded by all or at least nearly all of the Power 5 conference schools. Frankly, I have long believed the current NCAA tournaments should be abolished and the Power 5 conferences form their own oversight organization, and thereby form their own national competitions and tournaments.

    The schools that use to be in divisions classified below Division I, and therefore ineligible for the Dance, would suddenly revert back to their pre-money enticed selves. Most of these so-called mid-major programs went into Division I in basketball just because they saw basketball as a relatively low cost platform to leverage the big money of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.

    A Power 5 only tournament would be quick, as there would be fewer initial schools in the bracket, and there wouldn't be any cupcake round one matchups.

    The Power 5 oversight organization would then be able to offer up a legal stipend option to student-athletes on scholarship, without bankrupting the member schools of the current NCAA, who would frankly be unable to make those payments given their more limited income sources.

    Perhaps also, a new organization of Power 5 schools might free itself from the bureaucratic weight within the NCAA, and be able to immediately pass a unified recruiting rule, where every kid is able to be drafted out of high school, have a contract placed before them, and then choose to go to college for a minimum of three years, or accept the actual contract offer presented to him by the professional organization. No more taking chances. Everyone gets to make the same fully informed decision that baseball players have enjoyed for decades.

    Finally, such a new organization, also unburdened from bureaucratic inertia, could actually enforce academic eligibility with a keen focus on quality of student-athlete degree pursuit, making it impossible for the UNC treatment where a school can nakedly offer up phony classes to the entire student body, knowing 90% or more of the students in the classes were jocks looking for a no-work high grade in a pointless effort of maintaining the barest minimum overall academic qualification.

    Ken
    I dont think it would be that difficult. Just because NCAA makes a rule dosent make it legal in the laws eyes. And I guess that is what our legal team might be banking on. We are the first school to use this new process so we will see how it shakes out.
    "You have to understand, I grew up a NC State fan. Every State-Carolina basketball game, football game, I've been there. It's fun, and if you like to competing and I love competing... that will be extra special."

    Coach Avent

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    Administrator Ken Stallings's Avatar
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    It's a tort contract between two private entities, with the only complication being that NC State is a state-owned university.

    A judge can decertify a tort contract. But, that's normally been a very high burden, and most often happens when one party was found guilty of some means of fraud entering into the contract agreement.

    In this case, I don't see how NC State can claim they were unaware of the terms of the contract. I am sure there is a signed contract somewhere between NC State and the NCAA. Might have to be dusted off, but I'm sure it's there somewhere.

    Cheers!

    Ken

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Stallings View Post
    It's a tort contract between two private entities, with the only complication being that NC State is a state-owned university.

    A judge can decertify a tort contract. But, that's normally been a very high burden, and most often happens when one party was found guilty of some means of fraud entering into the contract agreement.

    In this case, I don't see how NC State can claim they were unaware of the terms of the contract. I am sure there is a signed contract somewhere between NC State and the NCAA. Might have to be dusted off, but I'm sure it's there somewhere.

    Cheers!

    Ken
    Exactly, we have to agree to it and in our written response we did not consent to waive our right to appeal. So it will be interesting to see the outcome.
    "You have to understand, I grew up a NC State fan. Every State-Carolina basketball game, football game, I've been there. It's fun, and if you like to competing and I love competing... that will be extra special."

    Coach Avent

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    Administrator Ken Stallings's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derreck View Post
    Exactly, we have to agree to it and in our written response we did not consent to waive our right to appeal. So it will be interesting to see the outcome.
    However, NC State did agree to the Independent Resolution Panel. And in previously agreed to language, all NCAA member schools agreed that the decisions rendered by the IRP would be final.

    Here is the language and the history of how this panel was formed:

    https://iarpcc.org/

    In my view, this is a very weak legal foundation avenue by NC State and it appears more an act of desperation than a valid legal approach.

    As I wrote, NC State would have to remove itself from the NCAA in order to back out of this previously agreed to tort contract agreement. What the school is doing is trying to unilaterally rewrite the rules after agreeing to put itself subject to them. That is indicative of bad faith, and I am confident any judge would see it that way.

    A person can file all the legal challenges they wish. It doesn't mean they are founded on strong legal principle. NC State is trying to back out of a previously agreed to resolution method because it likely won't like the final decision that the IRP will make. An empty statement going against the previous agreement is meritless. My view is that the school's head basketball coach and at least one associate head coach entered into an entirely corrupt recruiting effort to bring one kid into school for one season, and it blew up in their faces, and they lost everything. I have little doubt that the other players knew this, and it's hard to motivate young people to put their best effort into something when they know that any significant achievements would be soon taken away after the recruiting violations surfaced.

    During that season, all of us were shocked that a team so talented performed so miserably. It's an object lesson for what can happen when you sell your soul to the devil.

    As time has gone by and I have seen the reaction of the school, and read more about the evidence, I have gone from supporting NC State's point of view to being repelled by it. I think the school knows full well that Gottfried blatantly violated NCAA recruiting rules to get Dennis Smith into the program. I think Bobby Lutz well knew about it, and couldn't stand the stink of it. So, he left soon after and decided the tell the NCAA what he knew. If so, I salute Lutz and wish him all the very best. I only wish he was our head coach instead of Gottfried. Perhaps if that were the case, we would have told Dennis Smith to pound sand when he tried to extort money from us to come to school for a year.

    What's happening now is a lot of hot air and attempts at diversion. It doesn't sit well with me. I don't like being associated with cheaters. I'm not of the UNC mode of rallying around a false flag and swearing allegiance to corruption. I also take note that this sudden change in tone toward the NCAA happened only after the departure of prior AD Debbie Yow. I've known Yow to be a straight shooter and I doubt she would have tried to play such a coy game.

    Ken

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    For those who wish to gain an estimate for what's likely in store for NC State, the NCAA just announced the penalty handed down to Oklahoma State.

    https://www.foxnews.com/sports/ncaa-...orruption-case

    As punishment for former assistant coach Lamont Evans accepting $22,000 in bribe money to "steer athletes" in making financial advisor selections, the school has been banned from any 2021 post-season appearance, placed on three years probation, and continued the school's self-imposed fine of $10,000 plus will deduct an additional 1% of the athletic department's budget, and add on recruiting restrictions and forfeiture of basketball scholarships.

    Evans was also issued a 10-year show-cause order, which will effectively bar him from employment by any NCAA school for at least that full 10-year timeframe.

    Oklahoma State's actions were all part of the same corruption investigation launched by the FBI into Adidas executives, and their financial ties to AAU basketball teams plus financial bribes and illegal payments made through NCAA teams, including NC State.

    Frankly, in my view at least, it would be foolhardy for any of us to expect a lesser set of punishments to be handed down against NC State. The $40,000 payment we were investigated for went straight to a player's family, as a direct incentive for him to sign and play his single season for the Wolfpack. That's a far greater and more tangible illegal benefit to the school that what Oklahoma State obtained. That $22,000 bribe went to a coach, who then doled it out to players already enrolled.

    The NCAA is going to eventually come down hard on the schools involved in this because I believe the NCAA considers this the most widespread corruption case in NCAA history, and they want to send a stern warning to other schools not to follow the same path.

    A hell of a price to pay because one head coach sacrificed his basic integrity to chase after one recruit, who ended up tanking his only season, and taking the coaching staff down with him! To paraphrase the famous baseball adage, "We finished in last place with you, and we could have finished in last place without you!"

    Ken

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    Very bad timing for all this with all the lost revenue already in 2020 and with the potential of historical lost revenue in football this fall. Several D1 programs have already cut sports because of budget short falls. Furman no longer has a baseball program. Yea the programs that are being investigated are financially better off than many but it will have a trickle down effect and a lot of athletes in non revenue sports in these institutions will lose opportunity. I have no problem punishing the coaches involved now but give these institutions some time to recoup losses before nailing them financially and cutting post seasons which brings in a ton of revenue and cutting scholarships.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LSmith View Post
    Very bad timing for all this with all the lost revenue already in 2020 and with the potential of historical lost revenue in football this fall. Several D1 programs have already cut sports because of budget short falls. Furman no longer has a baseball program. Yes the programs that are being investigated are financially better off than many but it will have a trickle down effect and a lot of athletes in non revenue sports in these institutions will lose opportunity. I have no problem punishing the coaches involved now but give these institutions some time to recoup losses before nailing them financially and cutting post seasons which brings in a ton of revenue and cutting scholarships.
    Agree with everything you wrote. I am afraid that a great number of our institutions strayed away from the path of integrity, and because of it placed their foundations upon loose sand. That sand appears to be slipping away. As you said, the saddest thing is that the athletes who will suffer the most will be the ones most innocent of these corrupt practices. Dennis Smith pocketed his $40,000 and then parlayed one wasted year in college for a career in the NBA. He won't suffer anything, and yet he was the prime instigator of all of this. Kevin Keatts will suffer because I predict his team will be forced to endure loss of scholarships for multiple years, likely one to two years of post season bans, and other recruiting restrictions, and yet he and his current staff did nothing wrong.

    Mark Gottfried made millions of dollars from NC State and even secured another head coaching job immediately after he was fired by us. He won't suffer much as even if he finally gets the heave ho from the NCAA, he should have more than enough money to live well the rest of his life. Orlando Early may end up suffering the most of anyone who's guilty of anything. But, I believe he was pressured by Gottfried to do whatever it took to keep Dennis Smith as a recruit. And if he hadn't, I believe Gottfried would have fired him. That was the mistake Gottfried made. The mistake Early made was in not immediately resigning his job when Gottfried pressured him into conspiring to get the $40,000.

    All of this makes me bitterly laugh at recalling how NC State received a one-year post season ban because David Thompson, who had already signed his LOI, stayed one night in a dorm, and that was considered an illegal recruiting visit. And most people believe that it was Dean Smith who called his buddies at the NCAA to report that. Remember, in that time the NCAA and UNC were quite friendly with each other. Deano was a ruthless competitor, and only more recently has the lengths he would go to become revealed. Thompson got three straight years of revenge on the Heels.

    We live in a different era now, one where no one really controls the integrity of sports from the high school to the professional levels. It's a free-for-all now.

    Ken

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