NC State is now fully involved in the federal investigation into corruption in college basketball recruiting.
According to Wolfpack athletic spokesman Fred Demarest, the university’s Office of General Counsel received a Grand Jury subpoena from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on Jan. 17. The subpoena is for records only and does not request direct interviews with any individuals currently associated with State.
The FBI’s interest in the Wolfpack stems from circumstances surrounding former point guard Dennis Smith Jr., who played only one college season before entering the NBA draft and becoming a member of the Dallas Mavericks.
According to a report by Yahoo Sports published on Feb. 23, Smith’s name appears on a spreadsheet obtained by authorities itemizing payments to players from schools across the country. Smith appears on the list for having received payments or loans totaling $73,500 while he was still in high school.
The document shows expenses incurred by Christian Dawkins, an employee of the sports agent firm ASM Sports, whose owner Andy Miller has received a letter of disassociation from State athletic director Debbie Yow. Dawkins is awaiting trial on felony charges of wire fraud and money laundering.
Yahoo Sports reported that the players on the spreadsheet were targeted by Miller and Dawkins as potential future clients.
The names of Duke freshman Wendell Carter Jr. and former North Carolina players Brice Johnson and Tony Bradley also appear on the spreadsheet, but only for meals valued at $100 or less.
News of the FBI’s records request to NC State is the latest chapter in an ongoing saga that began in September, when the U.S. Department of Justice concluded a two-year investigation into bribes paid to top college prospects that were designed to steer them to specific schools and, later, to specific shoe companies and agents once they turn pro.
Indictments were issued against 10 people, including Dawkins, executives at Adidas and college assistant coaches Chuck Person of Auburn, Lamont Evans of Oklahoma State, Emmanuel Richardson of Arizona and Anthony Bland of Southern Cal.
The scandal has already claimed one Hall of Fame coach, Louisville’s Rick Pitino, who was fired after being implicated in the scandal, but not charged. A previous Yahoo Sports story, citing unidentified sources, indicated that the FBI investigation would result in more indictments and could “compromise” as many as 50 Division I programs.