N.C. State’s involvement in the FBI trial on corruption in college basketball wasn’t a stumbling block in the hiring process for Boo Corrigan.
Corrigan, N.C. State’s next athletic director, had a long talk with chancellor Randy Woodson about the school’s involvement in the federal case and the pending issues with the NCAA before he agreed to take the job with the Wolfpack.
Corrigan was introduced as N.C. State’s next AD in a press conference at Reynolds Coliseum on Thursday. He will take over for Debbie Yow, who is retiring, in May. Corrigan has been the AD at Army for the past eight years.
Corrigan was satisfied with Woodson’s answers, and honesty, about the potential problems for the men’s basketball program going forward.
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“Talking to chancellor Woodson and feeling comfortable with him is what really matters to me,” Corrigan said. “Whatever comes, comes. However you deal with that, you deal with that.
“If you’ve got, from the highest level, the buy-in and support that we’re going to handle it and we’re going to face it and deal with whatever comes, that’s what I was looking for more than anything else.”
During the federal trial in October of two former Adidas employees and a would-be agent, there was testimony that former N.C. State assistant coach Orlando Early had helped arrange the payment of $40,000 to the family of Dennis Smith Jr. in 2015 before Smith enrolled at N.C. State.
An assistant coach being involved in the payment of a recruit would be a direct NCAA violation. N.C. State could be facing a full range of penalties from a postseason ban to a fine.
Current basketball coach Kevin Keatts was not involved in any of the problems with Smith, who left for the NBA after one season in 2016-17.
Early and former head coach Mark Gottfried were fired before the end of Smith’s lone season.
Dennis Smith’s eligibility
N.C. State acknowledged in April that it had reached out to the NCAA on three different dates to provide information about Smith’s case.
Carrie Doyle, the senior associate athletic director for compliance, testified during the October trial about the steps N.C. State took to check on Smith’s eligibility.
Woodson said on Thursday that the NCAA side of the investigation has been delayed by the continued federal cases in New York.
N.C. State was found to have been one of four schools that were defrauded by Adidas for the payment of recruits, which rendered them ineligible by NCAA standards and ineligible to receive federal grant money.
“It’s still in the courts and the NCAA is a little slower because of that honoring what the federal government is doing through the Southern District of New York,” Woodson said.
Chancellor Woodson comments
Former Oklahoma State assistant coach Lamont Evans pleaded guilty to a bribery charge in federal court on Wednesday. Evans and former assistants from Arizona and Southern California, have been in the trial spotlight recently as the cases continue to grind through federal court.
Woodson had not made any public comments about the case until Thursday. He did not have any new information about the next step for N.C. State with the NCAA.
“What I can say is I’m immensely proud of Carrie Doyle and Debbie Yow and our team here for being transparent and for getting all of the information out that we have and sharing it and being responsive to the needs of the investigators,” Woodson said.
Woodson said he went over the details of the case with Corrigan before Corrigan had decided to take the N.C. State job.
“He knows essentially everything I know at this point,” Woodson said.