Though last week’s Yahoo! Sports report regarding the FBI’s investigation in college basketball renewed concerns about widespread cheating in the sport, N.C. State coach Kevin Keatts is confident his program has no issues.
Speaking both on the ACC coaches teleconference and later in a phone conversation with The News & Observer, Keatts said N.C. State has not been contacted as part of the FBI’s investigation.
“We are 100 percent not involved in this,” Keatts said.
The FBI went public with its investigation into alleged corruption in college basketball last September. Four college basketball assistant coaches were among those indicted and arrested.
Last week, a Yahoo story reported that half of the teams in the top 16 released by the NCAA tournament selection committee for next month’s tournament “should be scared” about the FBI’s next move in the probe.
Unlike nearby rivals Duke and North Carolina, N.C. State (18-9, 8-6 ACC) was not included in those 16 schools. But the Wolfpack has an apparel deal with adidas, a company that has been accused by the FBI of paying players to attend certain schools.
Though in his first year at N.C. State, Keatts said nothing he’s been told gives him any worries about the Wolfpack program.
“I don’t have any concerns at all about N.C. State,” Keatts said. “I have no reason to believe at all that we have anything to do with the FBI or anything else. Obviously I wasn’t here but we don’t have anything on our end from a school standpoint or basketball. We don’t have any red flags or concerns at all.”
Since the investigation became public last fall, Keatts has expressed concern about the sport as a whole while saying he doesn’t believe any cheating is widespread. He maintains those feelings, even after last week’s Yahoo! report.
“Obviously when the story broke I know everybody talked about it,” Keatts said. “It’s been a black eye for college basketball. I’ve said it all along, even though there may have been certain individuals that were involved, it doesn’t necessarily make it where all college basketball is bad. Certainly I know for our sport everybody will eventually get through it. As far as the article goes, I did read the article. I don’t know how much to take from it or take away from it. I’ve just concentrated on our program. But we’re fine on our end.”
On Friday, UNC coach Roy Williams said that he was confident his program was not involved in any wrongdoing with paying recruits.
“I feel very comfortable,” Williams said. “If the phone rings at night, I’m not worried about that. I may worry about a lot of other things but it ain’t about that.”
On Sunday, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski had little to say about the Yahoo report.
“I haven’t followed it. I have been so in a tunnel, in a cave with my own team, I’m not up to date on it, so I apologize.”
Staff writers Joe Giglio and Jonathan Alexander contributed to this story.