N.C. State athletic director Debbie Yow on Friday released a statement saying the school had no prior knowledge of any payments to Smith that could be considered impermissible benefits under NCAA rules.
“We learned of the report this morning and it is the first we’ve heard about this information,” Yow said in the statement. “The report involves an agent NC State disassociated with in 2012. Of course, we will fully cooperate with any investigations or inquiries.”
When asked about the Yahoo report during a Friday afternoon news conference, Keatts referred to Yow’s statement: “I found out about the Yahoo report about the same time you guys did this morning.
“I know that coach Yow has already released a statement and I really don’t have anything else to add to it.”
Two follow-up questions were asked by reporters and Keatts referred to Yow’s statement both times. An N.C. State athletic department official then asked that questions be limited to Sunday’s game with Florida State.
Later, N.C. State junior forward Torin Dorn, Smith’s teammate last season, said he wasn’t familiar with the Yahoo story.
“I haven’t even seen it,” Dorn said. “I don’t really know.”
When a reporter attempted to ask Dorn a follow-up question about Smith, an N.C. State athletics department official abruptly ended the interview.
Staff writer Chip Alexander contributed to this article
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