Mark Gottfried & Dennis Smith Jr.

Former Head Coach Mark Gottfried walks back to the locker room with freshman guard Dennis Smith Jr. after his last game as the coach of the Wolfpack on March 7, 2017 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The Wolfpack was defeated by Clemson 75-61 during the first round of the 2017 ACC Men's Basketball Tournament.

The NCAA’s Independent Accountability Resolution Panel announced a ruling on its investigation of NC State men’s basketball’s recruitment of former guard Dennis Smith, Jr. on Monday, Dec. 20. Based on aggravating and mitigating factors, the panel ruled NC State’s violations as a Level I, mitigated, case. It avoided a postseason ban.

The punishments included a $5,000 self-imposed fine, plus an additional fine of 0.5% of NC State’s 2021-22 men’s basketball budget, a four-week recruiting communication ban, a loss of eight recruiting days for 2021-22, one year of probation to end Dec. 19, 2022, and the loss of one men’s basketball scholarship for 2022-23. If a scholarship becomes available before the 2022-23 season, NC State will lose that scholarship instead.

The program’s records in which Smith participated were also vacated, which includes all 32 games of the 2016-17 season. These punishments added onto a handful of self-imposed punishments by NC State, most of which affected the 2019 and 2020 regular seasons.

Individually, former head coach Mark Gottfried was given a one year show-cause order and former assistant head coach Orland Early was given a six-year show-cause order.

The ruling ends an investigation originating in 2019. Ultimately, the panel found 12 total violations of NCAA legislation, including six Level I, four Level II and two Level III violations. Level I violations are “severe” and give “substantial or extensive advantage or benefit,” while Level II violations are “significant” and Level III violations are “minimal.”

The primary Level I violation centered on a $40,000 payment that was accepted and delivered to Smith’s family from Adidas through Early to secure Smith’s commitment to the University.

Other Level I violations included knowing involvement in allowing additional complimentary admissions eligibility as well as Gottfried’s failure to oversee the actions of Early and Early’s failure to cooperate with the investigation.

The four Level II violations centered around restrictions on entertainment benefits, including impermissible complimentary admissions and NC State’s failure to monitor its complimentary admissions practices.