College basketball investigation: Kansas, NC State ensnared in new charges filed by prosecutors
New charges were filed Tuesday against ex-Adidas rep Jim Gatto
The FBI's months-long investigation into corruption within college basketball has hit a new turn. On Tuesday, federal prosecutors filed a superseding indictment in its ongoing probe, which expanded the scope of the investigation to include student-athletes connected to NC State and Kansas in addition to previous allegations tied to Miami and Louisville.
The nature of the investigation includes alleged payments made to families of six student-athletes in connection to players' decisions to attend the aforementioned schools -- all of which are sponsored by Adidas.
The allegations involving NC State are believed to involve Dennis Smith Jr., now with the Dallas Mavericks, and a $40,000 payment arranged by Adidas consultant James Gatto in 2015 to keep Smith from de-committing from the Wolfpack.
Gatto is also alleged to have funneled $90,000 to the family of a player to sign with the Jayhawks and at least $20,000 to a player believed to be Silvio De Sousa, who signed with Kansas in November 2017 and played 20 games for KU as a freshman this past season.
NC State issued the following statement in response to the developments.
Late this afternoon, the university received a copy of the charges from the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Southern District of New York about an athletic apparel company allegedly defrauding four NCAA Division I universities, including NC State.
While there are no indictments against former NC State employees, the document includes allegations of a payment in 2015 from an athletics apparel company to an unidentified parent of a student-athlete through a former unidentified NC State coach. As the indictment stated, the payment was designed to be concealed, including from the NCAA and officials at NC State.
NC State focuses significant effort on educating student-athletes, coaches and employees about NCAA rules, team rules, impermissible behavior and benefits, amateurism, eligibility issues and other possible infractions. This is done in team and individual settings, continually educating both coaches and student-athletes, and emphasizing awareness of impermissible activity so students and employees understand the rules and repercussions of breaking those rules.
Under NCAA bylaws, student-athletes and staff have affirmative obligations to report any violations or possible violations of NCAA rules.
In September 2017, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced a series of complaints against Adidas, several basketball programs and top prospects. In response, NC State's Office of General Counsel and Athletics' Compliance staff contacted former basketball coaches asking whether they had any knowledge of or involvement in any activity related to the allegations coming from the U.S. Attorney's Office. Former staff questioned stated they had neither any knowledge nor involvement.
NC State will continue to fully cooperate with the U.S. Attorney's Office and keep the NCAA updated throughout this investigation.
Kansas, too, issued a statement in the wake of today's news: "Earlier today, we learned that the University of Kansas is named as a victim in a federal indictment," Joe Monaco, Director of Strategic Communications said. "The indictment does not suggest any wrongdoing by the university, its coaches or its staff. We will cooperate fully with investigators in this matter. Because this is an active investigation, it is not appropriate for us to comment further at this time."
The U.S. Attorney's Office announced the charges Tuesday and announced that the investigation, at this time, remains ongoing.
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