The indictment released last week alleged that three Adidas executives defrauded four universities -- including NC State -- by funneling payments to the families of high school players in connection with the players' commitments to play at the schools, with the expectation that the players would later sign endorsement deals with Adidas upon turning professional.
NC State released the following timeline on Tuesday regarding its response to the investigation:
- On September 26, 2017, NC State officials learned from the media about the U.S. Attorney's Office announcing a series of complaints against Adidas, several college programs and top prospects in college basketball. There was no mention of NC State.
In response, because NC State Athletics is sponsored by Adidas and to err on the side of caution, the Office of General Counsel and Athletics' Compliance staff proactively contacted current and former basketball coaches asking whether they had any knowledge or involvement related to the allegations coming from the U.S. Attorney's Office. All stated they had neither any knowledge of nor involvement in the subject matter related to the FBI's investigation.
- On October 19, 2017, NC State's General Counsel spoke with a Wilmington registered sports agent who stated he believed Dennis Smith, Jr. attended NC State due to influence by Adidas through Dennis Smith, Sr. The agent did not provide specifics about any other individuals involved. General Counsel informed the agent she would both report the information and further investigate. General Counsel directed Athletics Compliance staff to conduct an in-person interview with the sports agent.
- On October 25, 2017, Athletics Compliance staff conducted a face-to-face interview with the agent. The agent stated having no direct knowledge of any payments and declined to share names of anyone who might be involved. He also stated that no NC State employees were involved, and had no information that Dennis Smith Jr. was involved.
- On October 30, 2017, Athletics Compliance sent the agent a letter via certified mail outlining details of the interview for confirmation, providing the agent time to review and provide any corrections. The agent did not respond with any corrections.
After providing the agent time to respond, General Counsel called the FBI providing them information from the agent's report in case it was germane to the federal investigation.
- On January 16, 2018, the U.S. Attorney contacted NC State's General Counsel about the forthcoming grand jury subpoena, stressing the need to keep the investigation details confidential. University officials began collecting records requested in the subpoena. Stressing confidentiality, only a handful of individuals who needed to know to collect records were informed: no coaches or student-athletes were informed about the subpoena.
- On March 9, 2018, NC State confirmed - with awareness of the Southern District of New York - that the university had received a subpoena on January 16.
- On March 16, 2018, in consultation with the North Carolina Attorney General's Office, NC State released the subpoena under the North Carolina Public Records Act to the media.