Did N.C. State commit a recruiting violation?

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N.C. State made a big splash in the recruiting world earlier this month by landing a commitment from five-star point guard Dennis Smith Jr. Before Smith pledged to the Wolfpack, however, head coach Mark Gottfried and assistant coach Orlando Early visited the future All-American by taking a helicopter to Trinity Christian High School.

The grand recruiting gesture by Gottfried was unique enough that the school alerted local media of what was about to happen and some went to the school to document Gottfried’s arrival. There’s only one problem with the media coming to see Gottfried’s helicopter arrival: it’s a minor NCAA violation.

According to a report from Powell Latimer of the Greensboro News & Record, N.C. State compliance is looking into the matter, as the NCAA does not allow coaches to have recruiting contact in the presence of media.

“In our situation, the media member was present without our knowledge or involvement,” N.C. State assistant athletics director for compliance Steve Shults said to Latimer. “Had our coaches known media was present, then they would have ended the contact immediately in order to avoid a violation.”

Even if N.C. State is found guilty of this violation, it wouldn’t do much but be a slap on the wrist. Since Trinity Christian notified the media of what was happening, you can hardly blame Gottfried for the minor violation — although I’m sure he wasn’t upset about the national publicity.

In the end, Gottfried landed his top target and now he’s focused on trying to put talented pieces around Smith.