Shipman speaks out about his involvement in FBI college basketball probe

Shipman speaks out about his involvement in FBI college basketball probe
Gary Shipman speaks about his involvement in an FBI pay-for-play probe into college basketball.

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - A day after an NC State release implicated him in former Wolfpack player Dennis Smith Jr.'s federal pay-for-play college basketball probe, Wilmington's Gary Shipman has spoken to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Shipman confirmed that he talked to an FBI agent on Wednesday, and told the agent what he told NC State's General Counsel about the recruitment of Smith.

A licensed sports agent who is also a candidate in the Democratic primary for the 20th District seat in the NC House, Shipman said he learned this information after trying to find out how to represent an NBA lottery pick.

"Anything I know is second hand, third hand, based on information provided to me by people not directly involved," Shipman said about his knowledge of Smith's recruitment to N.C. State. "But these people are credible enough for me to believe what they told me, especially when it was validated by the US Attorney's Office in New York and those involved in Louisville, Auburn and all those others."

According to a federal indictment released last week, an unidentified NCSU basketball coach is alleged to have received $40,000 from a company to be delivered to the father of a Wolfpack basketball recruit. Neither Smith Jr. nor Dennis Smith Sr. is named in the document.

However, a description of the unnamed student-athlete — a top high school recruit who played for the Wolfpack during the 2016-17 season before entering the NBA draft — points toward Smith Jr.

Shipman said after learning this, he felt it was his responsibility to contact the school.

"Knowing people in the General Counsel at N.C. State, I felt like I had an obligation to pick up the phone and at least say that one and one is two" said Shipman.

Shipman said he believes his involvement in the probe is now over.

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