Lawyer: Valvano withdraws settlement offer

RALEIGH, N.C. -- North Carolina State coach Jim Valvano's attorney says he has withdrawn all proposals to settle Valvano's contract with the university, and the embattled coach will stay on until the university rules otherwise.

Art Kaminsky refuted statements by interim athletic director Harold Hopfenberg who said Valvano asked for the contract settlement talks and indicated he wanted to resign in the face of allegations of player payoffs and point shaving.

'This is the end of the whole escapade,' Kaminsky told The Charlotte Observer Tuesday. 'The situation now is Jim's still the basketball coach there until the university says otherwise.'

Both sides said they do not expect a solution until after this week's Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament in Charlotte. Valvano will coach the Wolfpack during the tournament.

N.C. State officials decided Tuesday to seek private counsel to represent the university in its contract negotiations with the coach.

The executive committee of the university's board of trustees went into closed-door session Tuesday with Chancellor Larry Montieth and attorney Becky French at 11:57 a.m. EST as speculation grew that Valvano's dismissal was imminent.

But when they emerged an hour later, Valvano's fate was still undecided and there was apparently no resolution to the chief issue in Valvano's departure -- money.

'The executive committee met to get the background of the personnel matter we've been dealing with,' French told reporters. 'The executive committee of the board of trustees expressed confidence as to how the administration has handled the matter to date.

'The executive committee gave the board clear instructions to continue negotiations until a satisfactory resolution has been achieved that is in the best interest of the university,' she said, declining further comment.

Valvano has been under fire for the past two weeks, ever since allegations arose that four players in his 1987-88 basketball program received money from gamblers to shave points, affecting the point-spread on games.

The four players includeNew Jersey Nets center Charles Shackleford, who admits he received $65,000 from two men during his sophomore and junior years at State. But Shackleford says he never shaved points and has since repaid the money plus interest.

Valvano also denies knowledge of any point shaving by his players. But that denial has not swayed critics who say if he did not know his players were taking money to shave points, then he should have at least been suspicious when their spending power increased.

Valvano's contract has a $500,000 buyout option. If he resigns before his contract expires, he must pay the university $500,000. But if he is fired, the university must pay him $500,000.

The Wolfpack basketball program has been a powerful force in the Atlantic Coast Conference ever since Valvano took over in 1980.

Valvano has a 187-103 record at N.C. State. Under Valvano, the Wolfpack has won one NCAA title (1983) and been in the NCAA tournament six times. The team was in the NIT in 1984.

Last year, the NCAA imposed sanctions on N.C. State's basketball program after investigating a long list of allegations and finding players committed eight rules violations, including selling athletic shoes and complimentary tickets.

Consequently, N.C. State will be allowed to play in the ACC Tournament in Charlotte this weekend but will be barred from participation in the NCAA Tournament.