Valvano's fate unclear at N.C. State

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Jim Valvano, the embattled basketball coach at North Carolina State, negotiated with the university Tuesday over terms of his departure from the school where he was once considered a demigod.

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

But when they emerged an hour later, Valvano's fate was still undecided and there was apparently still 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 said. '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.'

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

Among the four is New Jersey Nets forward Charles Shackleford, who admits he received $65,000 from two men during his sophomore and junior years at N.C. State. But Shackleford says he never shaved points and has since repaid the money plus interest.

Valvano also denies knowledge of 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 attorney, Arthur Kaminsky, returned to New York Monday night amid indications that discussions with the university had deteriorated. Valvano appears ready to resign, but money is still a big factor.

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

Valvano has a 187-103 record at N.C. State. Under him, the Wolfpack has won one NCAA title (1983) and been in the NCAA tournament six times. The team was in the National Invitation Tournament in 1984. His NCAA tournaments record is 14-6.

His teams have notched two Atlantic Coast Conference championships (1982-83, 1986-87) and he was named ACC Coach of the Year last season.

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.

Valvano gave up his job as athletic director but remained as basketball coach.

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