After testy comment, NC State's Dave Doeren says he and ex-NFL star Steve Smith Sr. are all good

North Carolina State head coach Dave Doeren reacts following a defensive stop of Clemson during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Raleigh, N.C., Saturday, Oct. 28, 2023. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)

It sounds like North Carolina State coach Dave Doeren and retired NFL star receiver Steve Smith Sr. are all good.

Doeren said Monday during his weekly news conference that Smith texted him a congratulations video after the Wolfpack beat Clemson, and that Doeren had invited him to see a future game from the sideline. That came two days after Doeren had a testy response to Smith's comments on ESPN's “College GameDay” during the pregame-picks segment that N.C. State was “unfortunately ... waiting for basketball to start.”

“Tell Steve Smith in the studio that this ain't a basketball school. He can kiss my (butt)," Doeren told the postgame sideline reporter from The CW before walking off.

Doeren said he appreciated Smith reaching out, saying they had “a great conversation" and called him “a tremendous guy.”

“In that moment, I felt like I was defending my team. I was irked by it,” Doeren said, adding with a chuckle: “I don’t know, sometimes things just happen.”

Smith was in Charlotte on Sunday for the Carolina Panthers' game against the Houston Texans and told a reporter with WTVD-TV from Durham about Doeren's sideline invitation.

Smith, a Pro Bowler who spent much of his career with the Panthers and works in broadcasting, recently got in a squabble with Denver Broncos receiver Jerry Jeudy and later apologized.

N.C. State beat Clemson 24-17 and hosts Miami on Saturday night.


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