Former Duke Player Lance Thomas Under NCAA Investigation Over $100k Jewelry Debt
There could be possible trouble brewing in krzyzewskiville involving the NCAA and possible sanctions.
The Raleigh News And Observer is reporting that former Duke University basketball player Lance Thomas is being sued by a New York jewelry firm that caters to professional athletes.
Reports state that Thomas purchased five pieces of jewelry valued at close to $98,000 in the middle of his senior season at Duke. Documents involved with the suit claim Thomas made an initial $30,000 down payment and received credit from the company for the remaining $67,000, which remains unpaid.
Thomas was the starting power forward on that 2009-10 Duke national championship team that defeated Butler by the slimmest of margins.
A spokesman from Duke and Thomas current agent stated they had no knowledge of the situation.
“We have been made aware of a lawsuit filed by a jeweler against former men’s basketball player Lance Thomas and we are currently looking into the matter,” said Jon Jackson, the school’s associate athletic director for media relations.
This lawsuit could have direct ramification on Duke University, it’s basketball program, and that 2009 national championship team.
NCAA bylaws and rules prohibit college athletes who are declared amateurs from receiving extra benefits that aren’t available to regular students as well. The spokesperson for the NCAA stated that the “proof in the stated violation would be if a regular student or someone similar would be able to attain the same benefit or treatment.”
The company in question in the suit, Rafaello & Co, made a similar suit against Dez Bryant 2010 for $250,000 in unpaid jewelry debt.
In my opinion the basis for whether Duke will be in hot water with the NCAA will be determined by how Thomas was able to make such a large down payment.
I don’t know to many college seniors who can afford to drop $30k on anything at one time.
As usual stay tuned and we will keep you updated.