Thomas says he did not violate NCAA rules
by Nicole Auerbach, USA TODAY Sports
Lance Thomas has been at the center of an odd yet interesting situation involving a very expensive jewelry purchase back in 2009, when he was playing basketball at Duke.
Details have been few and far between, but they initially emerged when Thomas was sued by the jeweler for not paying a balance of $67,800. Thomas reportedly had paid $30,000 in cash for five pieces of diamond jewelry in December 2009, which was during his senior year. Duke won a national championship at the end of that season — but if Thomas violated the NCAA’s amateurism guidelines, the Blue Devils could be forced to vacate games that he played in, which would include the title game.
Thomas and the jewelry company reached a settlement earlier in September that included a confidentiality agreement. That meant all those curious about how Thomas obtained $30,000 in cash and why a jeweler would extend a nearly $70,000 line of credit to a college student wouldn’t get answers.
Or maybe they will get some — eventually.
Thomas spoke about the situation for the first time on Monday. When asked if he was involved in an NCAA violation, Thomas told The Herald-Sun, “No. I don’t think so.”
Thomas told the newspaper he will eventually clear the air about the extravagant purchase.
“There’s more to it but I’m not going to comment on it right now,” Thomas said. “Everything will unfold once everything is taken care of the right way.”
He also said he had not spoken to the NCAA or Duke, but was planning on doing so.
“I do feel bad that that was something that is lingering around the university,” Thomas said. “But everything is going to be taken care of the right way. I hope the coaching staff and the whole university know that those were the best four years of my life and I love Duke until I die. But I have to take care of things the right way and I’ll reach back out to them when I can.”