Originally written on The Other Paper  |  Last updated 9/8/12
Former Duke forward Lance Thomas is being sued for the remaining balance of a nearly $100,000 jewelry bill from 2009 — bringing into the mix potential NCAA violations for the Blue Devils basketball program.

The pristine image of Duke basketball program has now come into question and its 2010 national title could be be in jeopardy, as well.

Thomas — a former New Jersey basketball standout at powerhouse St. Benedict's Prep — is being sued for the remaining balance of a $97,800 jewelery tab from a well-known New York company in Dec. 2009, according to reports.  The case was filed in Dallas in January, but wasn't made public.



The company, Rafaello and Co., is popular for its exquisite bling and is known to cater to professional athletes and celebrities.  The Manhattan Diamond District company promotes itself as a "deluxe" jeweler.

Thomas reportedly made a $30,000 down payment for a black diamond necklace, a pair of diamond studs, a diamond-encrusted watch, a diamond cross, and a black diamond pendant in the shape of jesus' head.  According to the purchase order, the ballplayer agreed to pay back at least 25 percent of the price and the rest in 15 days.

The problem for Duke is whether the purchase violates NCAA rules — an infraction that could endanger the Blue Devils 2010 title.  The Associated Press reported that there was an agreement between Thomas and the jeweler giving him credit to pay back the balance but didn't specify where the money would come from.

NCAA spokesperson Stacey Osburn said they are speaking with Duke about the situation.

NCAA rules prohibit college athletes accepting benefits that are not available to all students.  Osburn said a violation basically comes down to whether "the general student body, or someone similarly situated, would be able to get the same benefit or treatment."

The company's attorney, Mike Bowers,  said the company does not know how Thomas made the initial payment and claims there is no evidence showing anyone other than Thomas was involved in the transaction.

Thomas appeared in 39 games for Duke during its 2009-2010 championship season — including the Blue Devils' 61-59 victory over Butler for the national title.

The undrafted Thomas played with the New Orleans Hornets last season and made $305,551.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Sam Bradford is proving himself to be the answer for Eagles

L.A. mayor would want Caitlyn Jenner to light Olympics torch

Segway cameraman apologizes for running down Usain Bolt

Do the Miami Dolphins finally have a coach worth fighting for?

Drew Storen wants a trade this winter – and he’ll likely get it

Kobe Bryant: ‘I Was An Idiot When I Was A Kid’

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Anthony Davis wants gold medal more than NBA MVP

Report: Ronda Rousey’s last fight topped 900,000 PPV buys

Rose issues statement denying sexual assault allegations

Giants’ rookie Tomlinson blasts a grand slam for first MLB home run

Coughlin treats training camp-weary Giants to ‘spa day’

Wilson: Comments about miracle water ‘perceived wrong’

Denard Span heading to DL again, season appears finished

Are neutral site games good for college football?

Why NFL preseason games matter

Nick Mangold assists cops in car burglary crime wave

Heat owner proposing Miami Vice-type uniforms to fans

Robert Griffin III is hilariously injury prone in Madden 16

How much did Felix Hernandez solve?

Winners and losers from the sports world: August edition

Is it safe to say Justin Verlander is officially back?

Melvin Upton Jr. channels Willie Mays with catch

John Elway talks up Colin Kaepernick: ‘I’ve always liked Colin’

Enrique Hernandez falls down trying to hit Aroldis Chapman pitch

How the Chicago Cubs are swinging

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Why NFL preseason games matter

August's winners and losers in sports

How the Chicago Cubs are swinging

Report: Barry Bonds loses collusion case

Packers smart to sit Rodgers for rest of preseason

Towns is perfect for today's NBA

The Opening Drive: Utah alum Jordan Gross is fed up with the HarBros

Five greatest NBAers without a ring

Exactly how bad is the NL East?

Five potential college football Week 1 shockers

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker