Former Duke and current New Orleans Hornets player Lance Thomas said Monday he does not think he violated NCAA rules when he purchased nearly $100,000 in diamond jewelry during his college career.
As you will recall, the Manhattan-based jeweler Rafaello & Co. sued Thomas for defaulting on a $67,800 payment. Thomas had purchased nearly $100,000 worth of jewelry on Dec. 21, 2009, while the Blue Devils were on winter break during his senior year.
This opened a dialog between Duke and the Suits In Indianapolis (Formerly Kansas) to determine if Thomas received any extra benefits, which would retroactively make him ineligible and put Duke's 2010 national championship in jeopardy. Various reports said officials at Duke were “concerned.”
In mid-September, Thomas and Rafaello & Co. settled the lawsuit out of court. The terms are confidential. Prior to the settlement Rafaello & Co. stated they had no interest in speaking to the NCAA and were not compelled to do so.
Now, Thomas says he will speak to the NCAA.
"I'm still working on that, but I'll eventually speak to them," Thomas told the Associated Press Monday.
When asked if he thought he violated any NCAA rules with his purchase, Thomas said he "didn't think so."
Thomas also told the Durham Herald-Sun that he has not spoken with any Duke officials about the lawsuit and expressed regret about the trouble this has caused the university.
"I do feel bad that was something that was just lingering around the university," Thomas said to the Associated Press. "But everything's going to get taken care of the right way and I hope the coaching staff and the whole university knows that those were the best four years of my life."
Obviously, a few questions linger starting with where did a college kid get $30,000 for a down payment on jewelry?