DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Duke says the NCAA did not find any wrongdoing after looking into a jewelry purchase of nearly $100,000 by a basketball player on the Blue Devils’ most recent national championship team. The school issued a statement Tuesday saying the NCAA and the university found no evidence of a rules violation based on the information available. It added that Duke and the NCAA “consider the matter closed.”
Former player Lance Thomas was sued in a Texas court for failing to pay a balance of nearly $68,000 for jewelry he purchased from a New York jeweler in December 2009 — 3 1/2 months before the Blue Devils won their fourth national title. Thomas was the starting power forward on that team.
The lawsuit was filed in January 2012 and was settled under confidential terms in September, roughly 1 1/2 weeks after its existence was made public. It was filed in Austin, Texas, because Thomas — who went undrafted after his Duke career ended in 2010 — was playing for the Austin Toros of the NBA Developmental League at the time.
According to the lawsuit, Thomas purchased $97,800 worth of jewelry from Rafaello & Co., which also does business as A+A Diamonds Ltd. An invoice dated Dec. 21, 2009, indicated that Thomas made a $30,000 down payment and agreed to pay the balance in 15 days.