Wednesday, September 19, 2012

N.Y. Jeweler (Obviously A Duke Fan) Settles With Big Bling College Student

Former Duke basketball player Lance Thomas has settled a lawsuit that accused him of failing to pay nearly $68,000 for jewelry purchased while he was part of the Blue Devils team that won the 2010 national championship.

No doubt, Thomas told Rafaello & Co. “Well, I was a college student and I didn’t have an extra $68,000 rattling around in my book bag.”

Which begs the question...from where did the $30,000 down payment come?


Mike Bowers, the attorney for Rafaello & Co., said his client had agreed to settle the lawsuit against Thomas stemming from the nearly $100,000 in diamond jewelry the player purchased in the middle of the 2009-2010 season. The Dallas attorney said the terms are confidential, and he reiterated his client's unwillingness to discuss the matter with the NCAA, which is seeking details of the transaction.

"This is a private matter between my client and Mr. Thomas, and that's where it stands," Bowers said Tuesday.

Jon Jackson, Duke's associate athletic director for media relations and public affairs, said the settlement doesn't change an ongoing inquiry involving the university and the NCAA.

"The process remains the same in that Duke and the NCAA continue to work together on this matter," he said (with a straight face).  

Thomas started 39 games at forward for Duke in 2009-2010, his senior season, including the 61-59 victory over Butler in the NCAA championship game.

NCAA rules prohibit (some) athletes from receiving benefits that aren't available to the student body as a whole.

NCAA spokeswoman Stacey Osburn said the organization would not comment on the settlement and what it might mean in terms of investigating the matter. NCAA rules require student-athletes and personnel at member schools to cooperate with the organization's inquiries, but there's nothing to compel people who aren't affiliated with those schools to do so.

It makes getting anyone to cooperate in the investigation extremely difficult, which could mean the case will be hard to prove, let alone pursue, according to attorney Stu Brown, who specialzed in NCAA cases, of Indianapolis-based Ice Miller. (a law firm, not a beer company, thank you very much.)

To read more (but why would you want to?) click here

*Items in italics may not be true.

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