The situation involving ex- Duke basketball player Lance Thomas has certainly been mind-boggling for the college basketball community.
After Thomas, who was a key member of Duke’s 2010 national championship run, received a lawsuit from a jeweler that Thomas defaulted on 70,000 dollars worth of loans on merchandise from his store, most analysts figured that Duke was going to be picked apart piece by piece by the NCAA in order to straighten the situation out. Many people even thought that the national championship trophy was in jeopardy.
However, none of those predictions came true. Reports broke out recently that the charges against Thomas are being dropped by the jewelry store. While this news means that we probably won’t be hearing much about this again, as it eliminates any chances of an improper benefit scandal, there are still many unanswered questions hovering over the situation.
For one, Thomas paid a 30,000 dollar downpayment in cash to the jeweler. While Thomas definitely could have gotten the money in an uncontroversial and natural manner, it is impossible not to be speculative about the situation. 30,000 dollars cash is a lot of money for a college student to be walking around with. That being said, it is nearly impossible for the NCAA to make allegations on this because Thomas COULD have gotten the money on his own.
Another curious factor is how quiet the jeweler and the jeweler’s attorney is being. One possible explanation for this is the possibility that someone involved with Duke, who happens to have a lot of money, “made sure” that the jeweler got the money he was owed. Not to point fingers here, my point is that this whole thing seems a little fishy.
Now the question remains: What can the NCAA do about this? Again, it is very hard to investigate due to the fact the charges have been dropped and no further information is being releases.
While it is very hard to progress, it is not impossible. The NCAA has a chance here to really dig deeper and possibly amend a very tricky situation. If things are going on behind the scenes, and we know that they are, it is important for the NCAA not to completely lose control.
The clues are here, whether or not NCAA wants to play detective is entirely up to them.
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