While many college hoops fans have been waiting for the NCAA to take action regarding the Lance Thomas scandal/lawsuit, which he received from a jeweler stating that he defaulted on 70,000 dollars worth of loans on merchandise purchased from his store back in 2009, here’s some kind of solace: Thomas doesn’t think there was anything illegal (at least by the NCAA’s rules) about his transactions.
With today being the opening of NBA training camps, the former Duke big man is entering his second season with the New Orleans Hornets, and faced the media for the first time since news broke of his controversy. Thomas didn’t have much to say, and legally probably isn’t allowed to speak on the topic as the case was settled out of court just two weeks ago, but did indicate that he didn’t do anything wrong; which should further indicate that he didn’t break any NCAA sanctions and that his former team’s 2010 National Championship trophy isn’t going anywhere. Yes that was written tongue-in-cheek.
While Thomas almost danced around whether or not his actions could hurt his alma mater, he did state that he would “eventually” speak at greater lengths with the media, the NCAA, and Duke University when he was legally allowed to.
Thomas, a native of Brooklyn, New York, reportedly made a down-payment of $30,000 the summer before his senior season for the acquired jewels from Rafaello and Co., a New York firm known to cater to professional athletes. According to the Associated Press, there was an agreement between Thomas and the firm, allowing him to pay the remaining money owed within 15 days, which he didn’t. NCAA rules prohibit athletes accepting benefits that aren’t available to all students.
We’ll keep you posted with further information regarding Thomas’s side of the story, as well as any and all news regarding the NCAA’s investigation of the case.
For hoops, hip-hop and other random sports and pop culture commentary, follow Jared Mintz on Twitter @JaredMintzTruth