The Duke Blue Devils and Coach Mike Krzyzewski are fully cooperating with the NCAA as to whether any rules were broken when former player Lance Thomas purchased $100,000 in jewelery during his senior season.
Krzyzewski told reporters Friday, at the team’s preseason media day, that he’s proud of the school’s compliance record in his 33 seasons with the Blue Devils.
The Duke Coach was made aware of a lawsuit filed against Thomas in early September, where afterward he contacted Duke’s administration, which reached out to the NCAA, who began investigating the matter. Krzyzewksi chose not to comment on the situation previously and will decline to in the future saying, “we want to honor the integrity of that process.”
Thomas doesn’t believe he violated any rules and is willing to discuss the lawsuit with the NCAA. The lawsuit was filed in January in Austin, Texas (Thomas was playing for the NBDL’s Austin Toros at the time) and was settled days after it became public in early September. School officials have stated the settlement doesn’t affect the ongoing inquiry.
A New York jeweler filed the lawsuit against Thomas, saying he was owed $67,800 for five pieces of jewelery he purchased for $97,800. An invoice from December 21, 2009, four months before Thomas would win the National Championship with Duke, indicated Thomas made a $30,000 down payment on the jewelery. He agreed to pay the balance within 15 days.
Thomas played four seasons at Duke, finishing with career averages of 4.6ppg and 3.6rpg. Along with Jon Scheyer, he co-captained the Blue Devils to the 2009-10 NCAA Championship. Going undrafted in 2010, Thomas found his way into the NBA, as he is now a member of the New Orleans Hornets.
Krzyzewski will keep his focus on the upcoming season saying he had complete trust and confidence in the parties involved. The Blue Devils are looking to get off to a hot start to the 2012-13 season, hoping to quickly erase the struggles at the end of last season that saw them lose three of four to end the year.