Duke escapes blame in Lance Thomas jewelry investigation

In 2009, Duke’s Lance Thomas walked into a jewelry store and slapped $30,000 on the counter for a down payment. Today, after an 8-month investigation, the NCAA cleared Duke of any wrongdoing, mostly because the jeweler refused to cooperate.

One might wonder how a student-athlete procured $30,000 in cold hard cash without outside assistance. Maybe Lance Thomas is the black Walter White—a meth kingpin of Tobacco road. Right?


A lawsuit made public in September brought attention to Thomas’s Dec. 21, 2009 purchase of $97,800 worth of custom jewelry from Manhattan-based Rafaello and Co. Thomas, home on winter break midway through his senior year at Duke, made a $30,000 down payment and signed a purchase agreement to pay the remaining balance within 15 days. He defaulted on the payment, and the jeweler filed a lawsuit in January 2012 for the outstanding balance. Thomas and Rafaello and Co. settled the lawsuit on Sept. 18. Terms were confidential.

So let’s talk about that pristine Duke image. The one Mike Krzyzewski flaunts to recruits and families across America. How’s that goin?

When Memphis stayed silent on the Derrick Rose SAT issue, the NCAA drilled them with sanctions. But Duke stay’s silent on a jewelry heist and they get a Officer Barbrady, “move along people nothing to see here.”

NCAA hypocrisy at its finest.