The jeweler suing former Duke forward Lance Thomas isn’t looking to be of any help to the NCAA, according to his lawyer, the Associated Press is reporting.
Thomas bought close to $100,000 worth of jewelry from the New York-based man during his time with Duke, allegedly still owing him close to $68,000. But, reportedly because of the pending litigation, the NCAA won’t be getting much from the jeweler.
“My client has no interest in going beyond the merchandise Mr. Thomas took and didn’t pay for,” his attorney, Mike Bowers, said this week.
Thomas reportedly put $30,000 down toward the purchase of the jewelry, then being extended $67,800 in credit. The purchase took place on Dec. 21, 2009, right in the middle of Duke’s 2009-10 championship season.
The Associated Press details the situation that concerns the NCAA:
NCAA rules prohibit athletes from receiving benefits that aren’t available to the student body as a whole. If a violation of that kind is found, a school could be forced to give up a championship in which the athlete competed.
Thomas averaged 4.8 points and 4.8 rebounds per game during that season, appearing in 40 games for the Blue Devils.
The difficulty for the NCAA, though, comes in trying to attain information because the NCAA has no binding power that compels non-school officials or personnel from cooperating with the investigation, thus the reason they could run into a dead end with Thomas’ jeweler.
The inquiry is ongoing.