Turns out that the NCAA might not need any help from Lance Thomas or the jewelry store he owed to punish Duke.
NCAA President Mark Emmert told Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com that the association doesn’t necessarily need the cooperation of the former Duke guard, the jewelry store he owed, which is owned by Rafaello and Company of Duke to punish the program for Thomas’ involvement in a situation where he purchased $97,800 worth of jewelry with $30,000 in cash and was granted a $67,800 loan for the rest. The suit was recently settled.
“We certainly could deal with a case where we don’t necessarily have cooperation from the actors, but we still have to rely on facts and rely on well-established information,” Emmert said while making it clear he was speaking in general terms and not specifically about Duke’s situation. “It occasionally drives fans out there crazy because they’ll read in a blog or some other source that this or that happened. But the standards of evidence that we use are pretty darn high because we’re dealing with people’s lives here. … We have to go out and make sure we can verify all that facts, and that’s always a big challenge [without cooperation].”
As far as speaking to Duke and head coach Mike Krzyzewski, Emmert said, “that’s going to be up to [Krzyzewski].”
If the NCAA did indeed find something on Thomas, and, by association, the Duke program, it wouldn’t be the first time ever. However, it’s going to be tough when it involves a suit that has already been settled if no one is talking.
Illinois suffered another blow in what has already turned out to be a brutal season.
Mike Thorne is expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing his meniscus. He reportedly underwent surgery on Monday to repair the injury.
Thorne, a transfer from Charlotte, was starting at center for the Illini and doing a good job of it as well. He was averaging 13.4 points and 8.4 boards, although Illinois has started off the season 3-4.
The reason for that slow start has mainly been those injuries. Tracy Abrams is already out for the season after tearing his achilles, and the Illini training room looked like a M.A.S.H. unit. Kendrick Nunn just returned two games ago from surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament. LeRon Black is still getting back to speed after offseason knee surgery. Jaylon Tate is back after dislocating a finger. Jalen Coleman-Lands was slowed by a stress fracture.
John Groce entered this season on the hot seat, and dealing with all of these injuries certainly isn’t helping his cause.
We talk about a lot of stuff of the podcast today, mainly because a lot of stuff happened since we last spoke with you all.
For starters, we need to discuss the ‘realness’ of Syracuse and Xavier. Are they both truly top 15 teams, or do they just have top 15 resumes? We also dive into Chris Mack’s epic troll-job of Dayton at the Advocare Invitational final.
Other topics we touched on: Whether or not Scott is ever going to apologize to Wayne Selden, Wichita State’s tournament hopes, Texas A&M and whether we’d take Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn or Denzel Valentine today.
As always, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes right here. It’s the quickest way to get access on your cell phone or tablet.