Former Duke forward Lance Thomas reportedly reaches settlement with jeweler on unpaid bill

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Former Duke forward Lance Thomas has reached a settlement with the vendor suing him over outstanding payments on close to $100,000 worth of jewelry, the News & Observer is reporting.

“We have reached a settlement,” Mike Bowers, the attorney for Raefello & Co. told the paper. “I cannot make further comment.”

Thomas, who was part of Duke’s 2010 national championship team, bought the jewelry in Dec. 2009, putting $30,000 down and being on the hook for the remaining $67,800 within the next 15 days, according to reports.

But the settlement doesn’t completely clear Thomas of any problems.

The NCAA has taken an interest in the case, wanting to look into how Thomas, an amateur athlete at the time, was able to put $30,000 down on a jewelry payment and whether there were any impermissible perks or benefits involved in the transaction that wouldn’t be available to other non-athlete students.

The investigation might hit a dead end before it really gets started, though, as reports surfaced that the jeweler who sued Thomas has no intention of talking to the NCAA.

Because the NCAA cannot force non-NCAA members to cooperate with investigations, it is not likely that anything will come of the case without input from the jeweler or others.

Thomas played the 2011-12 season with the NBA’s New Orleans Hornets, where he averaged 4.0 points and 3.0 rebounds per game.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_