Over the past few weeks, we’ve been inundated with reports concerning former Duke guard Lance Thomas and his recently-settled suit with Rafaello and Company over his $67,800 worth of unpaid debt towards a jewelry purchase.
Dave Wiseman of the Durham Sun-Herald spoke to Thomas on Monday, with Thomas revealing very little, other than he doesn’t believe any NCAA violations were committed in the incident. However, the most pertinent part of the story is that Thomas told Wiseman he would speak to the NCAA “eventually.”
The always informative John Infante chimed in, saying that Thomas must be very confident if he is willing to speak to the NCAA.
Now, Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com had NCAA President Mark Emmert on his show Monday, with Emmert dropping the mini-bomb that they don’t need Thomas or the jewelry stores’ cooperation to charge Duke, should it come to that.
So, if Thomas talks, we can all agree he feels that he’s got a good shot at keeping himself or Duke from harm. But the main reason is that the case, having been settled, also included a confidentiality agreement both parties agreed to.
That agreement is why I believe Thomas will, eventually, talk to the NCAA.
As Infante points out, the statute of limitations may run out on this situation as soon as December 2013. So Thomas could wait, being that all this transpired four years ago at that point, and then talk, keeping all guilty parties from any sanctions.
But one has to believe that Thomas probably was all for this confidentiality agreement because, well, who wouldn’t be all for something that keeps private the details of something that on the shell, has been totally public?
If something is in the agreement that can’t be discussed? Boom. “Sorry, NCAA, I’m not at liberty to discuss that, per my agreement with the other party in this suit.” That’s all Thomas has to say. He’s not being “uncooperative” he’s just abiding by the letter of the law.
It’s a smart move on Thomas’ part. Keep in mind, “speaking” to the NCAA doesn’t mean “cooperating”, it just means a sit-down with an official about the case.
So sure, Lance Thomas, he’ll probably speak to the NCAA. That just doesn’t necessarily mean what is talked about will help solve anything the NCAA wants to get to the bottom of.