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Former Duke F Lance Thomas sued


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#1 Panthers128

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 07:00 PM

A starter on Duke's 2010 national championship team is being sued by a New York jeweler for not paying the balance of what he owes after buying $100,000 in custom jewelry that season.

Lance Thomas purchased five pieces of diamond jewelry at a cost of $97,800 on Dec. 21, 2009, in the middle of his senior season, according the lawsuit. Documents included with the suit indicate he made a $30,000 down payment and received $67,800 in credit from the firm, which caters to professional athletes. The nearly $68,000 balance remains unpaid.

Thomas started 39 games at forward during the 2009-10 season, including the Blue Devils' 61-59 victory over Butler in the championship game. He wasn't drafted by an NBA team but played last season for the New Orleans Hornets.


I can say I've never bought a piece of jewelry in my life. I just don't understand the value of shiny things. Give me a good book, movie or video game any day instead.

Also why won't he pay them back? He knows how this will end if he doesn't. Not only will he look bad but so will Duke possibly. We can't make any assumptions, though. $30,000 actually isn't that much money. I bet you can find many D1 athletes driving cars worth $30,000. Also since he did a down payment of 30k it suggests he didn't have enough to cover it all.

Will be interesting to see the outcome of all this.

#2 NanceUSMC

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 07:22 PM

I gotta disagree, a $30K cash down payment is a ton of money... More than a high % of Americans make in a year... That said, I'm just as curious as to how a college kid gets $70K in credit... Any guess I could give as to where the $ came from, and why he hasn't/won't pay it back are pure speculation and have no basis on fact... Will be interesting to see how it all plays out...

#3 Panthers128

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 07:30 PM

Depending on where it came from, it could be a lot. If his mother had been saving money throughout her life, it wouldn't be preposterous for her to have saved that amount. I don't know her personally so I that's just conjecture. Obviously I have a hard time believing he earned the money himself in any way having been a basketball player in HS and College likely consumed much of his free time.

I don't know the rules on these matters though. What if an NBA player gave Thomas the money out of kindness? Is that against rules? I don't think Thomas is a thief, but what if he stole the money from someone? That's certainly illegal in the court system, but a player being a thief, rapist or murderer does not result in sanctions or forfeited titles.

Anyone here an expert on these rules? Any SEC fans around?

#4 NanceUSMC

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 08:03 PM

I would GUESS that what likely happened would be an agent got involved... Now, I can't imagine any jewelry store in their right mind giving $70k credit, so (again my guess) I'd say that's where the money comes in...

If an NBA player gave him the cash, yes, that's a major violation... As for forfeited titles and/or sanctions, it's the NCAA, so ya got me on that one... lol I agree, we need an SEC fan!

#5 thatlookseasy

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 11:23 AM

Weird story. Seems a lot like an agent sort of "gift" but we are talking about Lance Thomas. Why would an agent give him that kind of money?

Either way, he is not the kind of guy who needs to be dropping 100k on jewelry, unless he managed to land a nice job with his degree

#6 bigcatdaddy

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 03:11 PM

Well Thomas' mother is "head manager" at the Ford plant in NJ and makes six figures plus her son got a full ride to Duke so she didn't have to fork over any money for that so the money likely came from her as maybe a graduation present or something like that. As far as the credit he put down 30 grand so we all know if you put down that kind of cash just about anywhere would give you credit and time to pay it off. Think about buying a house or a car, you put money down with the intent to make payments and pay if off so I think this will go away without the NCAA doing anything. He made a poor choice no doubt but everything I have read there doesn't seem to be any NCAA violation.

#7 4Corners

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 12:42 PM

It seems that there were plenty of infractions and look forward to investigation. The NCAA doesn't play around when money is involved.

I hope yall got the ladders in Cameron ready, because I think those banners are coming down. Cheatin ass blue devils

#8 Nine_Lives

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 03:55 PM

lol why would an agent hook up with Thomas?? Not exactly a blue chipper.


Mountain, mole hill.

#9 NanceUSMC

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 08:07 PM

There have been significant sanctions imposed on less significant infractions (tattoo parlor discount for one)... I won't prejudge, but this may not go away as quietly as you may hope or think... It's a major college program, respected and prestigious, and it's a $100k scandal... People love drama, and they want to watch it unfold... Add in rabid fans against the school who would love to see this type of fall from grace, and you've got the earmarks of a hot story... This may amount to nothing, but I don't think it will go quietly...

#10 FurdTurgason

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 08:34 PM

First UNC, now Duke. Someone at N.C. State has been busy getting these stories out there.

#11 bigcatdaddy

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 08:23 AM

There have been significant sanctions imposed on less significant infractions (tattoo parlor discount for one)... I won't prejudge, but this may not go away as quietly as you may hope or think... It's a major college program, respected and prestigious, and it's a $100k scandal... People love drama, and they want to watch it unfold... Add in rabid fans against the school who would love to see this type of fall from grace, and you've got the earmarks of a hot story... This may amount to nothing, but I don't think it will go quietly...


Well the NCAA can ask questions but since Lance is no longer a student athlete he doesn't have to answer their questions and the same goes for the jeweler and he is not talking. On top of that there is a 4 year statute of limitations which means the NCAA only has until Dec 19th of 2013 to notify Duke of any potential violations.

#12 NanceUSMC

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 08:46 AM

Well the NCAA can ask questions but since Lance is no longer a student athlete he doesn't have to answer their questions and the same goes for the jeweler and he is not talking. On top of that there is a 4 year statute of limitations which means the NCAA only has until Dec 19th of 2013 to notify Duke of any potential violations.


This is true, so we should know fairly quickly... However, they don't necessarily have to talk to Lance or the jeweler to gather evidence...

#13 bigcatdaddy

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 09:16 AM

Well technically those are probably the only two people that they can talk to to get the story. The only NCAA violation it could be was that LT was given special treatment and allowed the "credit" because he was a player at Duke and the only person that can answer that is the jeweler who gave him the credit. The way I see it he wasn't given "special" treatment because the balance was due in 15 days. He wasn't given the credit until after he graduated or after he was drafted (which he wasn't and wasn't going to be) or after he made it to the NBA through the D league. I think he got the same deal as you or me if we go to buy something expensive and we were to put 30% down. Do you think you could go finance a $100,000 car if you put $30,000 down, hell thats a no brainer you would be cruising around in that car in less then an hour. We are discounting the fact that if you walk into somewhere with that amount of money it's highly likely that you will be good for the other half. It's no different from the bank looking at your accounts and how much money you have before giving you the loan to buy your house.

#14 NanceUSMC

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 09:59 AM

Well technically those are probably the only two people that they can talk to to get the story. The only NCAA violation it could be was that LT was given special treatment and allowed the "credit" because he was a player at Duke and the only person that can answer that is the jeweler who gave him the credit. The way I see it he wasn't given "special" treatment because the balance was due in 15 days. He wasn't given the credit until after he graduated or after he was drafted (which he wasn't and wasn't going to be) or after he made it to the NBA through the D league. I think he got the same deal as you or me if we go to buy something expensive and we were to put 30% down. Do you think you could go finance a $100,000 car if you put $30,000 down, hell thats a no brainer you would be cruising around in that car in less then an hour. We are discounting the fact that if you walk into somewhere with that amount of money it's highly likely that you will be good for the other half. It's no different from the bank looking at your accounts and how much money you have before giving you the loan to buy your house.


As former law enforcement, I can assure you there are multiple other sources information can, and will be gathered from (family, friends, students, public court documents, loan applications, employees, university staff, to name a few)... I also wouldn't put too much faith in the jeweler keeping quiet out of loyalty (or whatever emotion may be inserted) to Thomas, as Thomas is in the hole to him for $70k... I'm betting they're not buds...

I also disagree about your car analogy... It assumes too much... First off, I'm not a 22ish year old kid sporting $30k in cash... Second, no car has ever been offered to me or anyone I am associated with, with the $70k balance due in 15 days... Third, a 'balance due' in 15 days, on a $100k bill throws up some major red flags, especially for a 22 year old...

What this tells us is that he walked in, dropped $30k on jewelry and was allowed to walk out of the store under the promise of 'I can get the rest in 2 weeks'... So, where is a college kid getting $100k? THAT is the question that has to be answered... If it's legit, then it's legit... If not, then, well it's the NCAA so the range of things that can happen to Duke is from 'nothing' to 'extreme', as the NCAA tends to make up rules as they go along...

#15 bigcatdaddy

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 10:33 AM

As former law enforcement, I can assure you there are multiple other sources information can, and will be gathered from (family, friends, students, public court documents, loan applications, employees, university staff, to name a few)... I also wouldn't put too much faith in the jeweler keeping quiet out of loyalty (or whatever emotion may be inserted) to Thomas, as Thomas is in the hole to him for $70k... I'm betting they're not buds...

I also disagree about your car analogy... It assumes too much... First off, I'm not a 22ish year old kid sporting $30k in cash... Second, no car has ever been offered to me or anyone I am associated with, with the $70k balance due in 15 days... Third, a 'balance due' in 15 days, on a $100k bill throws up some major red flags, especially for a 22 year old...

What this tells us is that he walked in, dropped $30k on jewelry and was allowed to walk out of the store under the promise of 'I can get the rest in 2 weeks'... So, where is a college kid getting $100k? THAT is the question that has to be answered... If it's legit, then it's legit... If not, then, well it's the NCAA so the range of things that can happen to Duke is from 'nothing' to 'extreme', as the NCAA tends to make up rules as they go along...



I agree with the NCAA can try and talk to other people but they are not the police so family, friends, and employees can't be forced or strong armed to talk, which could make it very difficult to find out what really happened. As far as the jeweler keeping quiet I would think he would go on the advice of his lawyer and worry more about his case then he would be with talking to the NCAA.

So can we agree that he didn't get special treatment because he was a college basketball player since the balance was due 15 days later? We aren't talking about a player who was guaranteed first round pick and he used that as a bargaining chip.


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