WESTWEGO, La. – Former Duke player Lance Thomas says he doesn't think he violated NCAA rules when he purchased nearly $100,000 in diamond jewelry during his college career.
Thomas says he'll "eventually" speak with the NCAA about the purchase, which spawned a lawsuit by a New York jeweler and an NCAA investigation of whether he and Duke violated rules pertaining to improper benefits for college athletes. Thomas now plays for the New Orleans Hornets and took part in the club's season-opening media event Monday.
Thomas has settled the lawsuit which claimed he owed nearly $68,000 to Rafaello & Co. for a purchase made during Duke's 2009-10 national championship season.
Thomas says he "feels bad" that his jewelry purchase has caused problems for Duke, but pledges to resolve the matter "the right way."