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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Raleigh, NC

    Lance Thomas Lawsuit

    After reading the unpleasantness at the end of the Lance Thomas Jewelry thread, I went back through all the posts on this topic.


    I figured out a few things:
    • Threads were closed and infractions were handed out (though probably not enough) for baseless, rampant speculation and repetitive, argumentative rants, and attacks against other posters.
    • Nobody wants to read the aforementioned posts, and because we don’t allow such on this board, people keep reading the thread thinking that the unread posts have merit (so no, asking people to “self-mod” is not an option in this case).
    • I won’t get that time back from re-reading those posts. Ever.
    • This thread is still open for reasonable discussion without excessive speculation, ranting, or incivility towards others. Please cite sources where available, and include a summary to let the reader decide if they want to click for more information.

    I also was able to summarize the facts of the issue, citing sources. Here are the facts:

    On 9/8/12, the story broke that Lance Thomas is being sued by a New York jeweler. Allegedly, he purchased diamond jewelry on 12/21/09 for a $30K down payment and a $67,800 balance due in 15 days. The lawsuit, filed in January, 2012, is for the unpaid balance and has not been publicly disclosed.[1] This is the same jeweler that, in the last two years, sued and settled with Dallas Cowboys Dez Bryant for $240K [1], sued rapper Gucci Mane for over $274K and won [2], and allegedly sold a Manhattan layer’s Rolex brought in for cleaning to rapper Drake [3]. The terms for both Dez Bryant [4] and Gucci Mane [2] were the same 15 days as Lance Thomas; the actual invoice for Dez Bryant shows their pre-printed contract to be 15 days [4, page 8, point 1]. The lawsuit was settled on 9/18/12, the details of the settlement are bound by confidentiality agreements. [5]

    There two points that cause Lance’s eligibility to be questioned:

    1. Where did Lance get the $30K to put down? If he got it from an agent or booster, he would be ineligible. If he got it from his family, it’s not a problem. His mother is a manager at a Ford plant in NJ [1], which can indicate his family does have money. Jeff Goodman’s “multiple sources close to Thomas” indicate that it came from the family.[6]
    2. Was Lance extended the 15 day loan based on his status as a student-athlete? If so, he would be ineligible. In 15 days, Lance would still be in college – hard to argue that he was given the loan based on future earnings as a pro athlete, especially as he was not expected to be drafted in the NBA [7]. Would other students at Duke be able to get the same terms? It seems to be on the preprinted contact for Dez Bryant [4].

    From the NCAA’s perpective, we know that:

    • The NCAA is investigating. Duke must cooperate and is cooperating.
    • The NCAA does not have subpoena powers. Neither the jeweler nor Lance Thomas (as he is no longer a student athlete) need to talk to the NCAA. Per the terms of their settlement, they cannot talk to the NCAA or media.
    • NCAA rules, specifically the Cooperative Principle, Bylaw 32.1.4, can prevent Coach K and Duke’s compliance officers from talking to Lance to preserve the integrity of the investigation. [8]
    • NCAA rules prohibit Coach K and Duke representatives from talking to the media about an ongoing investigation.
    • Good legal advice prohibits Lance from talking to the media about his confidential settlement and ongoing NCAA investigations.
    • If Lance either received the $30K down payment impermissibly or received an impermissible loan, he was an ineligible player, which could cause the games in which he played from that point on to be vacated, including the National Championship.

    Lance has made a public statement on October 1 saying that he does not think he violated NCAA rules, and after legal details are worked out, he will talk to the NCAA.[9]

    So.......

    All we know is that a lawsuit was filed against Lance Thomas for $68K of a $100K jewelry purchased during winter break of his senior year (when Duke won the National Championship), and it was settled on 9/18/12 with a mutual confidentiality clause. We are assuming that the lawsuit filed is completely accurate on purchase dates, amounts, terms, and other transaction details. The NCAA is investigating, but Coach K cannot talk to Lance or the media about it until after the NCAA investigation, nor can Lance or the jeweler divulge the terms of the settlement.

    So, what’s left to discuss until the NCAA is done with their investigation?

    Yes, it's the start of the basketball season, and lots of writers will be asking the Duke about this and writing pieces to drive hits. Some writers have a better reputation than others; if you link to a story by a writer known to incite Duke fans and ask for our thoughts, we will likely consider that trolling (we define that as a "post designed simply to provoke negative responses or outrage.") Please summarize all articles (y'all know how to do that without violating copyrights) so people know whether they want to give that writer their clicks (do this on any thread, please!).

    Here's the place to discuss anything new.

  2. #2
    Ah geez, this is something plenty of us are not feeling so great about.
    Nothing to do but be patient and watchful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Scrap Metal Hill
    D84, that was a great summary. However, I respectfully submit that one post out of all the dreck (at least that I read) stood head and shoulders above the rest, and is worth bringing back to the attention of the community. It was written by NSDukeFan, and in my view, is a prime example of Crazie creativity up there with "fehlwurf", "we beg to differ", etc. etc. The post is a parody of Jack Nicholson's classic "You can't handle the truth!" rant from "A Few Good Men". My pickup hoop buddies tried to have some fun at my expense when the Lance lawsuit broke. I replied to the email with the little riff (with some minor tinkering), gave credit to NSDuke and DBR, was declared winner by TKO, and we all moved on to making fun of UNC's Hanstravel and other academic misconduct scandals.

    http://www.dukebasketballreport.com/...388#post592388

    "Did you order the ugly bling?"
    "YOU'RE G****M RIGHT I ORDERED THE UGLY BLING!!"
    Last edited by Turk; 10-12-2012 at 06:03 PM.
    "Quality is not an option!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Here's an update. At least K said something.

    http://espn.go.com/mens-college-bask...thomas-inquiry

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Maryland
    Quote Originally Posted by hq2 View Post
    Here's an update. At least K said something.

    http://espn.go.com/mens-college-bask...thomas-inquiry
    Which is far more than he needed to say, so you must be happy.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Quote Originally Posted by ForkFondler View Post
    Which is far more than he needed to say, so you must be happy.
    Something is better than nothing (after more than a month of silence).

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by devil84 View Post
    [*]Was Lance extended the 15 day loan based on his status as a student-athlete? If so, he would be ineligible. In 15 days, Lance would still be in college – hard to argue that he was given the loan based on future earnings as a pro athlete, especially as he was not expected to be drafted in the NBA [7]. Would other students at Duke be able to get the same terms? It seems to be on the preprinted contact for Dez Bryant [4].
    Thanks for the great summary devil84. What I find interesting is paragraphs 5 & 6 of the Dev Bryant contract. If Lance's agreement contained the same terms, it may explain how the jeweler was able to "trap" him: By signing the agreement, Lance (likely) unwittingly agreed to either pay the jeweler in full or forfeit his down payment.

    To me the only real question mark is how LT got the money for the down payment. The NCAA should (and, I think, will) conclude that the jeweler's decision to make a 15-day "loan" is completely unrelated to future earnings as a pro, simply because the timelines don't work out.

    And I echo hq2's post: It's good to hear Duke reached out to the NCAA and is cooperating fully. This proactive approach is just one of the many reasons why Coach K is the greatest coach in the sport.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh
    Simply posted as a link for DBR readers to peruse:


    http://www.news-record.com/content/2...00000_question

    But I will ask: Is Ed Hardin a long time Duke supporter/hater or simply another inquiring journalist? Honest question. I don't know enough about some of the writers in NC that are outside the Triangle area.
    I certify that I personally composed this post entirely on its own merit (or lack thereof) without assistance of tutors, advisers, counselors or other outside sources or references. No credit is requested or received and no eligibility has been questioned (yet) with its submission.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Greensboro, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by devildeac View Post
    Simply posted as a link for DBR readers to peruse:


    http://www.news-record.com/content/2...00000_question

    But I will ask: Is Ed Hardin a long time Duke supporter/hater or simply another inquiring journalist? Honest question. I don't know enough about some of the writers in NC that are outside the Triangle area.
    Ed Hardin has done some fine pieces on Duke through the years, and I've certainly not felt that his writing is biased toward any team. He's not an "attack" writer, but does on occasion offer up some columns that are negative toward one school or another, usually about some "hot button" item of the day. Greensboro is by location closer to Wake Forest, so Wake gets a bit more attention in the N & R.

    I did email him and ask him why he thought there was some negativity in waiting for the NCAA to report their findings. I'll report back if he answers.
    Man, if your Mom made you wear that color when you were a baby, and you're still wearing it, it's time to grow up!

  10. #10
    I don't understand what people are expecting here, maybe I'm missing something. Coach K voluntarily spoke about Lance Thomas, no reporter asked about it. He clearly stated that he wasn't going to comment further because he wants to respect the integrity of the process, that is the process of Duke and the NCAA running a thorough investigation. You don't just starting talking about things when there's an investigation going on, even if you have a pretty good idea that nothing negative will come out of that investigation. Duke is fully cooperating with the NCAA, when all of this is settled I'm sure Lance and Coach K will be more than willing to discuss it with the media. But right now, since there has only been a tentative agreement to settle the lawsuit and since it's more complicated for the NCAA to investigate than people realize, and as mentioned above, he cannot comment on it.
    Last edited by mo.st.dukie; 10-15-2012 at 04:58 PM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Walnut Creek, California
    Quote Originally Posted by mo.st.dukie View Post
    I don't understand what people are expecting here, maybe I'm missing something. Coach K voluntarily spoke about Lance Thomas, no reporter asked about it. He clearly stated that he wasn't going to comment further because he wants to respect the integrity of the process, that is the process of Duke and the NCAA running a thorough investigation. You don't just starting talking about things when there's an investigation going on, even if you have a pretty good idea that nothing negative will come out of that investigation. Duke is fully cooperating with the NCAA, when all of this is settled I'm sure Lance and Coach K will be more than willing to discuss it with the media. But right now, since there has only been a tentative agreement to settle the lawsuit and since it's more complicated for the NCAA to investigate than people realize, and as mentioned above, he cannot comment on it.
    Is Hardin even aware that NCAA rules prohibit the school from commenting on this while the investigation is underway?

    If he is, he is simply trolling for something negative to write. If not, someone should cite the rule to him and tell him he's behaving inappropriately.

  12. #12
    I had to laugh that at least on my browser, there's an ad for a jeweler attached to that Hardin story.

    I thought Krzyzewski addressed this in pretty much the manner he should have. Anyone who expected more would be foolish; he's following procedure. Anyone expecting less doesn't know him very well either.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Maryland
    I continue to adhere to my theory that the Bling scandal only has legs because the UNC PR machine supports it, as part of their desperate attempt to deflect attention from their Athletic, Academic, and Administrative issues. The Accounting scandal may be next.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Here is an informative quote from the NCAA's page on investigations (http://www.ncaa.org/wps/wcm/connect/...Investigations):

    How do member institutions fulfill their obligations under the cooperative principle?

    Member institutions fulfill their obligation by: fully cooperating with the enforcement staff, Committee on Infractions and Infractions Appeals Committee; disclosing to the enforcement staff all relevant information regarding potential violations; and protecting the integrity of the investigation (that is, limiting the disclosure of information relevant to the investigation).
    Note the last parenthetical comment.

    Some journalists are interested in a story that will drive hits their website. While we can wish that they would acknowledge the rules and not ask people to violate NCAA rules by disclosing information, there's not much we can do about it. However, when someone runs across a piece like that, feel free to post a link to inform the community with a summary of the salient points, perhaps quoting a line or two. This helps us determine whether we want to click on that link or not.

    But what really gets me is when a Duke fan is calling for someone to make a statement before the investigation ends. Why do you want Duke to violate the cooperative principle and risk sanctions for that? We moderators might consider that a post designed simply to provoke negative responses or outrage.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh
    Quote Originally Posted by killerleft View Post
    Ed Hardin has done some fine pieces on Duke through the years, and I've certainly not felt that his writing is biased toward any team. He's not an "attack" writer, but does on occasion offer up some columns that are negative toward one school or another, usually about some "hot button" item of the day. Greensboro is by location closer to Wake Forest, so Wake gets a bit more attention in the N & R.

    I did email him and ask him why he thought there was some negativity in waiting for the NCAA to report their findings. I'll report back if he answers.
    Thanks for that insight. Nice to hear from someone in the area who reads the N&R regularly who can comment on a writer's objectivity.
    I certify that I personally composed this post entirely on its own merit (or lack thereof) without assistance of tutors, advisers, counselors or other outside sources or references. No credit is requested or received and no eligibility has been questioned (yet) with its submission.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Greensboro, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim3k View Post
    Is Hardin even aware that NCAA rules prohibit the school from commenting on this while the investigation is underway?

    If he is, he is simply trolling for something negative to write. If not, someone should cite the rule to him and tell him he's behaving inappropriately.
    I asked him if he had read the NCAA guidelines and rules regarding investigations. Also asked him to let me know if I was wrong in believing that Coach K and Duke were following those guidelines. Still no answer from Mr. Hardin, maybe he gets so many he doesn't normally reply. I'm guessing he hasn't even thought about the rules that may apply.
    Man, if your Mom made you wear that color when you were a baby, and you're still wearing it, it's time to grow up!

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by killerleft View Post
    I asked him if he had read the NCAA guidelines and rules regarding investigations. Also asked him to let me know if I was wrong in believing that Coach K and Duke were following those guidelines. Still no answer from Mr. Hardin, maybe he gets so many he doesn't normally reply. I'm guessing he hasn't even thought about the rules that may apply.
    If he responds (and he should) we would be curious about it. My impression was that Hardin was po'd about being told not to ask any questions about the investigation (he mentions it more than once). I've read Hardin for years, find him to be generally thoughtful, definite Carolina bias, but also supportive of Duke, Wake, and State, and the ACC in general (for example, he was critical of Boeheim's comments about having the tourney in Greensboro). This was not one of his better pieces. I thought he was a bit churlish.

    I'll send him an email as well. Maybe he'll respond.

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