The Lance Thomas lawsuit is over.
The former Duke basketball player, who was being sued by Rafaello and Co. for the balance of a $97,800 jewelry purchase he made in December 2009, has settled with the jewelers, Thomas' lawyer Mike Bowers told The Chronicle.
"We have reached a confidential settlement," Bowers said.
Bowers added that they came to terms last week and that he has not been in touch with the NCAA since the settlement.
According to the original lawsuit obtained by the AP, Thomas paid $30,000 for the jewelry up front but the balance remained unpaid. Rafaello and Co. is located in midtown Manhattan and the purchase came a couple days after the Blue Devils played Gonzaga at Madison Square Garden in his senior season.
The purchase broached concerns about how Thomas obtained the money to make the purchase or why the jewelers allowed him to pay so little up front, which could in turn raise questions about his eligibility for that season.
According to NCAA bylaw article 16, “Receipt of a benefit by student-athletes or their relatives or friends is not a violation of NCAA legislation if it is demonstrated that the same benefit is generally available to the institution’s students or their relatives or friends or to a particular segment of the student body… determined on a basis unrelated to athletics ability.”
This created a buzz that if Thomas were deemed ineligible, Duke basketball's 2010 national championship would be called into question.
“The process remains the same in that Duke and the NCAA continue to work together on this matter,” said Jon Jackson, an associate athletic director who works with the men’s basketball team.
Joe Crews, the lawyer representing Rafaello and Co., could not be reached for comment regarding the settlement.
"You guys are blowing the whole thing out of proportion,” said Gabriel Jacobs, a co-owner of the jewelry store, before the settlement.
During this summer, Thomas played on the USA Select Team, which the USA Olympic men’s basketball team, coached by Krzyzewski, played against in practice. Former Blue Devil Kyrie Irving was also on the USA Select Team.
Thomas most recently played for the New Orleans Hornets last season, starting 10 games and playing in 42 overall. In his senior year at Duke, he averaged 25.3 minutes per game, notching 4.8 points and 4.9 rebounds.