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NCAA finds no wrongdoing by Duke, Lance Thomas in jewelry case

The NCAA cleared Duke and Lance Thomas of wrongdoing. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images Sport) The NCAA cleared Duke and Lance Thomas of wrongdoing. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images Sport)

The NCAA found no wrongdoing by Duke or former men's basketball player Lance Thomas in a case involving nearly $100,000 worth of jewelry purchased while Thomas was still in college, reports The News & Observer's Laura Keeley.

“The NCAA has found no evidence of a rules violation in this situation based on the information available, and both the NCAA and Duke consider the matter closed,” said a university statement cited by Keeley.

In December 2009, during Thomas' senior year, he bought $97,800 of custom jewelry from a Manhattan shop. He paid $30,000 that day but never settled the balance. The jeweler brought a lawsuit in January 2012, and the two sides settled their case that September.

Neither Thomas nor the jeweler spoke with the NCAA for its investigation. Keeley reports that it would have been an illegal benefit for Thomas to accept a loan based on projected future athletic earnings.

Thomas apparently received a $70,000 line of credit, raising the question of whether his likely NBA career played an impact in the purchase. But the NCAA couldn't show that happened in this case.

The Blue Devils went on to win the national title that season.
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