NCAA Clears Duke BB, Sparks Outrage
The NCAA cleared Duke on Tuesday in the Lance Thomas jewelry case in which the former Blue Devils player bought nearly $100,000 of jewelry in 2009 while at Duke from New York City-based Rafaello and Co. that included a $30,000 down payment.
Wrote Laura Keeley of the News & Observer: “Both the jeweler and Thomas refused to speak with the NCAA, making a potential investigation difficult. The NCAA does not have subpoena power and cannot force former student-athletes or third parties to talk. Thomas, now with the New Orleans Hornets, did not return a call for comment.”
Needless to say, that explanation - plus the fact Duke was not punished over the Corey Maggette scandal over a decade ago - led to a harsh backlash against college sports’ governing body on Twitter:
Bottom line: There is no way Lance Thomas’ line of credit could possibly fall within NCAA guidelines. Predictably, the NCAA just shied away.
— Gary Parrish (@GaryParrishCBS) April 30, 2013
— Pat Forde (@YahooForde) April 30, 2013
So NCAA needed 6 months to tell us neither jeweler nor Lance Thomas would talk. Shouldn’t that kind of investigation take, like 6 hours?
— Jefe Mills (@JefeMills) April 30, 2013
Anyone who is surprised Duke got the all clear from the NCAA, despite Lance Thomas getting 50k in jewelry, doesnt follow college bball
— Tom Gruber (@the_o_t_g) April 30, 2013
Lance Thomas case further proves NCAA is a complete joke. Closed case because no one would talk. Didn’t they nail Memphis for same reason?
— Kentucky Recruiting (@RecruitKentucky) April 30, 2013
The NCAA and Duke basketball - two institutions people love to hate - just got a little more despised.