With a settlement.
Of course it did. As is proven over and over again, anyone with money in this country can pay their way out of virtually any problem short of murder. And sometimes even then. (Looking at you, OJ.)
So now the case is closed and neither Thomas nor the jeweler has any plans to talk to the NCAA. Duke gets to keep its championship banner and its pristine reputation despite this whole thing stinking to high heaven. We may simply never know what the hell Thomas was doing buying nearly $100,000 worth of jewelry as a college senior.
The purchase is especially mysterious when you consider that his NBA prospects weren’t exactly solid. Remember, this was not a Austin Rivers or a Grant Hill-level talent. Thomas couldn’t have been so deluded to have thought he’d be going in the first round and scoring a $5 million contract. His prospects were much more limited. He almost didn’t make it into the NBA at all.
So why such an extravagant purchase? Thomas spent some time in the D League with the Austin Toros making around minimum wage before being picked up by the New Orleans Hornets. He was given a two-year contract, which is better than most thought he could have hoped for, and will make around $762,000 this year. That’s an astounding amount of money for a normal person. For an NBA player, it’s just OK. Still though, that single college jewelry purchase comes to a whopping 13% of his annual salary. Before taxes. After taxes, it’s probably closer to 20%. So think for a minute. When’s the last time you spent 20% of your annual earnings on a single item?
So there are two options here: A) He is incredibly bad with money and budgeting, or B) Something else is going on
We’ll never know.