- Andy Katz, ESPN Senior Writer
- 0 Shares
1. Duke's staff didn't know about Lance Thomas' jewelry purchases or $30,000 cash payment in 2010, according to multiple school staffers. Duke will tell that to the NCAA to show that it wasn't complicit with any of Thomas' decisions. Of course being complicit would hit Duke. But not knowing what Thomas was doing doesn't impact a potential eligibility ruling. Duke is seeking to find out information on the matter now that the lawsuit for the remaining $68,000 jewelry bill (he was given $67,800 in credit) is being pursued. Thomas doesn't have to cooperate with the NCAA since he's no longer a student athlete. But Duke better lean on him hard to do so. The NCAA and Duke need to find out where the money came from and whether he received special treatment. This case cannot be taken lightly and there are questions that need to be answered. The NCAA has long said it can retroactively rule a player ineligible (see Derrick Rose of Memphis). That means the 2010 title and the 35 wins for coach Mike Krzyzewski and Duke could be vacated if Thomas were ruled ineligible. It's a big if, but the lawsuit has opened the need for an investigation as to how Thomas could have made such grand purchases as a college senior.
2. UCLA hasn't started the clock for freshman forward Shabazz Muhammad because he was hurt in August and also wasn't ruled eligible to go the Bruins' trip to China. The NCAA gives schools a 45-day window for players to practice during an initial eligibility process. The Bruins don't start the fall quarter until later this month. The Bruins could conceivably wait to start Muhammad's clock until practice starts on Oct. 12. That means Muhammad could practice for the first month of the season and play possibly in the opener while the NCAA deals with an amateurism/extra benefit issue with Muhammad. The process with Muhammad may drag for a while so by not starting his clock the Bruins have a chance to start the season practicing with their star newcomer.
3. Georgetown coach John Thompson III said that he wants to continue the Syracuse series after the Orange move to the ACC in 2013. Thompson couldn't say when it will resume but he is confident it will happen. He did say the tough decision for the Hoyas and other Big East schools will be how to handle nonconference games when the Big East likely goes to 20 conference games in 2013-14 when there are 18 league members. Thompson said he expects the league to move to 20 games and that means schools like Georgetown will have to decide does it participate in a neutral site event or two, or choose a home-and-home series. A Syracuse nonconference game would fall in the latter category.