November 29, 2013
University of Louisville basketball player Chane Behanan’s 2012 Final Four ring was removed from auction Wednesday morning by Grey Flannel, a leading sports memorabilia seller, at the Behanan family’s request.
“We have been informed by Chane’s mother that this NCAA Final Four ring was indeed stolen from the Behanan family,” Grey Flannel’s website reads. “This lot has been removed from the sale. Please place no bids.”
Three bids had previously been accepted on the ring, pushing the sale above $600 with more than 14 days remaining.
When reached by phone by The Courier-Journal, a Grey Flannel representative swiftly declined comment at mention of Behanan’s name. Reached again regarding seller information and Grey Flannel’s verification process, the auctioneer disconnected a call.
Behanan posted to his Facebook page Tuesday evening that he did not sell the ring, and U of L athletic department spokesman Kenny Klein said Wednesday morning he’s checking into the matter.
Opened in 1989, Grey Flannel touts itself as “the industry leader in sports memorabilia auctions and sports memorabilia appraisals.” The auctioneer is also the official appraiser and authenticator for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
The original Grey Flannel posting sparked a social media stir Tuesday evening in the wake of punishments to Ohio State football players by the NCAA in 2010. It was the sale of championship rings, jerseys and Ohio State memorabilia for cash that earned the Buckeyes a bowl ban and led to former coach Jim Tressel’s eventual dismissal from the program.
Per a September 2010 Sports Illustrated report about Georgia receiver A.J. Green’s suspension for sales of his jersey, the NCAA instituted rules against student-athletes selling their gear while in still in school after Georgia players sold their 2002 Southeastern Conference Championship rings.
A more recent case, from just earlier this month, saw Oregon basketball players suspended nine games apiece for selling team shoes given to them by their school.
Grey Flannel described the mint condition ring as a size 11 with the inside stamped “©YLTM” along with the Josten’s brand “J.” It’s also engraved with Behanan’s name, number, a Big East Conference championship logo and the Cardinals’ record that season: 30-10 after the Final Four loss to Kentucky in New Orleans.
Behanan started this season under indefinite suspension for an undisclosed violation of team rules and school policy. He missed one regular-season game and has since come off the bench to average 8.6 points and 6.2 rebounds.