He couldn't resist a little swipe at sports memorabilia collectors but Bob Knight is going to take advantage of their appetite for goods. Knight is consigning dozens of items from his Hall of Fame coaching career to Steiner Sports to pay for the education of his grandchildren.
A conversation with fellow Hall of Famer and Ohio native John Havlicek led the former Army, Indiana and Texas Tech coach and current ESPN commentator to make the decision to sell his championship rings and other memorabilia. Both agreed that the money could be useful. The items from the Knight collection are being filtered into Steiner's current auction that also includes Don Larsen's 1956 perfect game uniform.
"I guess these are people who want to own things, things that are the results of what someone else did in sports," Knight told the Indianapolis Star on Monday. Still, he said he was "pleased there was a market for things like this".
According to the Star, more than 600 Knight items will be in the auction, which will launch next month and close December 5. Not all of it will be of interest to sports collectors, however. Some of Knight's hunting knives and military artifacts will join his three Indiana NCAA Championship rings in the auction. One could also expect to see Big Ten championship rings, which would also likely be popular with a hugely devoted Indiana fan base as well as basketball memorabilia collectors who appreciate Knight's place among the top coaches of all-time. Authentic NCAA college conference championship rings can sell for several thousand dollars each, depending on the conference and who earned them. Few college title rings from someone of Knight's level have ever been sold at auction.
Clothing consigned to the auction will be examined by Steiner in an attempt to photo match it to games he may have coached in.
Knight told the Associated Press he has put things into the auction that he had forgotten he owned and doesn't display much memorabilia from his coaching career. "If you came into the house you would think I was a mailman," he said. He says items given to him by the late Ted Williams, a close friend, are not being consigned to the sale.
Knight won 902 games in his coaching career including NCAA titles in 1976, '81 and '87. His '76 team went undefeated. An unidentified player's ring from the 1976 NCAA champions is currently for sale on eBay for a little under $17,000.