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Forced Sales of Athletes’ Possessions

Former pro hoopster Dan Issel and Nebraska lineman Aaron Taylor saw some of their prized possessions sold on the auction block–both victims of money trouble.

A great college or pro career doesn’t guarantee success in the business world and two former star players know that all too well.

Dan Issel, the former ABA and NBA star and coach, along with his wife Cheryl were forced to sell a number of pieces of memorabilia and jewelry to help pay off debts incurred from bad business dealings.

Issel’s 25th anniversary ABA All-Star ring sold for $4750 in a sale conducted late last week by a Denver auction company. Issel’s 1989 NBA All-Star ring, earned for his participation in the Legends game, brought $2050–a relative bargain considering the usual price of championship rings. His 1970 Look Magazine All-America team ring sold for $1,000 and his own 1970 University of Kentucky class ring brought $1400. An award given to Issel during the 2005 NBA All-Star weekend as one of the “NBA Legends of Basketball” brought $1500.

The names of the buyers aren’t known. A few other sports-related pieces belonging to Issel sold as well, but there were no game-used items and most were along the lines of commemorative bobbleheads featuring his likeness.

Former University of Nebraska lineman Aaron Taylor apparently lost his 1997 Outland Trophy in a similar auction Saturday. Taylor, another victim of money lost in business deals, is one of the greatest players in Cornhuskers’ history. Taylor’s 1997 Outland Trophy as the nation’s top collegiate lineman brought $6800 in the sale.

Aaron Taylor\'s Nebraska National Championship ring Taylor was also forced to sell championship rings from Nebraska championships and bowl games. His 1997 National Championship ring drew the most interest, selling for $5900. The same buyer purchased Taylor’s Big 12 title ring for $2300. A 1995 NCAA title ring sold for $3600. Others went for $2,000-3,000 each.

Taylor owed over $100,000 according to court papers, while reporting assets of only $5300. The sale of his memorabilia raised $28,500. The items sold in less than 40 minutes.

The auction company told media members who followed the auction that the buyers were not local.

About Rich Mueller

Rich is the editor and founder of Sports Collectors Daily. A broadcaster and writer for more than 30 years and a collector for even longer than that, he's usually typing something somewhere. Type him back at [email protected].

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