Selling the Past to Pay for the Future

Steiner Sports has listed some of the items from the Bob Knight collection that are currently up for auction.  There is the 1976 NCAA Championship ring (current bid $12,500), the ’81 ring ($7,500), the ’87 ($10,000), his College Basketball Hall of Fame ring and medal, his 900th win trophy, practice worn shoes, a red game-worn blazer Bobby Knight 1976 NCAA Championship ringand game worn sweater.  Even some Final Four sideline chairs (presumably never thrown) and something called the ‘Meathead of the Year Award’.

Knight is the latest in a line of sports personalities who have decided to part with the physical part of their past achievements in exchange for a big auction company check.

Jim Palmer, Earl Weaver, Don Larsen and now Ozzie Smith have recently chosen to grab the cash while they’re still alive and use it to pay for college expenses incurred by their grandchildren.  All are reasonably wealthy, but hey, college ain’t cheap.

The growing trend makes auction houses and collectors happy, and it’s also caught the eye of the greater sports world.

Wayne McDonnell Jr., NYU’s ‘Business of Baseball Professor’ delved into the whys and wherefores for this story on