Rashaan Salaam’s original 1994 Heisman Trophy award will be sold next month in an exclusive online auction with a portion of the proceeds to benefit CTE research. It’s expected to sell for $300,000 or more, according to SCP Auctions, which will host the sale.
Salaam was a runaway winner in the 1994 Heisman voting after the former Colorado running back became just the fourth player in college football history at the time to surpass the 2,000-yard mark in rushing. Salaam helped the Buffaloes finish the 1994 season at No. 3 in the country in the final Associated Press poll. He also won the Walter Camp Award for best player in college football.
Salaam was selected in the first round by the Chicago Bears and ran for over 1,000 yards during his rookie season, earning NFC Offensive Rookie of the Year honors. He played three seasons for the Bears and also played briefly with Cleveland and Green Bay in 1999, but was hampered by knee and ankle injuries for much of his pro career.
Salaam was inducted into CU’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2012 and was on the ballot for the College Football Hall of Fame for the first time in 2014.
In 2013 Salaam sold his Heisman Trophy to a sports memorabilia dealer who resold it to its present owner that same year. The trophy is accompanied by a letter from Salaam acknowledging the sale.
Salaam shot himself to death last year at a park in Boulder. He was 42.
Said former coach Bill McCartney, “He had a happy heart. I loved being around him. He didn’t take himself too seriously, and he always credited those around him, especially his offensive line. What I liked about him is that he had a sparkle in his eye. He was upbeat and positive.”
Previous auction sales of Heisman Trophies include Larry Kelley’s 1936 trophy for $328,100 (1999); O.J. Simpson’s 1968 trophy for $255,000 (1999); Bruce P. Smith’s 1941 trophy for $395,240 (2005); Charlie White’s 1979 trophy for $293,750 (2006); and Paul Hornung’s duplicate 1956 trophy for $250,000 in 2000. Two other Heismans have reportedly been sold in private sales under confidentially agreements with the trophy owners. In 2005 SCP Auctions sold the original plaster cast by artist Frank Eliscu used to create the original mold for the 1935 Heisman trophy sculpture for $228,000.
The consignor of the trophy will donate a portion of the proceeds from the sale to support research on athletes’ medical conditions, which includes brain injuries and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
Bidding begins January 8 and closes January 20. Look for more information at SCPAuctions.com.