LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The University of Louisville says it is looking into an auction catalog listing of Chane Behanan's 2012 Final Four ring, but does not yet know who offered the ring for sale or the series of events that led to it winding up in an auction.
Behanan's mother, meanwhile, says the ring was stolen from his grandmother, and that the player was 'very upset' to learn it was missing through the online auction posting.
Heaven Warren told The Associated Press that the ring was stolen from the grandmother's Cincinnati home, and that the family didn't discover it was missing until news outlets contacted the family asking why it was up for auction.
Grey Flannel Auctions, a sports memorabilia dealer based in New York, listed Behanan's 2012 ring in its print and online catalogs for a Dec. 11, 2013 offering. It carried a reserve price of $500 and had received three bids before pulling the item this morning.
On the listing for the ring, the dealer now has posted the message, "We have been informed by Chane's mother that this NCAA Final Four ring was indeed stolen from the Behanan family. This lot has been removed from the sale. Please place no bids."
The auction company has not responded to WDRB inquiries over who offered the item for auction and other details of its sale, and a representative declined to speak with a reporter by phone. Behanan's mother has not returned calls to WDRB.
She did, however, tell The Associated Press, "This is not Chane's doing. . . . I would just like to find out how someone got this ring (and) I would like to post their name."
She said the player had given the ring to his grandmother as a gift.
"Why would he sell his ring with his name on it?" Warren asked. "He gave that to his grandmother to keep."
Warren told the AP she has spoken today with U of L's compliance office and with U of L coach Rick Pitino, and that she plans to file a police report. Gray Flannel Auctions, she said, told her it would return the ring. She said she worried that the incident would have a negative impact on her son. Behanan was suspended prior the start of this season for undisclosed
violations of team and university rules. He continues to live apart from
the team, in a separate dormitory on campus.
U of L sports information director Kenny Klein said via email this morning, "Our staff is looking into it," but had no further information.
Grey Flannel apparently was in possession of the ring as early as Oct. 11, when it listed a collection of rings it was cleaning for auction, with Behanan's among them, on its Twitter page.
NCAA Bylaw 126.96.36.199 prohibits a student athlete from receiving money for any product or service.
That bylaw came into play in highly publicized cases in which Ohio State players received multi-game suspensions for selling bowl rings and other memorabilia, as well as in the highly-publicized case of A.J. Green, who sold a game-worn jersey to an agent.
More recently, Oregon players received nine-game suspensions for selling shoes they received from the school.
On his Facebook page, Behanan denied trying to sell the ring in a post late Tuesday night.
Pitino, after Sunday's loss to North Carolina, said the distractions around his team right now aren't good.
"We've had major problems and distractions," Pitino told Bob Valvano on his Nelligan Sports postgame radio show. "From suspensions to an Achilles' to guys not practicing. Just a lot of things that I hate more than anything bad in life. I hate distractions as a basketball coach, and we've had way too many."
Copyright 2013 WDRB News. All Rights Reserved. Information for this story was provided by The Associated Press.
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