You may remember this.
Fred Gibson needed some quick cash. He didn’t want to wear jewelry on his fingers. So, he saw nothing wrong with selling his Southeastern Conference championship ring for $2,000.
“It’s my ring,” the Georgia receiver said. “I should be able to do with it what I want.”
Instead, Gibson and eight teammates from the Bulldogs’ first SEC championship team in 20 years were declared ineligible for violating NCAA rules by selling their 10-karat gold rings just a couple of months after getting them.
To be reinstated, the players will have to reimburse the school for the cost to recover the rings, which were sold to a single broker and wound up being peddled on eBay.
“They’ll definitely pay a price,” athletic director Vince Dooley said Thursday.
… School president Michael Adams delivered a stern warning to an athletic program still reeling from scandalous reports of payoffs and academic fraud on the men’s basketball team. The Bulldogs withdrew from both the SEC and NCAA tournaments, and coach Jim Harrick was forced to retire.
“My patience, the patience of the faculty, and the patience of most of our supporters is exhausted over this continuing improper behavior by athletes,” Adams said. “I am disappointed and I expect corrective actions to be taken.”
Leave it to Michael Adams to equate selling a ring with academic fraud. But I digress.
The players weren’t penalized, because the NCAA didn’t have a specific rule about ring selling. At least not at that point. But a rule was created in response.
… The rule against selling gear while playing in the NCAA is a relatively new one. It was created after nine football players at the University of Georgia were caught selling championship rings and a jersey on eBay in 2003.
At the time, the closest relevant rule was one that said players could not use their name and reputation to earn money, through selling autographs, for example. So, the nine players were not penalized, but they brought the issue to the NCAA’s attention.
Now, players who sell gear can face ineligibility or temporary suspension.
All of which brings us to the here and now.
Former Alabama Crimson Tide running back Keilan Robinson’s 2020 championship rings are listed for sale by a Las Vegas pawn shop for $60,000.
Robinson transferred to Texas from Alabama last year. He was not on the Crimson Tide’s active roster in 2020, having opted out due to COVID-19.
The SEC, Rose Bowl and College Football Playoff championship rings are being sold by Gold & Silver Pawn Shop — home of the TV show “Pawn Stars.”
Robinson’s name and number are inscribed on the rings.
A clip from the show covers the sale of the rings, which were brought in by someone named Jon, who says he was gifted the rings by his uncle. It’s unclear how the family came into possession of Robinson’s rings.
It’s only within the past year that current college athletes have been able to sell merchandise without risking their eligibility.
Is that right? I’m genuinely curious. It doesn’t seem to be, at least according to this tweet.
Anyone profess to know where the truth lies here? I’d hate to think all that Georgia Way hand wringing has gone for naught.