Chane Behanan’s Final Four Ring Becomes Louisville’s Latest DistractionPosted by Will Tucker on November 27th, 2013
It looks like Christmas has come early for Kentucky fans this year. On the heels of Louisville’s first loss since February, reports emerged last night that Chane Behanan’s 2012 Final Four ring was up for auction on a high-end sports memorabilia website called Grey Flannel.
The ring was quickly removed from auction after Behanan’s mother, Heaven Warren, notified Grey Flannel that it had been stolen. In subsequent interviews with local media this morning, Warren indicated that she had stashed the ring at her mother’s house in Cincinnati to ensure its safekeeping. She told the Courier-Journal’s Adam Himmelsbach that she thought the auction listing was a hoax when she first saw it last night, and had discovered otherwise only after she called Behanan’s grandmother to have her look in her jewelry box. Warren speculated that the ring was likely taken by someone passing through her mother’s house, which is apparently a congregating place for friends and extended family, and said Behanan was “distraught” by the news. Another source close to the team told the Courier-Journal that the junior forward was “just as surprised as anyone,” and Behanan himself reportedly denied any involvement in a Facebook post last night.
Still, the question of how the ring ended up in Grey Flannel’s possession is a pressing one. A company spokesman told the C-J that it came from “a reputable source,” but there’s no telling whether that’s strictly accurate or just an attempt to protect the website’s credibility. WDRB columnist Eric Crawford reports that the company publicized the auction as early as October 11, so it seems it’s been a good while since it first acquired the ring.
From the information that’s currently available, there is no reason to suspect impropriety on Behanan’s part, nor is there any evidence whatsoever that the NCAA will become involved. Louisville SID Kenny Klein told local media that the school is looking into the situation, as any athletic department would do under these circumstances, to ensure it performs its due diligence. But in terms of perception, the damage is already done. Behanan was already at the center of national scrutiny after Rick Pitino recently lifted a stern-sounding “indefinite” suspension after just 26 days, and this is his second off-the-court gaffe in as many weeks for the Cardinals following the Kevin Ware speeding ticket controversy. For a coach who lamented after last weekend’s loss to UNC that his team has had too many “major problems and distractions” this season, this latest news couldn’t come at a worse time.