Go ahead and grab your Mac, your PC, your iPhone or whatever it is you use to access the Internet. Now direct yourself toward eBay.
On the popular buying and selling website, one can find anything from a pair of sneakers up to a car. There are video games, antiques and, notably, sports memorabilia.
Once in a while, an item will pop up with authentication included — one such item is a ring that would bring a chill to Buckeye faithful.
The ring I’m referring to former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor’s 2008 Big Ten Championship ring.
The darn thing has already sold once on eBay; Edward Rife, former owner of Fine Line Ink Tattoos and Body Piercings, auctioned it off for a shocking $18,100 in June. The man received the ring directly from Pryor in exchange for tattoos or, according to unconfirmed accounts, cash. It was the centerpiece of a scandal that brought down Pryor’s Buckeye career, as well as directly leading to the end of Jim Tressel’s OSU coaching career.
Why bring up a ring that sold five months ago? Because it has come back to haunt fans of the Scarlet and Gray once again, selling on eBay for several thousand dollars earlier this week. The ring was listed with a buy-it-now price of about $16,499, or more than a year and a half’s worth of tuition for an in-state student at OSU.
In comparison, you can buy a Northwestern Big Ten Championship ring from 1995 or 1996 for just $2,000.
Why does this particular ring, one of three that Pryor earned in his OSU career, command such a price? I’ll tell you one thing, it has nothing to do with the man’s success as a player.
I would bet my own NCAA eligibility that Pryor’s ring would be selling for prices just like the ones belonging to other players from recent Big Ten teams had he not been involved in a college career-ending scandal. There is simply no good reason for a ring that was given to, not purchased by, a teenager to bring that much money — especially to a man who simply bought it on eBay himself.
While it is likely that the new seller distributed the ring at a loss from the amount he originally paid, I find it ridiculous that there is someone out there willing to pay such an amount. Even if I had $15,000 lying around, a ring identical to countless others that are given out every season would not be my choice for a splurge.
Admittedly, the ring does have an interesting story, but I truly wish that price was a joke. Individuals have now profited obscene amounts off of the mistakes of a child. While Pryor is doing well for himself as the starting quarterback for the Oakland Raiders, I have to wonder how the other players involved in the scandal feel seeing this ring sell for such an amount.
At the end of the day, this should act as a reminder to players like Pryor or even less famous players involved like Solomon Thomas or Jermil Martin, to hold on to your belongings. These young athletes see the chance for a bit of spending money and jump at it, while others profit at a huge margin down the road.