A ring matching in design with the University of Louisville's Final Four version and etched with player Chane Behanan's name made its way to a noted sports memorabilia auctioneer this week.
Whether the ring is legitimate or who the seller is remains unknown, though its appearance on auction house Grey Flannel's website Tuesday evening sparked a social media stir in the wake of punishments to Ohio State football players by the NCAA in 2010.
On Wednesday morning, Behanan's 2012 Final Four ring had been removed from auction.
"We have been informed by Chane's mother that this NCAA Final Four ring was indeed stolen from the Behanan family," Grey Flannel's website now reads. "This lot has been removed from the sale. Please place no bids."
Three bids had previously been placed on the ring, pushing the sale above $600.
Athletic department spokesman Kenny Klein said earlier Wednesday morning he was checking into the sale.
It was the sale of championship rings, jerseys and Ohio State memorabilia for cash that earned the Buckeyes a bowl ban and led to former coach Jim Tressel's eventual dismissal from the program.
Per a September 2010 Sports Illustrated report about Georgia receiver A.J. Green's suspension for sales of his jersey, the NCAA instituted rules against student-athletes selling their gear while in still in school after Georgia players sold their 2002 Southeastern Conference Championship rings.
A more recent case, from just earlier this month, saw Oregon basketball players suspended nine games apiece for selling team shoes given to them by their school.
Grey Flannel describes the mint condition ring as a size 11 with the inside stamped "©YLTM" along with the Josten's brand "J." It's also engraved with Behanan's name, number, a Big East Conference championship logo and the Cardinals' record that season: 30-10 after the Final Four loss to Kentucky in New Orleans.
Opened in 1989, Grey Flannel touts itself as "the industry leader in sports memorabilia auctions and sports memorabilia appraisals." The auctioneer is also the official appraiser and authenticator for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Behanan started this season under indefinite suspension for an undisclosed violation of team rules and school policy. He missed one regular-season game and has since come off the bench to average 8.6 points and 6.2 rebounds.
Jonathan Lintner also writes for the Louisville Courier-Journal, a Gannett company.