Bob Knight has a noble reason for auctioning off his championship rings

If a prominent sports figure puts his medals, plaques or championship rings up for sale, more often than not, it's out of desperation after a spending spree or a bad investment plunged him into debt.

In Bob Knight's case, the reason is apparently far more benevolent.

The legendary former Indiana coach will put some of the most valuable artifacts up for sale in an auction running until Dec. 5 in order to generate some extra money to help pay for the college education of his grandkids and nieces and nephews. Among the items that will be the centerpiece of the auction: Knight's 1988 coach of the year award, his 1984 Olympic gold medal and the rings from his three NCAA title teams at Indiana — including the undefeated 1976 season.

"John Havlicek and I were just talking one day about all the stuff we had accumulated over the years," Knight told the Associated Press. "As we talked we decided the money could be very useful to put our grandchildren through college.

"Sports people are nuts. Look at how much they would pay for Babe Ruth's cap or Honus Wagner's card? I guess these are people who want to own things, things that are the results of what someone else did in sports. I was very pleased there was a market for something like this that my grandkids — I have two grandsons — and my wife has a niece and nephew, who would get good use out of this."

It's hard to imagine Knight needs the money since he transitioned from coaching to an analyst gig at ESPN, but it's still admirable he is looking out for future generations of his family. He also insists he sees so little sentimental value in these items that they've been packed away in boxes in his home for years.

Of course, if Knight wanted to bring in the most money possible for his grandkids, his championship rings might not be the most valuable item. Whatever the 1976 Indiana ring sells for, it's a safe bet the original folding chair he hurled across the floor at Assembly Hall in 1985 might fetch an even heftier price.

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