Darren RovellESPN Senior WriterClose
- ESPN.com’s sports business reporter since 2012; previously at ESPN from 2000-06
- Appears on SportsCenter, ESPN Radio, ESPN.com and with ABC News
- Formerly worked as analyst at CNBC
Rashaan Salaam sold his Heisman Trophy two years before his death in December 2016, and on Saturday night it fetched $399,608 at auction, a record price for the award.
The online auction, done by SCP Auctions of California, raised funds for CTE-related medical research in memory of Salaam. The former University of Colorado running back was 42 when he was found dead in a park in Boulder. His death was ruled a suicide.
The previous record for a Heisman sold at auction was $395,240 for Bruce P. Smith’s 1941 trophy. Other Heisman trophies sold at auction include O.J. Simpson’s 1968 award ($255,000 in 1999); Charles White’s 1979 award ($184,000 in 2000); and Paul Hornung’s 1956 award ($250,000 in 2000).
Salaam won his in 1994, months before he was picked in the first round of the NFL draft by the Chicago Bears.
SCP Auctions said Salaam sold his 1994 trophy in 2014 to a memorabilia dealer who re-sold it to Denver real estate investor Tyler Tysdal later that year. Tysdal says he has a letter of authenticity signed by Salaam and an invoice for the trophy.
Salaam sold his Heisman ring for about $8,000 in a separate transaction in 2011.
Current Heisman winners are prohibited from selling the trophy.
Information from The Associated Press was included in this report.