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Salaam Heisman Up For Auction

Colorado's Rashaan Salaam poses with the 1994 Heisman Trophy which he was awarded Saturday, Dec. 10, 1994, at the Downtown Athletic Club in New York. Salaam, attempting a comeback with the Oakland Raiders, says an addiction to marijuana made him withdrawn, caused him to fumble and nearly ended his career. Adam Nadel, Associated Press
Colorado’s Rashaan Salaam poses with the 1994 Heisman Trophy. Adam Nadel, Associated Press

SCP Auctions has announced that it will offer the original Heisman Trophy presented to Rashaan Salaam in 1994 in an exclusive online auction. Bidding will open on Monday, January 8, 2018 and conclude on Saturday, January 20 at www.scpauctions.com. A portion of the proceeds from the sale will be donated to CTE research.

Salaam was a runaway winner in the 1994 Heisman voting after the former running back for the Colorado Buffaloes became just the fourth player in college football history at the time to surpass the 2,000-yard mark in rushing. He won the Heisman by 248 votes and 842 points and was also a landslide winner in the voting for the Doak Walker Award, given to the nation’s top running back. He also became the fifth player in CU history to earn unanimous All-America honors. In one of the greatest seasons for a running back in college football history, Salaam helped the Buffaloes finish the 1994 season at No. 3 in the country in the college football AP poll. He also won the Walter Camp Award for best player in college football.

In the 1995 NFL draft, Salaam was selected in the first round by the Chicago Bears at No. 21 overall. He became the youngest running back ever to rush for over 1,000 yards during his rookie season. He also scored 10 touchdowns that year and won NFC Offensive Rookie of the Year honors. He played three seasons for the Bears and also played briefly with Cleveland and Green Bay in 1999, but was hampered by knee and ankle injuries for much of his pro career. Salaam was inducted into CU’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2012 and was on the ballot for the College Football Hall of Fame for the first time in 2014.

In 2013 Salaam sold his Heisman Trophy to a sports memorabilia dealer who resold it to its present owner that same year. The trophy is accompanied by a letter from Salaam acknowledging the sale. Tragically, Rashaan Salaam, died last year as a result of suicide at the age of 42. In the wake of his untimely passing, Salaam was publicly remembered by those who knew him best as much for his kindness, humility and generous spirit, as for his prolific talent on the gridiron.

Former CU coach Bill McCartney, who recruited Salaam out of La Jolla Country Day school in San Diego, remembered Salaam not only as a great player, but as a great teammate. “He was very coachable,” McCartney said. “He had a happy heart. I loved being around him. He didn’t take himself too seriously, and he always credited those around him, especially his offensive line. What I liked about him is that he had a sparkle in his eye. He was upbeat and positive.” “Rashaan will be remembered as one of the greatest football players to ever wear a Buffs uniform,” CU Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano said. “His 1994 Heisman Trophy brought great prestige and honor to the university.”

Previous auction sales of Heisman Trophies include Larry Kelley’s 1936 trophy for $328,100 (1999); O.J. Simpson’s 1968 trophy for $255,000 (1999); Bruce P. Smith’s 1941 trophy for $395,240 (2005); Charlie White’s 1979 trophy for $293,750 (2006); and Paul Hornung’s duplicate 1956 trophy for $250,000 in 2000. Two other Heisman’s have reportedly been sold in private sales under confidentially agreements with the trophy owners. In 2005 SCP Auctions sold the original plaster cast by artist Frank Eliscu used to create the original mold for the 1935 Heisman trophy sculpture for $228,000.

SCP Auctions officials expect the Salaam 1994 Heisman trophy to sell for over $300,000. The consignor of the trophy will donate a portion of the proceeds from the sale to CTE research. For more information on how to participate and take part in the bidding, please call 949-831-3700 or visit www.scpauctions.com.

About Jerry Milani

Jerry Milani is a freelance writer and public relations executive living in Bloomfield, N.J. He has worked in P.R. for more than 30 years in college and conference sports media relations, two agencies and for the International Fight League, a team-based mixed martial arts league, and now is the PR manager for FAN EXPO, which runs pop culture and celebrity conventions across North America. Milani is also the play-by-play announcer for Caldwell University football and basketball broadcasts. He is a proud graduate of Fordham University and when not attending a Yankees, Rams or Cougars game can be reached at Jerry (at) JerryMilani (dot) com.

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