purchase a piece of Michigan's finest season in more than a half century. In December a 1997 Michigan national championship ring was listed on eBay. According to the seller, it was originally owned by Demetrius Smith, a fullback on Lloyd Carr's great team. While it's not clear how the ring ended up on eBay, Smith's dismissal from the team in 1999 might explain why he and the jewelry parted ways.
The NCAA limits the value of gifts to players, and the seller disclosed that the gems are synthetic. Whether it was the fake diamonds, the economy, or a downtrodden fan base, no one stepped up to offer the $3,600 starting price, and the ring went unsold.
[Originally published in January, 2009.]