Former NFL Player Ordered to Forfeit Title Ring to Cover Fees in Divorce Case

With the Super Bowl in Dallas only a few weeks away, much of the discussions on the internet, the radio and television will be devoted to who stands the better chance of winning the big game and ultimately earning the much sought-after Super Bowl ring. In fact, these rings are one of the most cherished items of any player past or present. Interestingly, a former NFL player was recently ordered to surrender one of his prized rings in a divorce case.

Last week, Chidi Ahanotu, a former defensive lineman with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1993-2000 and the St. Louis Rams in 2002, was ordered by a circuit court judge in Tampa to forfeit his 2002 St. Louis Rams NFC conference championship ring.

The reason?

To help cover over $130,000 in attorney fees stemming from his divorce.

“This court system is a farce,” said Ahanotu. “This court wants a man to hand over his once-in-a-lifetime accomplishment to pay some damn attorney’s fees? I could see if it was going to pay something for my children or my ex-wife.”

Interestingly, Ahanotu initially informed the court at last Tuesday’s hearing that he did not have the ring because he had given it to his brother to help settle a rather sizeable debt of $30,000.

However, he later admitted to having it after attorneys produced a copy of a will that gave all his possessions to his brother. What made this significant was that the will was executed only two days after a September hearing in which Ahanotu was ordered to forfeit the ring.

(At this September hearing, Ahanotu indicated that the ring in his possession was a replica worth far less than the original he had exchanged it for earlier.)

Ahanotu stated that he doesn’t have the money to hire an attorney to fight the order to surrender the ring and that the ring itself is only worth $500.

“I told them that, but they think it’s worth $10,000 to $20,000,” said Ahanotu. “They will never get that much. If somebody pays that much, God bless them. That would make me feel important.”

To learn more about divorce or property division, contact an experienced and skilled legal professional.

This post is for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice.

Stay tuned for more from our Ft. Worth family law blog …

Related Resources:

Judge Orders Ex-Buc Ahanotu to Surrender Championship Ring (Tampa Bay Online)