Phillip Buchanon's NFL ring lost

Former University of Miami football star Phillip Buchanon admits he was “young and stupid” during the early part of his 10-year career in the National Football League.

Part of that immaturity, he says, was giving away money and materialistic things to family and friends. That included a 2002 Oakland Raiders AFC Championship ring he gave to his agent, Boris Banks.

And now that ring may be gone for good.

Banks lost it March 19 when he left it in a small black bag on the top of his SUV at a Delray Beach gas station.

“I was in a hurry and I just forgot about it when I drove off,” said Banks, 52, who lives in West Palm Beach. “I drove back and couldn’t find it. I was like ‘Oh my God. I just lost the ring.’”

Banks, who said he was rushing to pick up and take a client — former USF player Chris Dunkley — to the airport, didn’t realize it until he stopped to pick up Dunkley.

The ring, along with other personal items, were lost in the area near Linton Boulevard and Congress Ave.

Delray Beach Police Detective Oscar Leon said he also searched but came up empty.

“I scoured the area pretty thoroughly on foot,” Leon said. “Somebody could have it. It could be on the side of the street somewhere or a street sweeper could have pushed it into the sewer for all we know.”

Buchanon, 34, said he wasn’t aware that Banks had lost the ring, but did remember giving it to him in 2003.

“Honestly, I had forgotten about it,” said Buchanon, who lives in Miami. “I knew he had it. I guess it will show up somewhere.”

Banks said he was planning to tell Buchanon he lost the ring.

“He was mad because he lost the Super Bowl that year,” Banks recalled. “He said if he wasn’t going to have the Super Bowl ring, he wasn’t going to wear anything else.”

The ring honored the Raiders’ 41-24 victory against the Tennessee Titans, which put them in the Super Bowl, where they lost to Tampa Bay.

Buchanon said when he came into the league, he was “throwing around a lot of money and things” and that by the time he was traded to the Houston Texans in 2005, his spending was out of control.

“I looked at my bank account and honestly, was shocked,” he said. “It kind of hit me then that I was spending too much. I look back now and wish I had better habits.”
The low point, he said, was in 2006, when he was robbed of $20,000 at gunpoint in Atlanta.

He said he stopped giving things away, especially money. After the NFL, while completing his degree at UM, his aunt and some professors urged him to write a book about fiscal responsibility for those who come into big money at a young age.

Buchanon was in Houston on Tuesday for the release of his book “New Money Staying Rich,” which he says “dispenses valuable advice, taken from first-hand experiences, to aspiring professional athletes, entrepreneurs, and anyone fortunate enough to be the beneficiary of rapid wealth.”

At UM, Buchanon, a cornerback, earned All-American honors as a returner during his junior year.

Buchanon was part of the 2001 University of Miami team that won the national championship in the Rose Bowl against Nebraska including seven starting defensive players who were NFL No. 1 draft picks: Buchanon, Mike Rumph, Edward Reed, Jonathan Vilma, D.J. Williams, William Joseph and Jerome McDougle.

Buchanon was drafted by the Raiders 17th overall that year. He spent three seasons with Oakland, recording 122 tackles and 11 interceptions, before later playing with Houston, Tampa Bay, Detroit and Washington. He retired in 2010.

“I never got around to finding out what happened to the ring,” Buchanon said. “Honestly, though, I’d like to get it back now.”

There is a $500 reward for the lost ring. Anyone with information on the ring or Banks’ bag of personal belongings is urged to contact Detective Oscar Leon at (561) 243-7868.

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