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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Paige Sports Arena signs removed from eBay

Dec. 10, 2004

Until 10:50 Thursday morning, MU fans and haters alike could bid on Paige Sports Arena signs on eBay. The asking price was $10,000.

The seller, Mike Reihms from Lawrence, Kan., retracted the items upon a request from the university.

"The letters are still university property," MU athletic department spokesman Chad Moller said. "We contacted him, and told him that the signs shouldn't have been sold."

Reihms put two sets of signs, formerly mounted on the arena, on eBay on Tuesday.

There were originally two sets of signs for Paige Sports Arena. The most recent sign was removed after Elizabeth Paige Laurie's roommate at the University of Southern California accused her of cheating throughout her college career.

The original sign, however, was mounted in mid-August and removed a week later, Moller said.

In the item description on eBay, Reihms explains the first sign read "Paige Sports" and "Arena" beneath. In the description, Reihms said Laurie demanded her name be on the top line by itself and the letters appear larger. A new sign replaced the week-old set with 18-inch letters instead of 16-inch letters, with Paige's name appearing on its own line. Reihms said he heard this story from relatives living in Columbia.

Moller said though there were two sets of signs, the first was not removed at Elizabeth Laurie's request.

"The family wasn't happy with them, but they did not demand they be replaced," Moller said.

Reihms purchased the signs from the sign contractor Star Signs and Graphics of Lawrence, Kan. Moller said the process for this company is to occasionally purge the metal and sell them to a scrap dealer.

"I bought the signs for scrap metal because they were just going to sell them for scrap metal anyways," Reihms said before he removed the signs from eBay. "I thought they may be a collectable so I put them on eBay."

Reihms would not disclose how much he paid for the signs.

Star Signs and Graphics declined to comment.

Given the size of the signs, Reihms thought a sports bar or another business might want to purchase the item as a souvenir.

Reihms searched for similar products on eBay for an idea on the pricing of the product, however, he was unable to find a comparable item. He began the bidding at $800 and placed the "Buy It Now" price at $10,000 in a 10-day auction.

"I have no interest in keeping them," Reihms said. "I just bought them to sell and thought someone else might like them."

Before the sale was removed from eBay, there was one bid on one sign set for $800. Reihms said he expected the bidding to heat up once word of the sale spread.

In the sign description, Reihms said the signs cost $6,000 each to manufacture. Moller said the signs originally cost the university $25,000.

Moller said the signs will return to the university.

"We're in the process of getting them back," Moller said.

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