"We hope to reach out to fans who might wish to purchase the material to return it to Thurston," said Chris Ivy, the auction house's director of sports auctions.
The ring will be auctioned at the National Sports Collectors Convention in Rosemont, Ill., on Aug. 4. The helmet and the footballs will be available in the Fall Heritage Sports auction, which closes Nov. 11.
Messages left at Thurston's Waupaca, Wis., home weren't immediately returned. Green Bay lawyer Owen Monfils, who represented Thurston in some of his tax cases, told the Green Bay Press Gazette he was certain Thurston didn't owe "nearly as much as the government claims."
The tax fight stems from Thurston's post-Packers days, when he and his business partners opened a chain of restaurants. According to a federal complaint, Thurston and the others withheld federal income taxes from employee salaries but failed to turn all the money over to the Internal Revenue Service.
After a court fight, Thurston was ordered to pay about $190,000 in 1984. With interest, the debt now stands at just over $1.7 million, according to court documents.
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press