20 Retired Athletes Who Can't Stay out of Trouble

Eric NewmanCorrespondent IIIApril 27, 2012

20 Retired Athletes Who Can't Stay out of Trouble

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    You spend your teen years training to make the cut.

    You spend your 20s being an idol to millions.

    You spend your 30s straining to stay in the game.

    Then you retire. And you're only 40 with decades yet to live.

    Sounds great, but the thing is you're addicted to the rush. The rush of thousands of cheering fans, of scoring points, of winning, of seeing your face on television. 

    Where will your highs come from now? Will people continue to adore you? Will they even recognize you in five years?

    You need your public, you need your press. (And they both start with P which rhymes with T and that stands for TROUBLE.)

    Click on to see 20 retired athletes who just can't stay out of trouble.

20. Dennis Rodman

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    Rodman has taken the "tired" out of retired. When asked about police reportedly showing up at his house numerous times as a result of loud parties, he has nothing to hide: "Probably about 80, 90 times, they've been to my house," he says.

    He's been arrested a couple of times for alleged domestic violence, and a couple of times for DUI.

    Currently he's in the process of fighting a $179,000 child support order, which for a few days triggered an arrest warrant (later dismissed) and briefly made him a wanted man.

19. Matt Hardy

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    Hardy's retirement in late 2011 overlapped with a string of trouble making.

    He was arrested three times in a month, first for DWI, then for again for DWI, and the third time for drug charges after a police raid on his home.

    And amidst all that was his 'goodbye world' suicide video that wasn't. Hardy claimed it was just a joke. Not many people laughed.

    Hardy entered rehab, but was kicked out when he failed a breathalyzer test

18. Matthew Barnaby

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    Barnaby is a pest on the rink gone menace to society. 

    In May 2011, the former Sabre right winger was "arrested and charged with second degree criminal contempt, harassment, second degree criminal trespass, and second degree criminal mischief."

    A few months later he was arrested again—and this time it cost him his job as an analyst at ESPN. Allegedly, he was driving his Porsche Cayenne on just three wheels, creating something of a pyrotechnic display as rim met pavement. According to the Erie County Sheriff's department, Barnaby failed the field sobriety test and refused a breath test.

17. Jose Canseco

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    JC's run-ins with the law, have been plentiful, varied and at fairly consistent intervals. He's been charged with the following alleged crimes:

    -Reckless driving

    -Illegally packing heat 

    -"Ramming his then-wife Esther's BMW with his Porsche" (shameful waste of fine machinery, if you ask me)

    -Smacking his soon-to-be second ex-wife

    -Beating the tar out of a couple of tourists in a Miami night club (together with twin bro, Ozzie)

    -Violating his probation

    -Testing positive for steroids while on probation

    -Trying to bring a fertility drug across the border from Mexico 

    Now if that laundry list isn't motivation to stay off the juice, I can't imagine what would be.

16. Gary Charles

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    After a successful career playing soccer for the English national team and various club teams, a knee injury forced Charles to retire in 2002.

    The arrests began shortly after.

    First for drunk driving and failing to provide a breath specimen.

    Then for tearing off his electronic curfew tag so he could vacation in Spain.

    Then for attacking a woman who made a crack about his career.

    Oh, then there was the time he showed up at court drunk and got tossed into jail.

    And have I mentioned the time he was jailed for threatening a doorman with an imaginary knife?

    In the words of the judge who sentenced him for this last offense:

    "There really does come a time when the police and everyone else have to have a rest from Gary Charles."

15. Salt Walther

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    After a fiery crash in the 1973 Indy 500, Walther became addicted to pain killers

    From 1986, when he was arrested "on preliminary charges of illegally trying to obtain a prescription painkiller from three doctors," up through the present, Walther has been arrested numerous times for various alleged offenses, including:

    -Stealing a golf cart from the Indianapolis Speedway

    -Violating parole

    -Trying to smuggle pain killers into jail

    -Failing to show up for a court hearing

    -"Endangering his daughter's life by driving while under the influence of drugs"

    -Not paying child support

    -"Leading police on a chase at speeds of up to 100 mph"

    He is currently serving time at Hocking Institute in Nelsonville, Ohio. 

14. Art Schlichter

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    Schlichter's gambling addiction plagued his football career and then utterly devastated his retirement. Check out this timeline of his life and see how his gambling and the resulting criminal activity dominate.

    His latest alleged scam to feed his lust for wagering involved conning a widow out of a million dollars. Sounds like a Hollywood melodrama, doesn't it?

    While under house arrest, he tested positive for cocaine, and so was taken to prison where he awaits sentencing.

13. Lenny Dykstra

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    Dykstra, a center fielder first for the Mets, then the Phillies, retired in 1996.

    Then he did what all sports stars aspire to do: He ran a car wash.

    Perhaps it was Turtle Wax fumes that led him to allegedly blow through his $58 million fortune, allegedly sexually harass a 17-year-old employee (a charge that was dismissed) and allegedly hire a female escort and pay her with a bad check.

    But wait, he wasn't finished; 2011 was a busy year for Nails. He started off the year with an accusation of sexual assault, then as the spring flowers blossomed, he was arrested and charged with bankruptcy fraud. Along with the dog days of summer came charges of grand theft auto, identity theft and possession of various drugs including cocaine, ecstasy and human growth hormone. 

    He finished off his 2011 run by allegedly exposing himself to a woman he had invited into his home under the pretext of working as an assistant or housekeeper.

12. Peter Storey

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    A memorable "hatchet man" for Arsenal in the 1970s. After retiring, he made some rather, er... colorful career choices.

    In 1979, Storey was fined and given a suspended jail sentence for running a brothel in East London.

    The following year began a three-year stint in prison for financing a plot to counterfeit gold coins. 

    Then in 1990, he was caught smuggling pornographic films, which he had hidden in the spare tire of his car.

    He was also sentenced to two years in prison for car theft and 28 days for disorderly conduct.

11. Roscoe Tanner

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    The former tennis star with 13 career titles served aces, then served time.

    Once, without permission, he got behind the wheel of a tennis club owner's Ford Explorer and took it for a little joyride... across the U.S. He was allegedly fleeing from child support and alimony responsibilities in California.

    He's allegedly fleeced numerous investors who invested in various projects that never came to be.

    He bought a yacht with a bad check. 

    Later he paid about $72,000 for two Toyota Highlanders and paid for them with another bad check. When he allegedly refused to return the vehicles, he was charged with felony theft. He eventually made restitution and the charges were dropped.

    In January 2012, he was charged yet again with writing a worthless check. This time $1,200 for boat repairs.

    Business owners of the world, take heed: Roscoe Tanner might be a decent fellow, but if you ever do business with him, cash only. Got it?

10. Mike Tyson

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    "I want to be a missionary." —Mike Tyson in a 2005 interview

    If by a missionary he means a drunk-driving, narcotic-possessing, photographer-punching servant of God, then he has succeeded.

9. Denny Mclain

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    "His off-field activities as a player and his post-retirement involvement in a string of felonies have cast long shadows over the Detroit Tigers righthander who dominated the American League in 1968 when he became the first pitcher in 34 years to win 30 games." - Nick Acocella for ESPN Classic

    After the three-time All-Star and one-time American League MVP player retired in the early 1970s, he mobbed up.

    He was imprisoned for federal racketeering charges involving gambling and cocaine (the conviction was later reversed on appeal), and then again later for looting a company's pension fund.

    In August 2011, an arrest warrant was issued against him relating to an alleged failure to fully compensate a business partner. After the warrant was issued, for a short time, Mclain became an "accidental fugitive" when he mistakenly left the country. Yes, you read that correctly. 

8. Diego Maradona

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    Retirement brought the much-adored, much-hated Maradona continued battles with cocaine addiction and new battles with weight control.

    And run-ins with the law.

    In 1991, he was arrested for narcotics possession.

    In 2005, after playing in a charity game, he was arrested in the Rio airport for "causing a disturbance." Apparently he was pissed off about missing a flight and busted a door to the VIP room.

    In 2006, he allegedly drove a car into a phone booth and injured a nearby couple. He was arrested for the incident in 2007, though he denied the charge.

7. Ryan Leaf

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    After a somewhat disappointing career as an NFL QB, Leaf had a brief stint coaching. But that ended with a slight scandal when he admittedly "asked a player for a pill to help him deal with pain in his wrist."

    In 2009, Leaf was arrested on drug and burglary charges. Allegedly he broke into an apartment and stole some Hydrocodone, which had been prescribed to an injured football player.

    In 2012, he was arrested twice in four days (that puts him at a 50 percent arrest rating, ironically the same as his QB rating). 

    The latest charges were for (1) alleged burglary and possession, and (2) more alleged burglary and possession

6. Darryl Strawberry

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    After an impressive MLB career that included four World Series wins and eight All-Star appearances, Strawberry retired in 1999. He was battling colon cancer.

    Just prior to retirement, Strawberry had been arrested for drug possession and soliciting sex from a female undercover officer. After pleading no contest, he was sentenced to probation and community service.

    He violated parole numerous times and was sentenced to 30 days in prison. 

    He violated parole again—this time disappearing for a four-day cocaine binge. He was ordered back to rehab.

    In early 2002, he was sent to prison for smoking, for having sex with a fellow resident at his rehab facility and for trading baseballs for cigarettes—all violations of the terms of his parole.

    In 2005, he allegedly made up a story that his SUV had been stolen and filed a false report. He was not arrested for the misdemeanor. 

    The good news is that Strawberry eventually won his battle with cancer, and with his 2010 appearance on the reality show The Apprentice, has even removed some of the tarnish on his public image.

5. Joseph Hyungmin Son

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    You knew him, you loved him as the shoe-flinging assassin Random Task from Austin Powers

    Then, briefly as a (bad) mixed martial artist.

    In 2008, Son plead guilty to a charge of felony vandalism. He was given probation (later extended when he failed to keep the parole office informed of his current residence). As a part of his original plea, he had to provide a DNA sample.

    The sample linked him to a vicious gang rape from nearly 20 years before—a cold case. 

    Son was eventually imprisoned for felony torture relating to the gang rape.

    While serving a life sentence in Wasco State Prison, he was charged with murdering his cell mate, a convicted sex offender.

    The murder trial is pending. 

4. John Lee Paul

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    After retiring from auto racing, JLP allegedly took to drug smuggling. Or at least attempted to. 

    In 1983, he allegedly shot and wounded a federal drug witness. Paul fled to Switzerland before the trial.

    In Switzerland, he served 6 months in prison for using a false passport. 

    Later, he was extradited to the US, plead guilty to the attempted murder of the drug witness and spent 13 years in prison.

    Less than two years after getting out of prison, Paul was questioned about the disappearance of his girlfriend Colleen Wood, who had lived with Paul on his sailboat.

    Shortly thereafter, Paul and his boat went missing. He has never been found.

3. O.J. Simpson

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    Oh yeah, then there is this guy.

    Well, there was the sensationalized double murder trial in which he was exonerated in criminal court, but found guilty in civil court.

    Then there is the $1.44 million tax debt he has with the state of California.

    In December of 2000, allegedly pissed off at another driver, Simpson got out of his Lincoln Navigator—with his two kids inside—approached the other driver's car, reached in the window and yanked the man's glasses off his face. He was charged with with felony burglary of a car and misdemeanor battery. A jury later exonerated him.

    Apparently not much of an animal lover, in 2002 Simpson was allegedly caught speeding his 30-foot power boat through a Manatee Protection Zone.

    In a 2005 civil case, a federal judge ordered the Juice to pay damages for pirating DirecTV signals

    Then in 2007, he was arrested and convicted for an armed heist of sports memorabilia in a Las Vegas hotel. 

    Simpson is currently an inmate at Lovelock Correctional Center in Nevada. 

    He'll be eligible for parole in 2017.

2. Evangelos Goussis

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    The Soviet-born Australian had a boxing, then kick-boxing career that spanned from about 1987 to 1997.

    Coinciding with the end of his sporting career was the beginning of a series of murders of thugs and crime bosses from the underworld of Melbourne, Australia. The murders—known collectively as Melbourne's Gangland Killings—numbered around 30 and are mostly unsolved. 

    Goussis has been convicted of two of the murders and is under investigation for a third.

    He'll be up for parole in 2039.

1. Fast Eddie Johnson

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    Fast Eddie was kicked out of the NBA in 1986 for repeated drug violations. 

    In the ensuing years, his rap sheet grew to an immense length—reportedly over 100 entries long. The majority of these arrests were drug and theft related.

    In 2008, Johnson was charged with, and later convicted of the unimaginably heinous crime of sexually assaulting an 8-year-old girl. 

    He received a mandatory sentence of life with no parole.