Most athletes in college or trudging around in the minors dream of making it to the big show. Going pro means the big money, the high profile and all of the countless benefits, both big and small, that come along with the territory. Who doesn't want that kind of lifestyle?
It sounds amazing, but that kind of shift is a major adjustment that not all athletes are prepared for. In 2009, Sports Illustrated estimated that 78 percent of NFL players face serious financial problems within two years of retirement, and as many as 60 percent of NBA players are flat broke within five years of retirement.
Many athletes fall victim to their own financial mismanagement, the temptations of drugs and alcohol or just really bad decision making. Then there are the few that fall victim to all three and throw in something else terrible for good measure.
Let's take a look at 15 athletes who have fallen from grace and see where they were then and where they are today.