10 Biggest Troublemakers in College Basketball History

Joe Goldman@@bossgoldmanCorrespondent ISeptember 12, 2012

10 Biggest Troublemakers in College Basketball History

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    College basketball has surely had more than its fair share of hot heads, clowns, whack jobs, bad teammates, thugs and convicts throughout recent history.

    Because they all play at the amateur level and are supposed to play for nothing more than the love of the sport, they all fit under the same category—troublemakers.

    These characters have kept the sport entertaining, with headline-makers ranging from extortionists to naked assaulters.

    Here are college basketball's 10 biggest troublemakers.

10. Erving Walker

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    School: Florida

    Accomplishments: Career average of 12.1 points and 4.6 assists.

    Trouble: Walker was arrested for stealing a $3 taco in March, according to an ESPN report. He was booked on retail petit theft and evading arrest.

    Surely, there are much bigger criminals out there than Walker. Yet his story is funny enough to warrant at least a mention on this list.

    Walker was ordered to pay a $301 fine. No word yet on whether Walker realizes that $3 is an absolute rip-off for a taco, let alone $301. 

    Where he is now: Walker was invited to the Phoenix Suns summer camp and is trying to earn a spot on an NBA roster.

9. Reeves Nelson

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    School: UCLA

    Accomplishments: 13.9 points and 9.1 rebounds per game with 56.7 percent FG in sophomore season. All-Pac-10 selection.

    Trouble: In his tenure at UCLA, Nelson was the epitome of a bad teammate.

    He most notably missed a team plane, threw in the towel at practices, back-talked coach Ben Howland on a regular basis and threw a ball at a teammate during a game. He was also seen laughing on the bench during a loss, and was dismissed from the team shortly after.  

    Where he is now: Nelson was given a second chance at professional basketball when the Lakers signed him to a conditional 1-year contract

8. O.J. Mayo

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    School: University of Southern California

    Accomplishments: All-Pac-10 First Team and third overall pick in 2008 NBA Draft.

    Trouble: After a university investigation, USC concluded that Mayo received illegal cash gifts and other benefits while he was enrolled. According to the LA Times, this prompted USC to self-sanction itself by forfeiting victories, postseason play, recruits and money earned while Mayo was playing.

    Mayo helped USC take a big step forward during his time with the Trojans. However, his actions took the Trojans two steps back in the aftermath of these crippling sanctions. USC finished last in the Pac-12 standings in 2011-12. 

    Where he is now: Shooting guard for the Dallas Mavericks.

7. 2011-12 LBWCC Team

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    School: Lurleen B. Wallace Community College  

    Accomplishments: Unknown

    Trouble: In July of 2012, three LBWCC basketball players were reportedly arrested for their involvement in a string of eight burglaries. 

    As if that wasn't bad enough, five of the burglaries happened on the LBWCC campus in Alabama. Talk about school spirit! 

    Where they are now: The three players were expelled from school and their prison sentence is unknown.

6. Richard Hurd

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    School: Baylor

    Accomplishments: Four points and two rebounds per game in 2004-05 freshman season.

    Trouble: After the 2012 NFL draft, Hurd was arrested for extorting Redskins QB Robert Griffin III.

    According to the Huffington Post, Hurd demanded that Griffin pay him a "substantial amount" of money. Hurd claimed that he possessed derogatory information about Griffin, and would release it to the public without payment.

    One can't help but be curious about what Hurd "knows" about the Redskins QB, but this blackmailer got what he deserves. The entire Baylor community is surely better off without him.  

    Where he is now: Awaiting sentence.

5. Lance Stephenson

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    School: Cincinnati

    Accomplishments: 12.3 points and 5.4 rebounds per game in 2009-2010 season at Cincinnati.

    Trouble: Stephenson is no stranger to legal problems. In the height of recruiting season, Stephenson reportedly sexually abused a 17-year-old girl at school. In 2010, Stephenson was arrested for pushing his girlfriend down a flight of stairs, according to ESPN. He has also been involved in conflicts with teammates and opposing players.   

    Stephenson was an elite prospect coming out of high school and almost squandered his dreams of playing in the NBA. Luckily, Cincinnati basketball and the Indiana Pacers gave him a second chance.  

    Where he is now: Guard for the Indiana Pacers.

4. Chris Webber

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    School: Michigan

    Accomplishments: Big 10 Freshman of the Year, All-Big 10, All-American, star of Michigan's Fab Five team and first Overall Pick in 1993 NBA Draft. Led Michigan to a Final Four.

    Trouble: A federal investigation concluded that Webber obstructed justice and took at least $280,000 from a Michigan booster, prompting Michigan to remove their 1992 and 1993 Final Four banners according to a New York Times article. He was also banned from Michigan's campus for years. 

    There's no question that Webber was in the wrong. However, Webber also carried a lot of positive influence. He not only redefined the power forward position, but also carried a certain Hollywood swagger that helped make college basketball a money-making machine.  

    Where he is now: Webber is likely one of the 10 best PFs of all time. He is currently an NBA TV analyst and has his Sacramento Kings jersey retired.

3. 2011-12 Cincinnati and Xavier Basketball Teams

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    Schools: Cincinnati and Xavier

    Accomplishments: Elite 8 birth for Xavier. Sweet 16 for Cincinnati. 

    Trouble: In a regular season meeting in December of 2011, Xavier and Cincinnati squared off in one of the most infamous brawls in college basketball history. 

    Most notably, Yancy Gates of Cincinnati threw a basketball at an opponent and delivered a Mike Tyson-esque blow to a Xavier player.

    Senior guard Tu Holloway of Xavier said after the game, "That's what you're gonna see from Xavier and Cincinnati...we've got a whole bunch of gangsters in our locker room." Holloway didn't mean gangsters in a literal sense, but there's no doubt that both teams acted like children on the court.

    Fights happen in basketball. But what makes this one so embarrassing for the two teams is how they handled it. They pointed fingers, initially refused to apologize and were unable to play a heated rivalry game without resorting to violence. 

    Where are they now: Gates, who was one of the few to issue a sincere apology after the incident, plays professionally in Lithuania. Several have graduated and others are still in college.

2. Bob Knight

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    School: Head coach at Indiana and Texas Tech

    Accomplishments: Five Final Four appearances, 11 Big Ten Championships and three National Championships.

    Trouble: Knight is known to have the worst temper in the history of coaching. Throughout his career, he threw a chair across the court, tallied countless technical fouls, was fined on a regular basis, cussed out the media at many press conference and apparently choked one of his players.

    While we can't overlook his horrible temper and questionable actions, Knight should be remembered for his accomplishments on the court. While his methods may be controversial, there's no doubt they translated to success for his team and his players.

    Where he is now: Knight is retired from coaching and is currently a college basketball analyst for ESPN. 

1. Leonard Tyrell Young

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    School: Fresno Pacific University

    Accomplishments: Unknown

    Trouble: Young is famous for all the wrong reasons.

    Fox News reports that in November of 2011, he was kicked off the Fresno Pacific basketball team. Instead of handling it like a man, Young decided to take a controlled substance, streak through a parking lot and assault two women. He then tried to steal a police car, assaulted an officer and struck a police dog.

    It's safe to say that Young is anything but a good samaritan.

    Where he is now: Hopefully in prison.