50 Most Crooked Athletes in Sports History

Ethan Norof@ethan_norofCorrespondent IJuly 13, 2011

50 Most Crooked Athletes in Sports History

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    The most crooked athletes in sports history aren't exactly law-abiding citizens.

    These guys have all had brushes with the authorities, and some on more than one occasion.

    Some of the details are downright scary, but others are just out of pure stupidity.

    Take a look and see how many current and former athletes have had trouble out of the sport.

50. Michael Vick

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    We all know the Michael Vick saga by this point, and although he finally came clean, he has to merit a mention on this list.

    It certainly seems like a long time ago that he was an outcast in the sports world. Isn't it amazing what success on the field can do for someone's reputation off of it?

    Source: ABC News

49. Michael Nunn

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    Nunn was convicted of a conspiracy to distribute cocaine and sentenced to 292 months in the slammer.

    His scheduled release date of June 16, 2024 means that we likely won't be seeing him anytime soon.

    I guess the head rush from being in the ring wasn't enough for Nunn.

    Source: Le Mars Daily Sentinel

48. Isaiah Rider

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    There was always a mysterious air that surrounded J.R., and it may have been because his mind was wandering in other places.

    You know, like how he'd fill his time after his basketball career ended?

    I'm guessing that possession of cocaine and battery against an officer weren't atop his to-do list.

    Source: HoopsVibe

47. Jamal Lewis

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    Jamal Lewis made a lot of money in his NFL tenure.

    Probably enough to foot another monthly cell phone bill.

    So when Lewis was busted for using his main line to facilitate a drug deal, maybe he realized that he shouldn't have been using the same number for both business and pleasure.

    Source: New York Times

46. Brock Lesnar

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    Trafficking of a controlled substance can land anyone in a lot of hot water.

    But when they have the enormous biceps and vicious neck size of Lesnar, the evidence presented lends itself to rampant speculation.

    This is one guy I wouldn't want to start an argument with.

    Source: The Smoking Gun

45. Allen Iverson

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    We're talking about practice, not a game!

    How is Iverson supposed to be the franchise player when we're in here talking about practice?

    More importantly, how was he supposed to be the man when getting arrested for gun and assault charges against his lady?

    Source: CBS Business Network

44. John Daly

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    Daly's struggles have been as well chronicled as almost any professional athlete before him.

    But one night at Hooters, it got a little bit out of control.

    The pro golfer was reportedly so loaded that he had to be escorted out of the establishment and was found briefly unconscious when police arrived.

    Chicken wings and boobie tassels can make anyone go over the edge I suppose.

    Source: AOL News

43. Charles Barkley

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    Charles Barkley's rap sheet is more diverse than a public school classroom in the heart of the city.

    In addition to his alcohol-induced rage while playing in the league, Barkley's best brush with the law is undoubtedly when he was on his way to a girl's house to cop some late-night action.

    Alas, Barkley went home alone that night.

    Source: Dime Wars

42. Riddick Bowe

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    This is just a sad case of a man gone wrong.

    Bowe was convicted of kidnapping his estranged wife and children.

    There's just no room for that kind of stuff from a guy who was once featured on a Super Nintendo cover.

    Source: ABC News

41. Sonny Liston

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    Perhaps Sonny Liston wasn't satisfied with just the money that he made in the ring.

    Liston was arrested for robbery, and despite receiving five years as an initial sentence, only wound up serving two.

    Maybe Liston took one blow to the head too many.

    Source: Boxrec

40. Nate Newton

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    These guys are still so young when they retire from the NFL that they feel as if they need to stay active.

    Newton found another outlet for his excess energy.

    He was convicted of two separate counts of drug trafficking.

    Source: CNN

39. Rafael Palmeiro

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    Palmeiro's infamous figer-wag should have had Dikembe Mutombo calling for lessons about how he made it look so good.

    After all, Palmeiro was vehemently denying what turned out to be a clear lie.

    Palmeiro said that he never, ever touched steroids and was suspended for a positive test the very same season.

    Source: CNN

38. Chris Andersen

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    Andersen had to fall out of the league entirely before he was able to smell the roses.

    After being dismissed from the league in 2006 for drug charges that fell into the "drugs of abuse" violation, Birdman came back flapping his wings and with more neon color on his skin than visible flesh.

    I think he may have found a new catharsis.

    Source: ESPN

37. Booker T

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    It's sad for me to include Booker T on the list considering how legendary he was in my viewership of wrestling as a kid, but it'd be foolish to leave him off.

    Granted that the arrest came way before he was a bulked up icon of the sport, the charges aren't any less serious.

    This guy must have really wanted some fast food.

    T was charged with robbing a Wendy's and served 19 months in prison.

    Source: The Smoking Gun

36. Alex Rodriguez

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    On the surface he might look innocent, but A-Rod can be quite manipulative.

    Just ask the hosts of 60 Minutes.

    Rodriguez perpetually lied about steroid allegations against him before ultimately coming clean to the crew, and somehow we've let it blow over like dust in the wind.

    Source: ESPN

35. Sylvester "Sly" Williams

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    Another player that couldn't figure out how to spend his retired time, Williams decided to pick up a new hobby.

    Unfortunately for him, it's not one that is viewed as acceptable in society.

    Williams was accused of kidnapping and served 3.5 years in prison before being released.

    Source: ESPN

34. Corie Blount

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    Sir SmokeALot might have a new buddy to join in on his smoke sessions.

    Blount was booked for felony marijuana possession, and the best part of his defense was that he claimed it was for him and a few friends.

    But 29 lbs worth? That's going to take more than just a few days to go up in the air.

    Source: ESPN

33. Dennis Rodman

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    Take your pick with the baddest boy that the NBA has arguably ever seen.

    He was arrested in 1979 for felony burglary, was popped for a DUI in 1999 (the same year he was accused of assaulting Carmen Electra), and who could forget that infamous kick to the cameraman's nads?

    This is one dude whose bad side you definitely don't want to be on.

    Source: AbsoluteNow

32. Hollywood Henderson

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    When you go down for sexual assault and bribery, it's not a combination that should be bragged about.

    Hollywood wasn't feeling like he was in the limelight when he was popped on those charges.

    Not exactly a storybook ending.

    Source: The Modesto Bee

31. Michael Irvin

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    Michael Irvin is another guy who could have a plethora of arrest stories highlighted, so it's a challenge to really key in on one.

    Back in 2005 when he was cited for having a pipe in his whip and multiple bags filled with marijuana residue, Irvin claimed that it belonged to a friend who was battling addiction.

    Interesting defense, Mr. Irvin.

    Source: ESPN

30. Richard Seigler

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    The NFL wasn't locked out at the time, but Seigler had no trouble balancing a side job in addition to serving as a linebacker in the lead.

    In 2007, Seigler was tied to controlling two prostitutes and acting as their pimp.

    His cousin, Billy Cooks, was a known  pimp and police tied Seigler to Cooks as a result of their investigation.

    I guess pimpin' really ain't easy.

    Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

29. Barry Bonds

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    We all know the story with Barry Bonds as it's been pretty much the same deal since he retired from the game.

    But you know what's pretty weird?

    For a man that reportedly has nothing to hide, it's kinda sketchy that he's paying his friend to keep quiet while in jail on his behalf, isn't it?

    Source: New York Times

28. Marion Jones

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    Jones' track and field dominance was something that we had rarely seen in the sport previously.

    Now her dominance doesn't appear so powerful after all, as she really got a major lift.

    Obstruction of justice and perjury were the charges in the books, but she's another athlete who got sucked into the steroid vacuum.

    Source: Washington Post

27. Roger Clemens

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    Remember when Roger Clemens was one of the purest players to watch play the game?

    Doesn't that seem like a long time ago now?

    It seems that the only person that doesn't believe that "the Rocket" juiced was just Clemens himself at this point.

    Source: ESPN

26. Pete Rose

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    This one is pretty self-explanatory.

    I guess that the game of baseball wasn't exhilarating enough for the man on the sidelines.

    Let the Hall of Fame debate continue to rage on.

    Source: ESPN

25. Darryl Strawberry

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    There's something about those Mets that makes 'em enjoy an awfully good time.

    Drug possession and solicitation of prostitution isn't a good look for you, sir Strawberry.

    Thankfully he's managed to stay relatively clean as of late, but his legend as a player could've been immensely greater if he kept his nose clean.

    Source: The Smoking Gun

24. 1919 Black Sox

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    Eight members of the 1919 Chicago White Sox baseball team were banned for life.


    Because they plotted together in an effort to intentionally lose the game in an effort to earn some illicit cash on the black market.

    Now that's what I call a role model.

    Source: 1919BlackSox.com

23. Johnny Jolly, Jr.

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    After being arrested on a drug charge, Jolly was arrested on a second drug charge that makes the reader do a double-take.

    600 grams of codeine underneath the passenger seat sent Jolly back to the sin bin with the NFL.

    It's to be determined as to whether or not we'll ever see him playing pro football again.

    Source: ESPN

22. Tom Payne

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    Payne had multiple convictions of rape that sent him to the slammer.

    Anyone that can't right the ship after the first infraction of this kind needs to undergo a serious psychological evaluation.

    Source: AOL News

21. Maurice Clarett

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    When the Broncos selected Clarett in the third round, everyone's jaw just about hit the floor.

    And based on his off-field events, it's pretty easy to see why.

    Clarett was booked by cops after being chased down and the authorities found some assorted weaponry and a bottle of alcohol in the front seat riding shotgun with him.

    Source: ESPN

20. Ken Caminiti

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    Caminiti was a noted steroid-head, but that's not what lands him on this list.

    After repeated run-ins with alcohol and cocaine, Caminiti passed away far too early.

    He was the definition of a ballplayer when he was on the field.

    Source: Philadelphia Inquirer

19. Travis Henry

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    Henry has had some trouble staying on top of all of his children, but despite having a full mini-van of passengers to drive, he still found some spare time in his day.

    So how did he use it?

    Drug trafficking. Henry's expected to be released at the end of the current year, but it's safe to say that his football career is all but over.

    Source: ESPN

18. Ugueth Urbina

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    Urbina is serving time for attempted murder of five workers on his farm.

    But he wasn't about to just do it the old-fashioned way.

    Urbina is accused of attacking them several ways, including with a machete and pouring gasoline on them.


    Source: ESPN

17. Tommy Kane

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    Kane plead guilty to second-degree murder of his wife.

    After getting into an argument about a potential divorce, Kane reportedly dragged his former wife across the floor by her hair.

    That is just an extraordinarily sad story.

    Source: CBC Sports

16. Barret Robbins

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    Robbins' fall from grace is as notorious as they come.

    After missing the Super Bowl because of a drinking binge in Mexico the night before the game, Robbins' NFL career was at a halt when it was discovered that he was bi-polar.

    His life spiraled out of control and he was constantly in trouble, but most recently was popped for having crack cocaine in his car and was sentenced to five years for a parole violation.

    Source: CBS Miami

15. Tony Ayala, Jr.

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    There's something about these boxers that have them keep cropping up on the list.

    After being sentenced to 35 years for rape and burglary, Ayala served 16 years before being released.

    However, he returned to prison for another 10 years because of a parole violation.

    Source: ABC News

14. Doc Gooden

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    Gooden's troubles were well-documented during his playing career, but even in retirement he hasn't been able to stay completely clean.

    Gooden was booked for a parole violation and fleeing police, and I can only imagine how good he really could've been if he wasn't distracted with off-field temptations.

    Source: New York Daily News

13. Darryl Henley

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    Henley's conviction is among the most serious on this list, and it doesn't look like it's going to get better for him anytime soon.

    He was convicted of drug trafficking and and attempted conspiracy to commit murder, and it's not looking like he's going to re-join society anytime soon.

    His current projected release date isn't until 2031.

    Source: Los Angeles Times

12. Jim Leyritz

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    Leyritz may have drawn some serious fame on the baseball field, but his actions off of it have become even more notable.

    In addition to a terrible DUI manslaughter charge (acquitted), Leyritz is also accused of hitting his wife in the face when she allegedly wrote a check out of his bank account without asking permission.

    I guess he's rather protective of his investments.

    Source: Huffington Post

11. Ryan Leaf

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    What would've happened if the Indianapolis Colts selected Leaf ahead of Manning?

    I guess we'll never know.

    But since the infamous flip-flop occurred, Leaf was indicted on seven counts of possessing a controlled substance and attempting to smother it from Canada back into the United States.

    This was after he resigned as a coach at West Texas A&M.

    Good times for Mr. Leaf.

    Source: ESPN

10. Jayson Williams

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    Talk about road rage.

    Williams got so infuriated with his driver that he reportedly shot and killed him.

    Despite insisting that he was innocent, Williams finally plead guilty to aggravated assault in 2010, eight years after the original accusation.

    Source: New York Post

9. Don King

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    King's criminal career got started an extraordinarily long time before his name was famously associated with any sort of events int he boxing ring.

    In high school, King ran numbers for an illegal gambling ring. In college, he had his own operation.

    After dropping out, he expanded his gambling empire and went into the business of killing people.

    He has since been investigated by the FBI for doctoring fights, charged with tax evasion and indicted for insurance fraud.

    At least he's got good hair.

    Source: Don King, A Prison Education

8. Fast Eddie Johnson

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    Burglary, robbery, drug possession and sexual assault on a minor.

    I guess Fast Eddie figured he'd heave the full-court shot in his run of criminal mischief.

    The former NBA player was given a life sentence in 2008.

    Source: SLAM Online

7. Robert Rozier

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    Also known as Robert Ramses, Rozier's career after football took a turn right off of the road.

    He did time for a series of small crimes, but that wasn't what lands him so high on this list.

    Rozier joined Yahweh Ben Yahweh's "Temple of Love", and grounds for entrance was that an applicant had to kill a "white devil" and bring back a body part to prove it.

    He was convicted of four murders despite claiming that he killed no one.

    Source: Sacramento Bee

6. Pacman Jones

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    Adam "Pacman" Jones just can't leave his reputation behind him.

    He's been given multiple opportunities to prove that he's a football player worthy of a roster spot, but the distractions have officially made his football prowess a thing of the past.

    In addition to "making it rain" in the strip club, Pacman thought he'd bring a thunder storm as well by slamming a stripper's head against the stage.

    Oh, and did I mention that most recently he was arrested while intoxicated and resisting arrest?

    He might even be too much for the Bengals at this point.

    Source: Sporting News

5. Mike Tyson

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    Mike Tyson's fall from grace is not something to be celebrated.

    Formerly the world's most renown boxer, Tyson has been convicted on counts of rape, road rage and possession of narcotics to pair with a DUI.

    The Hangover and The Hangover 2 wouldn't have been the same without him, but I'm sure he would've traded his roles in each movie for an easier transition out of the ring.

    Source: Fox News

4. Lawrence Taylor

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    Cocaine is one powerful drug, and it seemed to grasp control over LT for a good chunk of his life.

    His struggle with the drug is well-documented during his football career, but it seems it wasn't just used to hype him up on the gridiron.

    Most recently, LT got into some hot water for messing around with a 16-year-old prostitute because he was told that she was of legal age.

    Yeah, and that white powder is just athletic chalk, too.

    Source: Huffington Post

3. OJ Simpson

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    You knew it was coming.

    One of the greatest running backs to ever play the game of football, Simpson ran right into trouble after his moment in the spotlight came to an end.

    In addition to his infamous murder trial, Simpson was also convicted of breaking into a hotel room to nab some sports memorabilia that was reportedly worth some serious coin.

    Source: People Magazine

2. Lenny Dykstra

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    What hasn't Lenny Dykstra been arrested for at this point?

    In June, he was arrested and convicted of over two dozen charges, including auto theft, identity fraud and drug allegations.

    Dykstra has also filed for bankruptcy and was even living out of his car at one point.

    Talk about a hard fall from the top.

    Source: MSNBC

1. Rae Carruth

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    Carruth really deserves the top spot on this list by a wide margin.

    The former NFL player was accused of setting up his girlfriend (the woman carrying his baby) to be shot in a drive-by murder.

    Carruth reportedly pulled up his car in front of her so she couldn't move, and another car drove by and shot her.

    His son was born with cerebral palsy after his mother's murder.

    Source: New York Times