Top 11 Disappointing Sports Heroes
Former New England Patriots' star Aaron Hernandez was found guilty of first degree murder. What other sports icons in history have left fans disappointed?
Former New England Patriots' star Aaron Hernandez was found guilty Wednesday of first degree murder of Odin Lloyd, a 27-year-old landscaper and semiprofessional football player. Lloyd was found shot six times in a pit near Mr. Hernandez's home in North Attleboro, Mass., in June 2013.
Hernandez was also found guilty of unlawful possession of a firearm and unlawful possession of ammunition.
Take a look at other sports heroes in history who have let fans down.
The South African track star, Oscar Pistorius, who was the first double amputee to compete in an Olympic Games was charged Feb. 14, 2013 with the shooting murder of his girlfriend at his home in Pretoria, South Africa. The victim, Reeva Steenkamp, was a model and law school graduate. Pistorius told the police that the shooting was an accident and that he had mistaken the victim for an intruder.
In October 2014, Judge Thokozile Masipa gave Pistorius five years in jail for killing his Steenkamp and a three-year suspended sentence for a firearms charge.
Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong admitted in January 2013 that he used performance-enhancing drugs to achieve all of his victories. The confession came after more than a decade of denying that he used drugs and allegedly pressuring teammates to deny they used as well. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Armstrong confirmed that he used banned substances like EPO and steroids.
Known as "JoePa" to his players and to the Penn State community, Paterno led the Nittany Lions to 37 bowl appearances with 24 wins, while turning down offers to coach NFL teams. In November 2011, he was fired by the university for his role in a child sex abuse scandal involving his former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.
A report led by FBI director Louis Freeh charged that the Penn State coach conspired to conceal child sex abuse allegations against Sandusky. Paterno died shortly after he was fired -- on Jan. 22, 2012 -- of cancer. A 2013 report commissioned by Joe Paterno's family challenges the FBI report's findings.
Barry Bonds was a Major League Baseball outfielder who played from 1986 to 2007 for the Pittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco Giants. Bonds, who was a record seven-time Most Valuable Player in the National League, is among the most accomplished of Major League Baseball players caught up in the scandal over performance-enhancing drugs.
He ended his career in 2007 with 762 home runs -- the most in Major League history. In 2011, Bonds was sentenced to two years' probation and 30 days of confinement to his (huge) home after a jury convicted him of one count of obstruction of justice relating to his 2003 appearance before a grand jury. In 2013, Bonds and pitcher Roger Clemens were denied entry to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Michael Vick is a quarterback for the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles. He previously played for the Atlanta Falcons for six seasons. Vick ranks first among quarterbacks in career rushing yards. In April 2007, Vick was implicated in an illegal interstate dog-fighting ring that had operated for five years.
In August 2007, he pleaded guilty to federal felony charges and served 21 months in prison, followed by two months in home confinement. In 2010, Vick was named NFL Comeback Player of the Year and was selected to his fourth Pro Bowl.
O.J. Simpson was one of professional football's most heralded and famous players. He was the only NFL player to rush for more than 2,000 yards in a 14-game season. After retiring from professional football, Simpson also enjoyed a successful career as a football broadcaster and actor.
In 1995, he was charged, but then acquitted, of the 1994 murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman after a long, highly publicized criminal trial. In 1997, a civil court awarded a judgment against Simpson for their wrongful deaths, ordering him to pay $33.5 million to the victims' families (he has since paid little of the fine).
In September 2007, Simpson was arrested in Las Vegas and charged with felonies, including armed robbery and kidnapping. In 2008, he was found guilty and sentenced to 33 years in prison. He will be eligible for parole in 2017.
Mike Tyson was the youngest person, at age 20, to become the heavyweight boxing champion of the world. Tyson successfully defended the world heavyweight championship nine times. He lost the title in 1990 to underdog James "Buster" Douglas.
In 1992, Tyson was convicted of raping Desiree Washington and sentenced to six years in prison, but was released after serving three years. He later earned further notoriety by biting Evander Holyfield's ear during a re-match in 1997. He retired from professional boxing in 2006.
Tonya Harding was one of two women to land a triple axle in U.S. competition during her performance at the 1991 U.S. championships. In 1994, Harding gained notoriety when her ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly, and three of his friends were arrested for attacking figure skater Nancy Kerrigan during training for the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. Kerrigan's injury from the attack left her unable to compete and Harding skated to victory.
Harding told reporters she had no prior knowledge of the attack, but added she was responsible "for failing to report things I learned about the assault." Despite this admission, Harding was allowed to compete in the 1994 Winter Olympics. Kerrigan took home the silver medal while Harding finished eighth. One month after returning from the Olympics, Harding was convicted of conspiracy to hinder prosecution. She was fined and banned from U.S. figure skating for life.
Ben Johnson was a Jamaican-born Canadian sprinter who won two bronze medals in the 1984 Olympics, a gold at the 1987 World Championships and a gold in the 1988 Olympics. In the memorable 1988 Olympic 100-meter final, which included American great Carl Lewis, Johnson pulled ahead of the pack to set a new world record of 9.79 seconds.
Not long after Johnson established himself as one of Canada's greatest athletes, his Olympic gold medal and 1987 World Championship gold medal were stripped after stanozolol, a type of steroid, was found in his urine.
Pete Rose played Major League baseball from 1963 to 1986 and managed from 1984 to 1989. He is Major League Baseball's all-time hits leader with 4,256. He also won three World Series and was named Most Valuable Player in 1973.
In 1989 Rose was banned from baseball for gambling on games while playing and managing the Cincinnati Reds. Rose, now 71, was also deemed ineligible for the Hall of Fame and, as was most recently reported, none of his records are mentioned on the backs of any Topps baseball cards featuring his image.