Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez
Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, left, stands with his attorney Michael Fee, right, during arraignment in Attleboro District Court Wednesday, June 26, in Attleboro, Mass. Hernandez was charged with murdering Odin Lloyd, a 27-year-old semi-pro football player for the Boston Bandits, whose body was found June 17 in an industrial park in North Attleborough, Mass.
The perfect rise, then the perfect fall
Every young sports fan dreams of being a professional athlete — the fame, the fortune, the adoring fans. But when it comes to these athletes, all bets are off. Legal trouble, PR trouble, you name it. Aaron Hernandez, shown here on June 26, 2013, during arraignment in Attleboro (Mass.) District Court, is just the latest example. He was a rising star at tight end for the New England Patriots — a 2011 Pro Bowl selection who signed a five-year contract in the summer of 2012 worth $40 million. Now, however, he's been released by the Patriots and has been charged with murder in the shooting death of semipro football player Odin Lloyd, 27. If convicted, Hernandez could get life in prison without parole. Here are more stories of athletes' most dramatic falls from grace.
Live ... strong? Lance Armstrong was a hero, a fighter and an icon. He beat cancer and amazed us by winning title after title at the Tour de France. In June 2012, he was accused of doping and stripped of all his wins (how many total?). He even lost his endorsement deal with Nike (what else happened?) - and Nike doesn't drop anyone (Tiger Woods still has his deal, and they even brought Michael Vick back on). Bing: Get details on his Oprah interview Search: What is the latest allegation against Armstrong? Find: See photos of him during his victories
The chain of events that led to Bobby Petrino's downfall began when the coach crashed his motorcycle on April 1, 2012. Eventually, it was reported that Petrino was involved in an affair with another employee in the athletic department (get more details). Petrino was fired from his position as the football coach at Arkansas on April 10, 2012. Bing: What's Petrino doing now?
The second overall selection in the 1998 draft (who was the first selected?) was supposed to be the next franchise quarterback in this team's history, but Leaf's commitment to the game was in question the day he signed his contract and he never seemed like he cared about playing. The troubled Leaf most recently was removed from a drug treatment program and placed in the Montana State Prison for threatening a staff member and violating his treatment plan. What has happened to Leaf since leaving the game? Bing: See photo of him on '98 draft day | See mug shot from his recent arrest
Plaxico Burress was an All-Pro-worthy talent who broke the law and was prosecuted (for what?). After being released from prison, he played one season for the Jets in 2011. Bing: Who has Burress signed (and re-signed) with since? Getty ImagesNick Laham
Despite denying that he raped Desiree Washington (get details on the case), Mike Tyson served three years in prison after he was convicted. He never regained the "Iron Mike" persona that made him boxing's most feared fighter, eventually becoming a sideshow after partially biting off Evander Holyfield's ear during their famous bout (watch a clip). His personal, legal and financial problems (get details) made him a cartoon-like character in pop culture, although he remains popular after nailing his role (as himself) in the movie "The Hangover" (watch clips). Bing: What's Tyson up to in 2013?
While he played in the NFL, Lawrence Taylor had a larger-than-life personality. After his retirement, L.T. continued to enjoy his celebrity life to the fullest. That lifestyle has landed Taylor in a heap of trouble with the IRS and the law. Bing: What was Taylor forced to do as a result? Search: His serious legal issues have continued in recent years
Despite O.J. Simpson's famous acquittal in 1995 of double murder (who were the victims?), the Hall of Fame running back became a pariah. Most Americans believed he got away with murder, and he lost the subsequent civil suit (how much was he ordered to pay?), confirming public suspicions. His promising acting career ended abruptly. His endorsement deals disappeared. He tried to cash in on his notoriety with a TV reality show, "Juiced With O.J. Simpson." It flopped. He wrote a book, "If I Did It," which read like an admission of guilt. Bing: Why is Simpson in prison now? | How long is his sentence? Search: Who he says is wasting his $25K a month NFL pension
Ben Johnson turned out to be the first big-time poster boy for performance-enhancing drugs. After winning the gold medal in the 100-meter in 1988 (what was his world-record time?), Johnson had his medal taken away after drug tests revealed the presence of steroids. Bing: Watch videos of his infamous race
Former Ohio State quarterback Art Schlichter had his NFL career derailed by a gambling addiction. Not only did the QB lose his NFL career, but his life was destroyed as a result of his habitual gambling, which resulted in numerous stints in jail. In 2011, Schlichter was convicted for his role in a ticketing scam (what else happened?). Bing: How long is prison sentence? Search: See photos of Schlichter during his playing days
Dwight Gooden's problems with drugs are legendary. The former New York Mets pitcher saw his life spiral out of control after he tested positive for cocaine during spring training in 1987, and yet again in 1994 (get more details). Bing: Why was Gooden later arrested in 2010? | His consequences? Search: How did he look when he played for the Mets?
Oh, Tonya. Once a championship-level figure skater in the early 1990s (see her perform) Harding failed to walk away with a medal at the 1992 Olympics, and by 1993 her career was in decline. In 1994, her rival Nancy Kerrigan was attacked by a man (hired by whom?) during practice. Harding and Kerrigan both made the Olympic team that year, but as bitter teammates. Bing: How did Harding react to the attack claims? Search: Is she still skating professionally? Find: You'll find her on reality TV these days
Ben Roethlisberger had the world in the palm of his hand. Already a two-time Super Bowl champ in his twenties, "Big Ben" was a hero to Pittsburgh Steelers fans. He almost threw it all away on several occasions (like what?), but shocked his team, fans and city when he was accused of raping a college student in March 2010. Bing: Roethlisberger's consequences for the allegations? Search: It seems he's made personal strides as of late
Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens
Look at their career numbers. Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens are two of the easiest Hall of Fame cases a voter may ever have to consider. Right? Wrong. Both are caught up in a steroid whirlwind, but neither will admit to knowingly using. Bing: The latest on their Hall of Fame statuses
Kobe Bryant has seen it all. From his ground-breaking choice to forego college for the pros in 1996, to his three NBA titles with the Los Angeles Lakers by age 23, Bryant was living a hoops dream. Then came the shocking nightmare: The squeaky-clean Bryant was accused of rape in the summer of 2003 (get details). In a surreal press conference, Kobe (with wife Vanessa at his side) confessed to adultery, but denied any rape charge. What happened the following year? Bing: How long has it taken Kobe to recover from the scandal? | His latest ad? Search: Vanessa Bryant recently made a big sale
Marion Jones won five medals at the 2000 Sydney Olympics (what kind?). But you won't find a record of those accomplishments now. Jones, who also won an NCAA basketball title at North Carolina, has since forfeited all five Olympic medals after admitting she used performance-enhancing drugs. Bing: Did Jones do jail time for her actions? Search: See how she looked in her Olympics days
Once known simply as the "world's greatest golfer" and richest pro athlete, Tiger Woods had what some would call the perfect life, including a family (see photos) with former Swedish model Elin Nordegren. Late in 2009, his world crashed - all stemming from a tabloid story of Tiger having an extramarital affair with a nightclub manager. Then came his mysterious car wreck outside his home, sparking curiosity about his marriage. Then Tiger went silent, before stern media denials of being a home-wrecker. But finally, the floodgates opened when more than a dozen women revealed crouching with Tiger. Despite taking 20 weeks away from golf, Tiger and his wife split up and his game never fully recovered. Bing: How much was the couple's divorce settlement? Search: What's Tiger up to now?
Pete Rose. The name itself emits a certain feel of purity and baseball joy. At least it did for decades, when Rose was baseball's all-time hits leader (watch clips of him playing), then manager of the Cincinnati Reds in the '80s. He was a guaranteed Hall of Famer, until allegations of betting on baseball ruined his career and image. Bing: What did Rose eventually go to prison for? Search: Did he ever admit to his mistakes?
Michael Vick - perhaps the most electric player to ever lace up football spikes - was one of the NFL's most popular players when he played for the Atlanta Falcons. But you know how this story ended. Vick bankrolled a dogfighting ring, a crime which sent him to prison (get details on the charges). Once the most marketable player in the NFL, Vick finally got a second chance when the Philadelphia Eagles signed him in 2009. Bing: Ironically, what did Vick do in fall 2012?
Floyd Landis had reached the top of his sport, winning pro cycling's biggest award in 2006: the Tour de France. However, Landis was stripped of his title and banned from the sport for two years due to a positive test for performance-enhancing drugs. Bing: Did he ever admit to the charges? Search: He accused others of doping, too. Who?
Jim Tressel, former coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes, resigned following the revelation that his players had received inappropriate Get details on what the NCAA speculated. Bing: What's Tressel up to now? Getty ImagesMatthew Stockman