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Johnny Manziel and 5 Stud Athletes Who Lost Control

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Johnny Manziel Has Been The Model of Athletes Losing Control

johnny manziel
Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Many of the athletes that we adore for their ability to perform unthinkable acts on a sporting field are not quite as perfect as we would like to imagine off the field. There are a multitude of reasons for this, but what makes being a star athlete off the field most difficult has a lot to do with friends. Star athletes are often surrounded by people that will not tell the athlete what is best for them, but what will benefit them most individually. For a young person that has never had to deal with fame and everything that comes with it, this seems like support and can be very comforting. But in the long run, it can be very detrimental and drive an athlete's career into the ground.

One such player that has been surrounded by the wrong people off the field is Johnny Manziel. Manziel won the 2012 Heisman Award as a redshirt freshman for Texas A&M, but has been surrounded by controversy during the current offseason. This controversy has ranged from minuscule events such as him being kicked out of the Manning Academy because he missed meetings after a night of drinking, to him now being on the verge of becoming ineligible for the 2013 season for allegedly signing autographs in exchange for money. During all of these events, Manziel has been surrounded by the same people, some of whom he has been friends with since high school, and clearly do not understand that an athlete of Manziel's stature cannot act foolishly. Doing things that are illegal for a minor such as drinking and jeopardizing his collegiate career for a few thousand dollars (when his parents are millionaires) surely falls into this category of foolish activity.

But Manziel is not alone in players that have lost control of their lives after becoming star athletes. In fact, we have singled out five other athletes that fell off the deep end after becoming star athletes.

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5. Tyrann Mathieu

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During the 2011 season, Tyrann Mathieu arrived on the college football scene in a big way. He was be named first-team All-SEC, first team All-American, SEC Defensive Player of The Year, SEC Championship Game MVP, Cotton Bowl MVP and winner of the Chuck Bednarik Award. It looked like he would continue to be one of the best players in college football in 2012. But shortly in August, he was dismissed from the LSU football team after repeatedly failing drug tests for marijuana. After going to rehab, he re-entered LSU as a student, but could still not get away from hanging out around drugs and was arrested on October 25, 2012 for possession of marijuana. He is now attempting to play in the NFL with the Arizona Cardinals.

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4. Michael Vick

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After beginning his career as one of the most dynamic players in NFL history, Michael Vick was brought down by his willingness to make dumb decisions even while possessing an $100 million contract. On April 25th, 2007, Vick was arrested for an extensive dog fighting ring that had been operated out of a home that he owned in Virginia. Vick would go on to serve 23 months in prison as a direct result. When he got out of jail in 2009, Vick came back to the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles, but will always be remembered as the football player that participated in dog fighting.

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3. Diego Maradona

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Diego Maradona was one of the most talented soccer players ever, but saw his career shortened by an addiction to cocaine Shortly after debuting for Argentinos Junior in 1976 as a 15-year-old, he went on to become a national hero in Argentina when he led the nation to win the 1984 World Cup. But soon after this triumph, Maradona developed a cocaine addiction that would spiral out of control, and resulted in him receiving a 15-month ban from soccer in 1991. After the lengthy ban, Maradona was never the same.

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2. Darryl Strawberry

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Darryl Strawberry was one of the best baseball players almost instantly after debuting in 1983 with the New York Mets. He won the 1983 rookie of the year award, two silver sluggers, participated in eight All-Star Games and helped lead the Mets to a World Series championship all before the age of 30. But as he was finding on-field success, Strawberry was developing a cocaine addiction that would be his downfall. After the 1991 season, when Strawberry was 29, he hit 55 more home runs and would even be suspended by MLB for 60 days after failing a drug test in 1995. After his career ended, fans were left wondering what could have been.

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1. Aaron Hernandez

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Aaron Hernandez is the perfect case of a player that couldn't let go of past friends, even with millions of dollars in his hands. He had made numerous questionable choices while at the University of Florida, but was still fortunate enough to be drafted by the New England Patriots in the fourth round of the 2010 draft. Hernandez initially rewarded the Patriots for their faith as he picked up 1956 receiving yards in three seasons, earning himself a five-year, $40 million contract. But during the current offseason, his true colors came out as he has been charged in the murder of Odin Lloyd, and could be facing other charges for a double homicide that police investigators believe he was involved with.