By Michael Terrill @MichaelTerrill on April 15, 2014
No matter how hard some athletes try, they just can’t seem to manage to stay out of trouble. It’s quite mesmerizing how even the most wealthy and famous athletes find it impossible to break away from their past and lead a life that is free of crime. Whether it was repeated appearances in jail or hard time in prison, these 10 athletes have spent way too much time behind bars.
To go from one of the most dynamic quarterbacks in the game to one of the most hated athletes in recent memory had to be difficult for Michael Vick. The signal caller spent 21 months in jail for his involvement in an illegal dog-fighting ring. Two different teams and an attempted comeback later, there is still much hatred for Vick among fans who own dogs.
In January 2006, Maurice Clarett was charged with the robbery of two individuals with the alleged use of a handgun. Later that year, he was arrested following a high-speed police chase. The law enforcement agency on scene found a loaded AK-47 variant and two handguns among other weapons in the vehicle. The ironic part is Clarett was still in trouble for his robbery charge, which led to a sentence of 7 ½ years in prison.
Famous pitcher Denny McLain was busted for money laundering, mail fraud, embezzlement and conspiracy to rob the pension fund of a meatpacking company. His multiple stints in prison also included getting arrested for cocaine drug trafficking and racketeering with John Gotti Jr. of all people.
Boxer Mike Tyson is one of those guys who smell of bad news. He has been known to get in trouble, but nothing could compare to what happened in 1991. Tyson was convicted of raping Desiree Washington in his hotel room. He was sentenced to six years in prison with four years of probation but only had to serve three years.
Sherman Williams was just recently released from prison this year after he served 15 years for conspiracy to distribute marijuana as well as passing counterfeit currency. The former Alabama and Dallas Cowboys running back had a bright future in front of him, but unfortunately, he let bad decisions get the best of him.
The story of how Mike Danton’s life went south is not one that is heard every day. The former hockey player was charged with conspiracy to commit murder after he attempted to hire a hit man to kill his agent, David Foster, in 2004. Some suggest the hit was actually intended for Danton’s estranged father. Regardless, he got 7 ½ years in prison. He was granted parole in 2009.
Rae Carruth is one disturbed man. After he had a friend shoot his pregnant girlfriend in 1999, the former hockey player was found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder and using an instrument to destroy an unborn child. Thankfully, the child was saved at a local hospital, but unfortunately, his girlfriend passed away after she fell into a coma. Carruth was sentenced to 18 years in prison and is scheduled to get release in 2018.
Former quarterback Art Schlichter allowed his gambling addiction get the best of him, which is why he became a revolving door in prison. Over a span of 11 years, he spent time in 44 different prisons. Along with gambling, Schlichter also did time for fraud and forgery. After his release in 2006, he worked hard to get clean. Unfortunately, he got busted for fraud in 2011, which is why he’s serving another 10-year sentence.
The most famous name on the list is O.J. Simpson. The Heisman Trophy Award winner was a part of one of the most publicized murder trials in history. After being acquitted of all murder charges, Simpson continued to be a problem for the law and US federal government. In 2007, Simpson was sentenced to nine years in prison for his part in a Las Vegas robbery that involved some of his sports memorabilia.
Lawrence Phillips saw some success in the NFL and CFL. Unfortunately, his time after football became very dark. The former running back had a bad history with assaulting women. It wasn’t until 2005 that he got busted for assault after he drove his car into three teenagers whom he had a dispute with. At the time of the arrest, he was a wanted man for previous domestic abuse incidents. Due to multiple convictions, he’s currently serving 35 years.
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