- 1O.J. Simpson was once a top football player in the world but after his retirement he became more known for his many legal problems. On October 3, 2008, Simpson was found guilty of 12 charges including robbery, kidnapping, coercion and conspiracy following an incident in Las Vegas in which he tried to retrieve sports memorabilia from a dealer. By retrieve Simpson meant breaking into the dealer's hotel room and taking the items while holding the dealer at gunpoint. Simpson was sentenced to serve 33 years with the eligibility of parole after nine years. The conviction came 13 years to the day after he was acquitted of murdering his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman.
Fast Eddie JohnsonFormer NBA player "Fast Eddie" Johnson enjoyed a 10-year career playing professional basketball which included two NBA All-Star Game appearances. However the shooting guard is perhaps best remembered for his off-the-court issues which sent him to prison for life. Johnson had nearly 100 arrests during his life including for burglary, sexual battery, rape and molestation of an eight-year-old girl. His theft charge was just a small detail on his rap sheet which also included sexual battery of a minor and lewd and laviscious molestation of a child under 12, two charges that sent him away for life without the option of parole.
- 3Nicknamed "The Executioner," Bernard Hopkins holds many boxing records including for the oldest boxer to win a world title, an honor he took from George Foreman in May 2011 at the age of 46. Hopkins did this and more during his career after starting out his life in legal trouble. As a teen, Hopkins was charged with nine felonies including for muggings, stabbings and robbery. He was sentenced to 18 years in prison and served nearly five. During his time in the slammer, Hopkins vowed to turn his life around, which with the help of boxing, he did.
Billy Ray BatesBilly Ray Bates had a long professional basketball career in the NBA and oversees in the late 1970s and 1980s. Late in his career, Bates was rumored to have drug problems and frequent the party scene. In 1998, he was arrested after robbing a Texaco station at knifepoint on charges of first-degree aggravated assault and second-degree assault. Bates served nearly five years of a 10-year sentence for the crime but later returned to prison after violating his parole.
Cecil CollinsLike others on this list, the professional athletic career of Cecil Collins was actually shorter than the time he was sentenced to prison for a theft-related crime. Collins was picked in the fifth round of the 1999 NFL Draft and played eight games with the Miami Dolphins that year. On December 16, 1999, he was arrested for breaking into a home in Florida. Collins claimed to know the resident and simply wanted to watch her sleep. The courts saw it differently and sentenced him to 15 years in the clink for burglary.
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