The Manti Teo mess. What a fiasco, right? A beloved college line backer, playing at the supposedly uber-chaste, squeaky clean Notre Dame program, a Heisman Runner-up, and he’s caught up in a seedy sports controversy. A hoax involving cancer, a dying girlfriend’s wish, and apparently a big load of bull crap. As bad as it is, there have been others, some even worse. What sports scandals have been worse than the Manti Teo hoax? These seven sordid controversies, actually.
1. O.J. Simpson – It’s not often that a legendary sports figure is tried for two separate felonies, but that’s O.J. Simpson. Which to choose? The gruesome double murder, for which he was somehow criminally exonerated but found civilly liable, or the robbery/breaking and entering charge for which he was convicted? Your choice!
2. The 1919 Chicago Black Sex Scandal – Baseball is the American pastime. How dare someone fix the beloved World Series involving the White Sox? Well, with a bunch of bribes to eight or so players, that’s how. It’s a controversy that rocked baseball, although those gambling problems eventually fell by the wayside and trust was restored. What’s up, Pete Rose?
3. Spygate – Bill Belichick is a football genius, and is a legitimate answer to the question “Who’s the best coach of all time?” But that spygate business cast doubt on the Hooded Honcho up in Foxboro. Bill’s explanation of “I didn’t know I couldn’t do that” was less than satisfying. Since then, he’s had a 16-0 season, two Super Bowl appearances, a bunch of division titles…but some will always call him “Belicheat.”
4. Bountygate – In the NFL, you’re much better off clandestinely video-taping your opponent than offering money to players for injuring them. Just ask the New Orleans Saints, who had their 2012 season torpedoed by the league, whacked with suspensions, fines, and other punitive measures. Karma can be rough that way.
5. Penn State – On the long list of sports scandals and controversies, the sad saga of Penn State gets its own notation. Happy Valley never seemed a more ironic name for a place where child abuse and molestation was perpetrated by a trusted Penn State football associate. Jerry Sandusky was later convicted for his crimes, but the formerly beloved Joe Paterno suffered his own punishments, as well.
6. Steroids in Baseball – BALCO, the steroid era, whatever you call it, the “juice” in baseball was big news. There was even a congressional hearing at which several players testified (read: lied). Changes were made, but the damage was done. Many hallowed records became worthless, or at least tainted, and the sport is only now picking up the pieces.
7. Ray Carruth – Carruth’s controversy is for beyond the scope of Manti Teo’s hoax. Carruth, the Caolina Panters wide out, murdered his girlfriend. She also happened to be carrying Ray’s child. The son still lives his natural mother murdered by his natural father. Ray’s locked up for natural life.