When stepping onto the playground, we usually expect fair play and decent behavior of all players. However, the sports history is crowded with various excess situations when athletes broke the rules, acted immature or arrogant and ended up with bans or suspensions. Here’s a list of top 5 longest suspensions in sport memorized in the history of the sport.
Lifetime ban for Stanley Wilson
Another promising sports career flushed down the toilet due to cocaine abuse. Wilson was a high hope and big role in Cincinnati Bengals back in 1985 when his drug addiction cost him two years of suspension. He already had several warnings and one previous short suspensions. Thus he knew very well that he’s one offense away from being expelled for a lifetime. He returned after ending of suspension in 1987, and great expectation was set upon him. Unfortunately, the critical third offense happened in the worst possible scenario. Wilson was found in a bathroom doing coke lines on the eve of Super Bowl. He was way too high to play, so the team left him aside and finally lost the Super Bowl. 22 years in prison was sad and defeating the end of Wilson’s story and something that could have been marvelous sports career.
One season ban for Rodriguez
Not all the suspension players get end up as a lifetime bans, but Alex Rodriguez got the longest non-lifetime ban. His abuse of performance enhancing drugs was first sentenced to ban of 211 games, but altered later to 162 – game suspension. Inglorious record nevertheless.
Billy Coutu and The Black Sox – two-lifetime bans
Once famous for his excellent playing during 17 seasons, Coutu is nowadays mentioned for his violence at the ice which led his career to a final lifetime ban. The first excess occurred back in 1927 when Coutu started a fight among players and hurt two referees. His initial lifetime ban was altered two years later, but he screwed the second chance by attacking a player with a stick during a minor league game. After definite sentence of 33 seasons ban, he never returned to the game. Slightly before Coutu’s excess, eight baseball players initiated so-called Black Sox scandal and earned lifetime bans. In a conspiracy act against White Sox owner, they accepted a deal with gangsters to lose the World Series on purpose in exchange for money.
Art Schlichter and gambling addiction worth of lifetime ban
One amazing career ruined by addiction. Schlichter was a famous quarterback in several teams back in 1982. Was his serious gambling problem popped up in public for the first time? Enormous debts and troubles with police and law were only piling up. After an excess with the FBI and bookies threating to expose his debts publicly, NFL suspended him indefinitely. He got a new chance two years later which didn’t last long. Only two years later, after being cut out of the league, Schlichter pleaded guilty to gambling and filed for bankruptcy. What used to be an extremely talented athlete is currently serving a 10-year sentence for felony fraud. The league expelled him for a lifetime.