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10 People In Sports Who Fell From Grace Seemingly Overnight

With Hugh Freeze out at Ole Miss, let's take a look back at some other prominent figures in sports who fell from grace.

Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze resigned on Thursday after the university found that he'd used a school-issued cell phone to make a call to an escort service back in January of 2016. An investigation into Freeze's phone records reportedly yielded more "troubling" behavior from the Rebels head coach.

As such, we figured we'd take a look at 10 other people in sports who fell from grace seemingly overnight.

Keep in mind, some of the people on the list below fell from grace for some horrible reasons - far worse than what Freeze is alleged to have done. But they all have one thing in common - they were all seemingly on top of the world before their downfall.

10. Tonya Harding

Everyone knows the story of Harding's downfall. Her ex-husband hired a man to attack Nancy Kerrigan during a practice run for the 1994 U.S. Championships. Harding eventually pleaded guilty to hindering the prosecution of the attackers and was banned for life by the USFSA.

9. Pete Rose Pete Rose was arguably the best hitter of all time - and he still has the record (4,256 hits) to prove it. But in 1989, while the manager of the Cincinnati Reds, Rose was accused of gambling on baseball. He was eventually banned for life from baseball - meaning he's also ineligible for the Hall of Fame. Many believe that if Rose were to come clean and apologize, the league would reconsider. But that just hasn't happened.

8. Michael Vick

Vick is one of the few on this list who actually rebounded and returned to his sport after his downfall.

Vick, who was one of the most dynamic quarterbacks in the NFL, was caught running a dog fighting ring in 2007 and wound up in jail for 18 months. The former Falcon returned to the league in 2009 with the Philadelphia Eagles.

7. Lance Armstrong Armstrong was an American hero after winning seven straight Tour de France races. But in 2012, he was banned for life from sanctioned Olympic sports after it was found that he doped for much of his career.

6. Joe Paterno

Joe Paterno, who coached at Penn State from 1966-2011, was one of the most iconic head coaches in college football history. In his career, he won 409 games, 24 bowl contests and two national titles.

But following the Jerry Sandusky scandal, Paterno was fired by the university in 2011. He passed away in January of 2012 from complications relating to his lung cancer treatment. HBO is now making a biopic about Paterno.

5. Ray Rice Rice was one of the NFL's best running backs from 2008-2013. In 2014, he got into an altercation with his wife at a casino in Atlantic City - which led to both of them being arrested. TMZ released video of the incident shortly thereafter, which showed Rice dragging her out of an elevator after knocking her out. Rice was suspended two games by the NFL, but never returned to the field. No teams pulled the trigger on signing him.

4. Oscar Pistorius

Pistorius, who lost both of his legs at just 11 months old, was a hero after becoming a successful Paralympic sprinter. But in 2013, he fatally shot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp - claiming that he'd thought she was an intruder.

He's currently serving a six-year prison sentence.

3. Tiger Woods There's no need to rehash Tiger's downfall. Once the best golfer in the world, Woods' infidelities came to light around Thanksgiving in 2009, and it led to a divorce from his then-wife Elin Nordegren in 2010. He returned to play some solid golf that year, but between injuries and what look like substance abuse problems, Woods isn't playing at the moment.

2. O.J. Simpson

Simpson's downfall was probably the most infamous - at least until recently. Simpson was acquitted of the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman back in 1994, but was convicted in a civil trial of their "wrongful deaths." In 2008, he was convicted of armed robbery, kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon stemming from a 2007 incident in Nevada.

He's scheduled to be released from prison in October after being granted parole.

1. Aaron Hernandez Hernandez's story is the most tragic of all. Once the most promising tight end in the NFL, Hernandez was found guilty of the first-degree murder of Odin Lloyd back in 2015. While he was acquitted of a double murder charge stemming from an incident in 2012, he was found dead in his jail cell in April of 2017.

Next: This Hugh Freeze Quote Is Going Viral After His Ousting >>>