6 Historic Scandals That Rocked the Sports World

By Tonka Dobreva 01.22.2015 interact

We take a look at six historic sports scandals that made headlines around the world.

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1. Southern Methodist University Scandal

In 1987, it was revealed that the coaches of the SMU football team had been severely violating NCAA rules for years by giving thousands of dollars to high school players to get them to sign with the team –and lying about it to officials. After the scandal was uncovered, the NCAA gave the team the “death penalty,” canceling all of its remaining games that year. The punishment left the team in ruins, and SMU didn’t qualify for another bowl game until 2009.

Eye On The Baseball

2. Danny Almonte

During his time in the Little League, 12-year-old Danny Almonte was considered one of the best players of all time. He played the first perfect game since 1979, and his team received the key to New York City from the mayor. However, an investigation revealed that his parents had forged his birth certificate, and he was actually 14, which is against Little League rules. The team then had to forfeit all of its wins.


3. Rosie Ruiz

Running a marathon is a huge achievement, and Rosie Ruiz was declared the women’s winner of the Boston Marathon in 1980. Officials were suspicious when she finished without being out of breath or sweaty. It was soon revealed that she had cheated by joining the race only in the last mile! In 1979, she did the same thing at the New York Marathon, and took the subway to the finish line.


4. The Chinese Olympic Gymnastics Team

In 2000, the Chinese Olympic gymnastics team took home the bronze medal at the Sydney Olympics thanks to Dong Fangxiao’s strong performance. However, in 2010 the entire team was stripped of their medals after it was discovered that Fangxiao had only been 14 at the time of the competition, two years younger than the minimum age of 16. The medals were instead awarded to the U.S. team.

CHARLOTTE, NC - OCT 09, 2011: Saints Running Back, Darren Sprol

5. Saints Bounty Scandal

Also known as “Bountygate,” in 2012 the NFL found that the New Orleans Saints team had been paying out bonus money to Saints players if they injured players from the opposing team. One memo showed that linebacker Johnathan Vilma had offered up $10,000 to anyone who knocked out Brett Farve. The team was fined $500,000, and several players were suspended.


6. The Black Sox Scandal

Annoyed by how little their team owner paid them, in 1919, eight members of the Chicago White Sox (later nicknamed the Black Sox) agreed to lose games in exchange for money. Most notoriously, they purposefully lost the 1919 World Series, and after an investigation, all eight players were banned from baseball for life. Many White Sox fans believed that this resulted in a curse on the team, and they didn’t win another World Series until 2005.


  1. Jaynen

    I think cheating is saying that you are afraid to loose and its also saying that you cant win.

  2. Brienna

    I play all sports and if we cheat we can never play that sport again

  3. leah M.

    Cheating is pretty much just a way of saying that they can’t win themselves, I Think that is a punishment to their selves. They probably don’t think about it in that way but that’s how I think of it.

  4. Andr E. Roman

    What?! You Can’t Cheat! I Hate Cheaters. They Should Cancel FootBall And Other Sports Until They Stop Cheating.

  5. Max O'Ryan

    I don’t think anyone should cheat at all if they are serious about their career.

  6. Austin Dillon

    I knew about the Saints bounty scandal

  7. adrian pereira

    i knew about the saints bounty scandal

  8. kylie

    I love to play sports they are really fun I play softball and basketball and they are really fun

  9. kylie

    I love to play sports

  10. kylie

    I love to play sports

  11. KC1212

    I think that if you are going to cheat you just shouldn’t play the game.

  12. Andrew Vondran

    Hi there, I have to say that you have an error dealing with the White Sox scandal. It is true the White Sox did not win the World Series again until 2005 but they played in the 1959 World Series. Thank you.

    • Jamie Hall

      Thanks! We changed the article to reflect that.

      Channel One News

      • Brienna

        I play all sports and if we cheat we can never play that sport again

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