Rehabilitated images
By Elliott A. Wiley, Jr.
Special to Page 2

While the jury of public opinion is still out on Kobe Bryant, he is hardly the first celebrity to have his credibility challenged by allegations of immoral or illegal acts. Putting aside the question of his guilt or innocence, Kobe may take heart in the successful image rebounds managed by these other public figures who ran afoul of the standards of acceptable behavior.

Steve Fisher
Steve Fisher left Michigan with a grey cloud over the basketball program, but since led San Diego State to 21 wins and an NCAA tournament appearance in '01-'02.
Steve Fisher
Steve Fisher led the 1993 University of Michigan Wolverines to the National Championship game with the Fab-5. That's the way the NCAA record-book read for a while, anyway. Apparently, history isn't set in stone because the NCAA later stripped Michigan of its Final Four appearance because of recruiting violations and other improper inducements for its players. Meanwhile, Fisher moved on and guided San Diego State to the NCAA tournament in '01-'02.

Jason Kidd
While still playing for Phoenix, Kidd was arrested on domestic violence charges in January of 2001. Putting that incident behind him, he moved on to New Jersey in the next season and became king of the swamp. He's led the Nets to the Eastern Conference championship for two years running now, and his image seems intact.

Ray Lewis
A year before the Baltimore Ravens defeated the New York Giants in Super Bowl XXXV, Lewis, the Ravens' All-Pro linebacker, was arrested in connection with the murder of two people outside of an Atlanta nightclub. He eventually pleaded to a lesser charge of obstruction of justice. Since then, Lewis has defiled opposing offenses and reclaimed his position as the king of "Charm City."

Bill Clinton
It is fair to say President Clinton had his rough times, but with the money he charges for speeches, times cannot be too tough now.
Bill Clinton
Everybody is familiar with President Clinton's sex scandal. Even after impeachment by the House of Representatives, Clinton isn't hurting. After his Presidency, he stepped into a lucrative public-speaking career, netting anywhere from $100,000 to $400,000 per appearance. In 2002, he gave at least 60 speeches.

Eddie Sutton
In four seasons (1985-89) as Kentucky's men's basketball coach, Sutton put together an 88-39 record. However, in 1988, a package stuffed with $50 bills addressed to a recruit's father prompted a two-year ban from postseason play and the end of Sutton's tenure in Lexington. While the Wildcats' good name may have been temporarily sullied, Sutton's apparently wasn't. Now entering his 14th season at Oklahoma State, he is tied for 12th on the all-time victories list.

Snoop Dogg
Murder was the charge against Snoop Dogg in 1993. But three years later, Snoop was cleared. In 2002, the Muppets clipped Snoop from their Christmas special because of the role he played in the film Diary of a Pimp. In the meantime, he continued to develop his musical style. Recently, Snoop professed that he quit smoking marijuana. He followed up with his latest album, Paid Tha Cost to Be Da Boss, and a sketch comedy television show on MTV titled Doggy Fizzle Televizzle.

Michael Jordan
Rumors about Michael's extra-marital affairs found their way into a lawsuit in June when Karla Knafel tried to sue Jordan for $5 million in hush money she claimed he owes her for keeping quiet about an affair. However, nothing stops Jordan from being considered the greatest basketball player of all-time.

Chris Carter
The Philadelphia Eagles thought Cris Carter was a bust and placed him on waivers in '90.
Cris Carter
Carter's glorious NFL career did not have a stellar beginning. After he was drafted by Philadelphia in 1987, drugs and alcohol abuse led the Eagles to place him on waivers. The Vikings picked Carter up for $100 and the rest is history. Currently, he is second all-time in receptions (1,101) and touchdowns (130), and third in receiving yards (13,899).

Rob Lowe
After allegedly videotaping himself performing sexual acts with a 15-year-old girl in 1988, Lowe rebounded like Rodman. He shed his gritty reputation to land starring roles in Wayne's World, Tommy Boy, and NBC's The West Wing.

Bob Ryan
After Ryan, Boston Globe columnist and Sports Reporter panelist, said this spring that he'd like to "smack" Jason Kidd's wife, Joumana, for the way she draws attention to herself by flaunting her son, it seemed as if Ryan's journalism career was in jeopardy. The Boston Globe suspended him for a month without pay, but he's back. His columns still appear in the Globe and Ryan has found his way back to television.

Elliott A. Wiley, Jr. can be reched at


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