"Shoeless" Joe Jackson. Many people sometimes refer to him as Hall of Famer "Shoeless" Joe Jackson, and they do mean it because they believe he is in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The problem is he is not in the Hall of Fame. The reason for this is because Major League Baseball management believed he was involved in the Black Sox Scandal in which during the 1919 World Series several member of the Chicago White Sox threw the World Series.
Ultimately eight players from the White Sox were banned from Major League Baseball for life, which includes "Shoeless" Joe Jackson, but because there are questions about whether or not he really did take part in the scandal, and because so many people loved him, that many people have ignored the fact that he is not in the Hall of Fame, and that most people assume that he really is in the Hall of Fame and don't know that he is not because no one corrects them.
This is what ultimately can happen to disgraced sports stars (or any celebrity really) that are so beloved by their fans, that the fans simply ignore reality and won't acknowledge something to the point where they forget whatever punishments were ever handed down on that person by the organization that they worked for, or just whatever facts about that person has been discovered.
You can see this being done by fans of Joe Paterno. The punishments given against him by NCAA as a result of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal were very heavily criticized Paterno's fans, and many of them are willfully ignoring the 111 wins and 6 bowl wins that have been vacated by the NCAA.
While Joe Paterno is probably the best example of what can happen when fans willfully ignore whatever punishments that have been handed down to a sports star, there are other examples as well. Pete Rose is one of those examples. Lance Armstrong is another.
For Pete Rose so many people have said that he should be in the Baseball Hall of Fame that many people are now calling him a Hall of Famer, despite the fact that he has been banned from the MLB for life as a result of a gambling scandal that included betting on games he was involved in, which he admitted to.
Many fans of Lance Armstrong might end up also ignoring the fact that his seven Tour de France wins have been vacated simply because he is so well respected, and because many people will most likely claim that it was never actually proven that he took performance enhancing drugs (at the time of this posting), and therefore it is perfectly okay to ignore the fact that the wins were vacated.
This is the reality not just with sports stars, but with many famous people in general in that facts are ignored and lies are believed to be true because so many people believe it's true because that is what other people have told them and that no one ever corrected them, and they have never had any reason to find out the truth for themselves because they have never had any reason not to believe them.