No athlete has been more revered in South Florida than Dan Marino.

The former Miami Dolphins quarterback has been admired for his Hall of Fame playing career and for his off-field accomplishments, which include creating a foundation to help autistic children and their families.

But 13 years after completing his last NFL pass, Marino finds himself in an embarrassing situation.

The New York Post on Thursday reported Marino, 51, fathered a child out of wedlock in 2005 with a then-35-year-old CBS production assistant and paid her millions to keep quiet.

Few local news items this week figured to be as stunning as learning a Miami anti-aging clinic allegedly sold performance-enhancing drugs to star athletes.

Then came the Marino bombshell.

To his credit, he quickly released a statement admitting his transgression.

"This is a personal and private matter," Marino said in the statement. "I take full responsibility both personally and financially for my actions now as I did then. We mutually agreed to keep our arrangement private to protect all parties involved."

Marino is right when he says, "it's a personal matter." Unfortunately for him and other famous people, personal matters of celebrities become public matters in today's TMZ world.

To say the Marino news item was shocking is a bit strong. Call me jaded or cynical, but little shocks me anymore. At most, I'll admit to being surprised.

As for being disappointed, that's a feeling likely shared by two groups of individuals: Marino's family and fans who had the star placed on a pedestal.