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Hernandez Gun Photo Punctuates Meyer’s Shameful Disciplinary Record At UF

Can we officially defrock Coach Urban the Pious at this point?

During Urban Meyer’s tenure at Florida, no one in college football did a better job of protecting his athletes from the press.  Remember this scene?

 

Urban Meyer ripping into Orlando Sentinel's Jeremy Fowler (3-24-10)

 

Ridiculous.

In case you’ve forgotten, the reporter Meyer berated had dared to quote a Gator player verbatim in a story.  Jeremy Fowler, you bad guy.  Meyer later apologized for his over-the-top reaction to a man doing his job.

Under Meyer, his Gators also got protection from the long arm of the law… at least when it came to punishing his players for their illegal activities.  More than 30 players were arrested during Meyer’s reign.  The number of suspensions and dismissals from the team was somewhat smaller.

Meyer said upon taking his current job that the arrests had more to do with stupid mistakes than “bad kids.”  Possibly.  But was it just a mistake when speedster Chris Rainey texted a woman the message “Time to Die Bitch” and found himself behind bars for it?  Meyer would probably say so since he reinstated the player to the team.  

In a real show of appreciation, Rainey himself said after Meyer’s departure that the coach and some of his assistants “were scared” of certain members of the UF team.  The players under Meyer also knew that he would let them get away with failed drug tests and arrests.  When Janoris Jenkins was booted from the Gators by new coach Will Muschamp over a marijuana-related arrest, the current NFL defensive back said: “If (Meyer) was still the coach at Florida, I’d still be there.”

The theme of Meyer’s tenure seemed to be “everybody wins on the field; anything goes off it.”

But did Meyer’s protection of players — from both the press and lengthy suspensions and dismissals — help the athletes in question?  Former Gator Aaron Hernandez is now in jail, charged with murder in the first.  While at Florida, NFL sources said last week that he’d failed up to six drug tests.  UF officials said he didn’t fail six, specifically, so it might have been five.  Or four.  Either way, Hernandez missed all of one game while at Florida.  And it was claimed at the time that he was being held out for an injury.  Meyer didn’t even want anyone to know Hernandez had broken an unspecified team rule.

Failed drug tests weren’t the only trouble that the star tight end found himself in.  Hernandez was arrested as a juvenile during his first year in Gainesville following a fight at a local bar.  He was also questioned in connection with the shooting and wounding of two men in 2007.

Now, the website TMZ.com has posted a 2009 photo of Hernandez proudly posing with a Glock while a member of the Gator football team.  Whether he was a legal gun owner is questionable because a lawsuit filed against the player just last week for yet another shooting claims that Hernandez “was not legally licensed to have” the gun he allegedly used in that shooting.

And regardless of whether or not the gun was licensed to Hernandez, this isn’t the kind of photo schools want to see associated with their football program:

 

aaron-hernandez-gun

 

At this point, can everyone admit that Hernandez has always had a knack for being in the wrong place at the wrong time… at the very least?  And that his coach did the bare minimum from a disciplinary standpoint to help teach him right from wrong?  Instead of having Hernandez’s best interests at heart, Meyer had his back.

Now, maybe Hernandez would have turned out to be a hoodlum even if he had been disciplined.  We’ll never know.  What we do know is that the player danced between the raindrops while at the University of Florida and Meyer was running close behind him with an umbrella just in case one ever struck him.

That’s turned out a lot better for Meyer than for Hernandez.  While his former player sits in jail, the coach is preparing for a BCS title run.  He already owns two thanks to looking the other way time and again at Florida.  The irony is that he probably wouldn’t have won the crowns in 2006 or 2008 without Tim Tebow, the cleanest-cut kid to ever lace up a pair turf shoes.

The further we get from the Meyer era at Florida, the worse it looks.  The wins were there, sure.  But with each story that comes out and with each ex-Meyer player who speaks out those wins become more and more sullied.

Now that photo of Hernandez with his firearm — a firearm that could possibly be at the bottom of a North Attleboro, Massachusetts pond or creek today — provides art to go along with the stories and the quotes associated with Meyer’s runaway program.

Whether the coach likes it or not, Hernandez’s photo will pop into the minds of many a football fan the next time they hear Meyer talking about running a tight ship and teaching young men.  History shows that’s all just a bunch of baloney.

Turns out Jeremy Fowler wasn’t the bad guy in Gainesville.  Aaron Hernandez was.  And Urban Meyer was his enabler.

 


16 comments
RFN98
RFN98

Its not Urban Meyer, its the culture at UF. The state attorney (a booster) enables football players who have been arrested by: not charging them, filing lesser charges than what law enforcement recommends, (misdemeanors even when felony charges are warranted). And, by pro-actively negotiating plea agreements that reduce charges further.  The team has a defense attorney on retainer who works closely with the state attorney. He is also a booster.  This set procedure for athletes then discourages arrests. Yes, some Gainesville police always arrest, as they are supposed to, but many others don't bother. Its a lot of work to complete arrest record paperwork and it makes no sense to go through the process when charges are going to be dropped or reduced to a small fine. 

Urban Meyer simply enjoyed the fruits of the culture - but, Will Muschamp is too. Starting MLB Morrison sucker punched a bouncer at a club and was charged with a misdemeanor, not a felony. Before any public legal proceeding, he was granted deferred prosecution. If he stays out of trouble for six months charges go away. The actions taken in the case of Morrison may or may not have been the proper course, but they were predictable, given history. 

RoadTrip
RoadTrip

UF and OSU fans can have him. Meyer will have to answer for his actions and inaction when he meets his maker. In addition to the 30+ there were countless others that simply went away. There were still other times when players were allowed to play when they should have been suspended, with the suspension only delayed to get past a big game.  He kept recruiting guys for their atletic skill regardless of their character and then he would look the other way.

BuckeyeEmpire
BuckeyeEmpire

I can't believe this murder took so long to be uncovered, with his body just laying out in a yard.  It's been how many years since Urban Meyer coached Hernandez? To think he went all the way up there and murdered a man a short distance away from his future home he'd eventually own, obviously knowing he'd be a member of the Patriots while Urban was his coach.  

Wait...what? He didn't murder that guy while involved with Meyer at all?  But... but the article says Urban made him the murderer.  It says Urban didn't keep him under control.  

Get over it man, your hatred for Urban is clouding your already unclear mind about real life events.  This isn't a college football story, this isn't a professional football story, this is a murder story.  A story about some idiot who for too long involved himself with the wrong people.  You don't hear people asking about Romeo Crennel, after one of his players offed himself in the front of the team's facilities after killing his girlfriend.  I bet you couldn't even name OJ's college coach, who obviously drove him to be the man he is today.  Drop the Urban hate or keep it, whatever, just don't try to say he's responsible for someone killing someone else, you're making yourself look pathetic. 

dnullsma
dnullsma

What a weak correlation.  This is simply a hack attempt a web traffic.  Let's blame someone else, if only someone would have disciplined him, or if only someone would have stopped Joe or whoever from being a drinker he wouldn't have 5 DUI's.  Hopefully everyone in our society is taking responsibility for all others actions in their life.

alamoaggie08
alamoaggie08

it's been laughable how many times (and as recently as Monday) the Orlando Sentinial has written articles attacking johnny manziel for not being the holier-than-thou Tim Tebow, and yet they'v got their own problem with big representative of their school making extremely bad news.  time for florida papers to worry about their own image, not johnny's or texas a&m's.

dcd7
dcd7

"I’m only going to recruit the top 1 percent of the top 1 percent. And it’s all about discipline and integrity and players being good role models — on and off the field.” - Urban Meyer

 I wonder how much really bad stuff Meyer had swept under the rug while at Florida?  I'm not talking about players getting dinged for smoking weed, or the occasional bar fight.  I'm talking about the heinous types of criminal activity that Hernandez is accused of and possibly committed while a "student athlete" in Gainesville.  Meyer should not be in any type of position where he mentors impressionable young men.  I think, as an enabler, Urban Meyer is every bit as dangerous as some of his former players are proving to be. 

beoti
beoti

FYI...Rainey was arrested in January 2013 for simple battery (striking a woman with an open hand amongst other things) and waived by the Steelers.  Just another example to bolster your argument.

RobSteal
RobSteal

Where was the protection from Gainesville PD that you spoke of? Didn't see it linked or connected to the story you wrote.

LarryP
LarryP

@BuckeyeEmpire  it's not out of bounds to suspect anything at this point. First there was 1 murder. Then there were 2 more being linked to Hernandez. Then it comes out that Hernandez was questioned about a shooting during his freshman year at Florida. Who knows if the shooting his freshman year means anything but it will be revisited. Could this monster have been stopped earlier? Did the atmosphere at Florida overlook bad behavior for star players and fuel this monster's ego? All valid questions IMO? 

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

@CowbellCruiser 

That would apply if I'd written that Hernandez was a thug because Meyer protected him.  I state clearly that it's possible he might have been a hoodlum regardless.

But Hernandez's troubles after Florida has led to a deeper exploration into his troubles at Florida.  And that's not looking good for Florida -- you think Jeremy Foley and Bernie Machen are happy with the Hernandez ties at this point? -- and it's not looking goof for Meyer's reputation.

Gratiae pro lectio,

John

LarryP
LarryP

@RobSteal

I can remember several incidents getting swept under the rug. One that comes to mind was when the starting safety stole his girlfriends car out of the impound lot yet . The whole aftermath of how that played out made it seem that Urban had the police in his pocket. Charges dropped and no missed games. There are many more because let's be honest, he set a record for players arrested during his relatively short tenure at UF. http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/sports_college_uf/2009/06/janoris-jenkinscharge-misdemeanor-affray-and-resisting-arrest-without-violence-for-his-role-in-a-may-30-fight-outside-a-down.html

The biggest problem would be to reopen the shooting that Hernandez was briefly a suspect in during his time at UF. It only takes one person to start talking and this could be really bad for UF really quickly. If it were tied back to Urban and the poilce having some sort of "arrangement" to get his players out of trouble, watch out! I just get the feeling that this could be the tip of the iceberg for Hernandez and could easily get linked back to his time at UF.

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

@RobSteal 

Perhaps a poorly worded line... simply meant that arrests rarely resulted in dismissals or lengthy suspensions from Meyer's team.  I'll look at tweaking that specific sentence to make it clearer.

Thanks for reading,

John

dnullsma
dnullsma

Really?  Have you ever enabled anyone in your own life and "allowed" them to continue reckless behavior?  Guess what, we all have.  Maybe you are a liberal that believes others can be blamed, but unless a person takes ownership of themselves no amount of intervention makes a difference.  Just the way it works.

dnullsma
dnullsma

@John at MrSEC @CowbellCruiser

" I state clearly that it's possible he might have been a hoodlum regardless".  Yes, in this article you dedicated one sentence "We'll never know..."  But the remaining 99% is clearly post hoc.

LarryP
LarryP

@dnullsma I'm not saying he isn't ultimately responsible for his own actions but when there were 30 something arrests during Urban's tenure at Florida, that's disturbing. He fueled that atmosphere by repeatedly allowing his star players to escape prosecution. When your message to star players is "I'll take care of the police for you", then these Thugs get a sense they are bulletproof. As long as they show up and play well on Saturday, who cares what the police say. Some time in Jail may have done him some good during his college days, instead of always covering for his missteps. You talk about being accountable for your own actions and that's my point exactly. If Urban was ignoring Hernandez's actions and dispensing weak punishment then that's not being accountable. Urban comes off as caring more about his W-L record than his players arrest record!

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