July 7th, 2013 10:58 AM║ Posted By: Mike Mitchell ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Florida
Tags: Aaron Hernandez, Auburn, Heisman Trophy, New York Times
The New York Times becomes the latest media outlet to scrutinize the Florida Gators in the Urban Meyer years in the wake of the Aaron Hernandez murder investigation. As the Times points out, much has been made of the often cited statistic of 31 arrests during the Meyer era in Gainesville from 2005 to 2010. The paper zeroed in on the 2008 roster and produced an even larger number when arrests after college are included.
A roster on the university’s Web site lists 121 players, 41 of whom have been arrested, either in college or afterward, and sometimes both. That number included 16 players on that season’s final two-deep roster, nine of whom were starters, as well as a kicker, punter and returner. Several of those players went on to the N.F.L., and one, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, later won the Heisman Trophy playing for Auburn.
41 of 121 players means 34% of that team has an arrest record. The Times points out that ”most of the cases never went to trial, the charges having been dropped or pleaded down.” You can view the 2008 Florida Gators roster here. The Times asked the Gainesville police department for a comparison of the arrest rate for football players during the Meyer years compared with the general arrest rate for Florida students. According to the paper, the spokesman says the numbers would be difficult to compare.
Responding to critics that he didn’t do enough to discipline or help Hernandez, Meyer said yesterday “relating or blaming these serious charges to Univ. of Florida, myself or our staff is wrong and irresponsible.” A Q and A with Meyer is posted today at the Columbus Dispatch website.
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