Silent throughout the investigation until now, current Ohio State Head Coach Urban Meyer has finally broken his silence on the Aaron Hernandez investigation. As the coach of Florida University while Aaron Hernandez was a star at the school, his insight to the situation has been sought throughout. Largely due to the silence, people have begun to wonder whether or not Urban Meyer mishandled off the field incidents Aaron Hernandez was involved in during his time at the school.
Rumors have swirled lately of events that Hernandez was allegedly involved with while at the University of Florida. Ranging from multiple failed drug tests being covered up by the school so that he could continue to play, all the way to a shooting he was questioned for when he was 17 years old.
In the shooting investigation while with Florida, Aaron Hernandez reportedly invoked his right to council and refused to be interviewed by police. If that is indeed the case, one would think that his coach would attempt to get to the bottom of the situation and correct any poor behavioral choices made. However there is no evidence that Urban Meyer took any action in that incident, perhaps instilling a belief within Hernandez that he is invincible and can do whatever he wants without fear of consequence.
Failed drug tests and a gang of friends that raised concerns should have been red flags for Urban Meyer to step in and intervene in the life of Aaron Hernandez. Part of being a coach of student athletes is mentoring them so that they can become quality citizens later in life.
Perhaps Urban Meyer was never told that part. Although it is unsure as to what course of action he took to prevent the illicit behavior of Aaron Hernandez while he was at Florida, it is hard to believe that he did everything in his power to help the young man. Looking at his track record for preventing problematic behavior during his six years with the program, players were arrested at least 31 times, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
Urban Meyer denies any mishandling of the Aaron Hernandez situation, as well as giving him any special treatment during his time at the University of Florida. In an interview with ABC News, he said
“I just received an email from a friend where there is an accusation of multiple failed drug tests by Hernandez covered up by University of Florida or the coaching staff. This is absolutely not true. Hernandez was held to the same drug testing policy as every other player. . . . He was an athlete at Florida 4-7 years ago and there are some comments being made that are not correct. Our staff, myself and our families worked very hard to mentor and guide him.”
We can not yet be sure whether or not Urban Meyer mishandled the Aaron Hernandez situation while at Florida. However, “the last time someone close to Hernandez complained generally about incorrect reports (his lawyer, Michael Fee), Hernandez was arrested for murder roughly 36 hours later” according to NBC Sports. Based on that, Meyer will need to show evidence that he did everything he could for Hernandez, and treated him like any other player in order to remove any doubt from hanging over his name.
Follow me on Twitter @CharlieGille
Senior Sports Editor
The Guardian Express