Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 7/9/13
The one thing that can be said about everything that is ongoing in the Aaron Hernandez case is that it is now a legal matter and nothing associated with the NFL. If in fact Hernandez is found guilty of these charges, it could be said the NFl had its first and so far only marr murderer playing under the disguise of a tight end.There is nothing positive to say about Hernandez, from the time he stepped onto Ben Hill Griffin Stadium’s turf at Florida to the time three years he played in the NFL under one of the strictest coaches in the league, Bill Belichick. While it seemed Hernandez lived a fairly low-keyed life in the pro game, the college ranks were another story with numerous stories of failed drug tests, altercations and media scrutiny that could have rivaled the likes of Lawrence Phillips and some of the former members of the University of Miami’s athletic program.While Belichick had to have known about Hernandez and his dirty deeds down in Gainesville before drafting him (he and Urban Meyer, the former Gators head coach are chums), it does not take away from the talent that Hernandez possesses and was probably the reason he was held to the fourth round before the Patriots took a chance on him.But I will say this, neither Urban Meyer or Bill Belichick are responsible for Hernandez and this recent rash of crimes he allegedly committed.Are you still with me? Good, because here is why.At Florida, I could make a case that Urban Meyer ran a “dirty” program where 30 arrests (all documented) were made in a 27-month span. That’s enough to make Boss Hogg ask if there is a problem. And there were documented cases of failed drug tests and bar altercations. That is an issue Meyer, UF athletic director Jeremy Foley and others should have handled. While Meyer swears he has nothing to do with the man Hernandez has become, he did have some responsibility to make sure Hernandez got help to deal with his “issues” which to the best of our knowledge, did not happen.When he got to the NFL, Hernandez was held to another set of rules, which meant he was a “grown up” and if you know anything about “Coach Hoodie,” you know he does not hold hands with his players and sing Sweet Caroline, he would just a soon cut them and watch them  pander in the NFL moonlight.Everything falls on Hernandez's shoulders and the Patriots should be commended for getting away from the situation as quickly as they did. Bob Kraft is one of the most liked and respected owners in the league and he did not want his team soiled through all of this media circus. If Tim Tebow was not going to create a firestorm, this surely wasn’t. And kudos to the team for deciding to effectively rid the football culture of Hernandez and his time in Boston by asked Patriots’ fans to bring in Hernandez’s jerseys and replace them - not matter how old.Kraft and team officials has the presence of mind to not make this look like the Dallas Cowboys with Josh Brent, which was one of the most odd situations I have seen in awhile. And while we have seen other NFL players involved in crimes that just as gruesome, especially Leonard Little, Rae Carruth and yes, even the beloved Ray Lewis, it does not take away from the fact that even if Hernandez did indeed commit these acts, he is due process of innocence before guilt under the law.When it comes to football, that is a different story. The Patriots did not want to be involved in the process to begin with. They decided to cut their losses (although millions) to save a lot of aggravation. And in the long run prove their organization was much bigger than any one player who may have held it hostage by an event the team had no control of in the first place.
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