The Washington Post

Florida Gators are erasing Aaron Hernandez

Aaron Hernandez was in court Wednesday for a probable cause hearing.(Bizuayehu Tesfaye / AP)

The University of Florida, like the New England Patriots, is taking steps to help people forget Aaron Hernandez.

Florida players who are named All-Americans are honored with a brick on the Gator Walk in front of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium and today the brick honoring the tight end was removed, replaced by a blank stone.




Hernandez is being held in a Massachusetts jail on murder and gun-related charges stemming from the death of semipro football player Odin Lloyd. He has pleaded not guilty, but that hasn’t kept the Patriots from releasing him and offering a trade-in for Hernandez jerseys. Florida feels the same way.

“We didn’t feel it was appropriate to celebrate Aaron Hernandez,” Florida’s University Athletic Association said in a statement (via Julie Quittner). “We put together an immediate plan after the initial news broke to remove his likeness and name in various private and public areas in the facility, such as the South Endzone team area, locker room, football offices, Heavener Complex, Kornblau lobby and the brick display entrance to the football facility.

“We were able to implement some of the changes immediately and this (brick removal) was a more complex process to complete with our vendors.

“The plan was to have everything completed before the end of July.”

Ohio State Coach Urban Meyer, who coached Hernandez at Florida, spoke about his former tight end Wednesday for the first time. “It felt awful. It’s a sick feeling,” Meyer said. “Your thoughts and prayers are with the family of the victims.”

Meyer, for one, isn’t going to forget having had Hernandez in his program. “Every player situation, every recruit situation, that’ll always be in the back of my mind,” he said. “That’s all I can say.”

Follow @CindyBoren on Twitter and on Facebook.

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.



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Cindy Boren · July 25, 2013