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Urban Meyer finally talks Hernandez; says blaming him is ‘irresponsible’

Urban Meyer AP

Urban Meyer, for one reason or another, has had a lot of splainin’ to do recently.

A report from Fox Sports earlier this week accused Meyer of “turning in” a former Florida assistant for a secondary recruiting violation, an accusation Meyer denied relatively quickly. Of course, that was nothing compared to the heat Meyer’s been taking in regards to the Aaron Hernandez situation, to which Meyer’s had no comment.

Until now.

In text messages to multiple outlets, including Tim May of the Columbus Dispatch, Meyer broke his silence on his supposed role in the Hernandez case as an enabler. Any blame directed toward him or Florida, Meyer said, is “irresponsible.”

“He was an athlete at Florida 4-to-7 years ago and there are some comments being made that are not correct,” Meyer said. “Our staff, myself and our families worked very hard to mentor and guide him. Prayers and thoughts are with the family and friends of the victim. Relating or blaming these serious charges to Univ. of Florida, myself or our staff is wrong and irresponsible.”

Hernandez, formerly with the New England Patriots, was connected to a 2007 shooting when he was just 17 and a freshman at UF, but police later said Hernandez was not a suspect and he declined to speak to police on the right to have counsel present. When asked about that shooting, Meyer said he was informed by an assistant that the players were questioned as witnesses and “I didn’t think about it again until a couple of days ago.

Still, there are many who question if Meyer did enough on his own to get to the bottom of the incident, and it’s a fair question to ask. Then there’s Meyer’s reputation for recruiting and playing athletes with questionable character during his time with the Gators. Add it up, and Meyer’s narrative as an enabler is as bad as its ever been.

That narrative doesn’t appear out of thin air. There has to be some reason for critics to believe the things they do. But the 2007 shooting, despite the release of the incident report, is still full of question marks as it relates to Hernandez. And it’s the only incident (that we know of) during Hernandez’s time with UF that even comes close to throwing up red flags predicting a future (alleged) murder.

Not getting busted for drugs. Not punching someone at a bar.

If Meyer knew more than he’s leading us to believe and there was some sort of cover-up for Hernandez, then that’s one thing. That’s not known for sure, though, and the rest — the drugs and the fights — doesn’t accurately predict an alleged homicide.

Until it’s proven Meyer knew more about the 2007 shooting, persecuting him for what happened to Odin Lloyd doesn’t make sense.

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41 Responses to “Urban Meyer finally talks Hernandez; says blaming him is ‘irresponsible’”
  1. amosalanzostagg says: Jul 6, 2013 12:06 PM

    Guess what The Ohio State University is in for? They’ll be wishing for the Tressel days.

  2. alligatorsnapper says: Jul 6, 2013 12:34 PM

    Meyer sure has some ‘splainin’ to do!

    The turkeys may be coming home to roost.

  3. irishking says: Jul 6, 2013 12:39 PM

    Surely, Urban could not have known that his player Aaron Hernandez was a cold blooded killer. He probably still doesn’t know that or want to believe that.

  4. rabbi187 says: Jul 6, 2013 12:44 PM

    Florida and Meyer shouldn’t be blamed for what Hernandez did. But they shouldn’t get a pass either for repeatedly recruiting absolute scumbags during his tenure there either.

  5. eidolon21 says: Jul 6, 2013 12:51 PM

    Surely UM knew AH was involved in drugs and violence in college and he let it slide, probably covered it up and continued to let him play… all to win games.

    Drugs, Violent crime… what is the next step…ask the Boston Police. UM is absolutely an enabler!!!

  6. amosalanzostagg says: Jul 6, 2013 1:05 PM

    Can Urban explain why HS football coaches told recruiting coaches from Syracuse,Notre Dame, Penn State, Boston College, and Connecticut of Hernandez involvement with the Bristol Bloods, yet pleads ignorance about Hernandez by stating we “had the kid in bible study and counseled him”? College football coaches talk all the time and they spill the beans on kids of “questionable” character. Don’t believe that? Why did Hernandez fall to the the fourth round of the NFL draft? Same character issues that he had before college.

    Why recruit him in the first place?

    If you’re going to RECRUIT kids to your program. then take ownership. Urban passed the problem along rather than admit that HE was part of the problem.

    Say what you will about Saban, but when he was faced with four of his recruits committing crimes, he didn’t think twice, he jettisoned them from the team and let them face their day in court.

  7. bralinshan says: Jul 6, 2013 1:39 PM

    Urban, you could have simply booted his sorry ass for any one of a number of situations along the way.

    Before he even set foot on a field, he assaulted someone and shattered their eardrum. This kid was enabled every step of the way and the repeated message, delivered so nicely by Meyer and staff, was that if he played well they’d overlook the other stuff.

    Maybe if people had just shown him the door, he’d have made personal adjustments. Maybe not. But, Meyer is legendary for his tolerance of lousy behavior by good players. Very few coaches EVER have had that many players arrested…and those are just the ones we know about.

  8. mediocrebob says: Jul 6, 2013 1:51 PM

    Meyer is getting paid to win football games. He doesn’t care what they do once they leave his program. All the bs he says about “developing young men” is stuff he has to say.

    He’s a fraud. Good football coach. But a fraud non the less.

  9. mauldawg says: Jul 6, 2013 1:56 PM

    UH is a piece of crap. I bet he had his wife and daughter post great things about he just to cover up that he is a horse’s ass. Look at his past record with arrested players. Then look how he let them slide. He is as guilty as the POS players he let slide. OSU got themselves a POS for a coach.

  10. irishking says: Jul 6, 2013 1:56 PM

    I would not go so far as to call Urban a fraud. Actually he is a very good football coach and his record reflects that. It is hard to argue against success.

  11. cbass59 says: Jul 6, 2013 1:56 PM

    I think anyone Hernandez ever talked to should be arrested for the murder. All of them contributed to Hernandez’s actions. Hernandez is not responsible for his own actions.

  12. atxcane says: Jul 6, 2013 2:26 PM

    Now you know why Urban left Florida…he thought he could control the situation he’d created but he couldn’t.

    Look I’m all for trying to turn around “troubled teenagers” and make them into productive, good people. Taking Urban at his word (being generous here), that’s what he tried to do at UF with the prayer sessions, mentoring, etc.

    The fact that UF *still* had ~40 arrests during that period is evidence Meyer’s mentoring approach didn’t work. Honestly, Fulmer should be petitioning to have the “Fulmer Cup” renamed the “Meyer Cup”. He brought in a lot of talented “issues” guys thinking he could turn them around. For OSU’s sake, you guys better hope he learned his lesson.

  13. atxcane says: Jul 6, 2013 2:34 PM

    For the record, I’m not blaming Meyer for Hernandez. From the reports it sounds like Hernandez should have been nabbed for the 2007 shooting, but the victims oddly rescinded their charges after ID’ing Hernandez.

    If the guys getting shot refuse to ID the shooter, no prosecutor is going to bring that case, it’s an easy win for the defense.

  14. dkhhuey says: Jul 6, 2013 4:08 PM

    It is fucking ridiculous to be hounding Urban, or any coach, regarding the actions of a person he coached years ago.

    No Ben, he does not owe you or any other journalist and explanation on anything that happened between him and Hernadez because it has absolutely NOTHING to do Aaron’s present situation! The fact that the media has blown this whole silence thing up to a point where they’re are now insinuating that Urban is hiding something is lazy and hack journalism.

    I must have missed the other hundreds/thousands of stories blaming various other college coaches for actions of a former player. But why stop there? Why aren’t you dragging out high school coaches and guidance counselors? Aren’t they just as responsible for poor Aaron’s plight?

    Complete bullshit article Ben!

  15. barkleyblows says: Jul 6, 2013 4:08 PM

    A bunch of bitter SECheat and Gator fans here again. I’m almost shocked.

    Oh well, whatever makes these losers happy.

  16. j0esixpack says: Jul 6, 2013 4:16 PM

    So since law enforcement was unable to do their job back in 2007 we’re now gonna blame a coach?

    Sure, that makes sense.

  17. seldom1 says: Jul 6, 2013 4:28 PM

    Someday, sociologists will retrieve the comment sections of sites such as this to use as case studies of humanity depravity: 99 parts instigation, innuendo, ignorance, calumny, jealousy, condescension, etc., and one part information.

  18. irishking says: Jul 6, 2013 4:29 PM

    what is the point of this article? Leave Urban alone and move on. To try to make him an accessory to homicide is pretty unreasonable and insane. Urban had as much to do with that murder as I did….absolutely nothing.

    Go Urban and go Buckeyes!!! Play free of any Hernandez stain.

  19. mogogo1 says: Jul 6, 2013 6:23 PM

    I haven’t seen anybody blaming Urban. What people have been doing–some reasonably, others not quite so–is asking questions about whether signs were missed with Hernandez or intentionally overlooked because he was a star.

    From the facts of the case, it appears Hernandez was either 1) The dumbest murderer ever 2) Wanting to get caught, or 3) So used to getting away with things he figured he was immune from being caught. It’s the #3 that people are wondering about concerning Urban.

  20. irishking says: Jul 6, 2013 6:27 PM

    Okay so maybe Urban was aware that Aaron got into some mischief and did some stupid things while at Florida. I doubt that it added up to “Here comes a murder.” That is too much of a stretch.

  21. redwing26 says: Jul 6, 2013 6:31 PM

    Urb just goes to show he lie cheat steal to win games!
    Enjoy him sheep at osu he’ll lead you down a bad path.

  22. mediocrebob says: Jul 6, 2013 6:51 PM

    Funny thing is everyone in Columbus hated Urban. Remember when all his thugs embarrassed Osu’s?

    And I said he’s a fraud due to the stuff he says about the development of young men. He doesn’t care what they do when they leave school. As long as they help him win games.

  23. mountaineer50415 says: Jul 6, 2013 7:35 PM

    What, no one wants to blame the New England Patriots? What about the guys mom or dad or cousins. Someone even tried to beat up his brother. Sometimes I wonder about people. I know lets blame Penn State!!!!!
    The guy did what ever he did and it is solely his guilt. No one could have changed him. NO ONE.

  24. be4bama says: Jul 6, 2013 7:35 PM

    I’ve heard Meyer covered up more than one of Hernandez’s failed drug test.

  25. gatorprof says: Jul 6, 2013 7:49 PM

    No one but AH is responsible for his situation.

    That being said, Meyer most definitely recruited and enabled (by sweeping things under the carpet) 2-3 dozen thugs at UF, AH being the most infamous.

    It is ironic for Meyer to use the word irresponsible.

  26. mediocrebob says: Jul 6, 2013 8:30 PM

    I bet if he had gotten in trouble in college it would’ve changed him quite a bit actually.

  27. hotlantalaw says: Jul 6, 2013 8:33 PM

    He is no Teflon don. What will be his new dream job?

  28. normtide says: Jul 6, 2013 9:11 PM

    How can you blame Meyer for Aaron’s mess? I’m no fan, but this is just being petty.

  29. jimbo75025 says: Jul 6, 2013 9:40 PM

    @ atxcane

    All of those problems would probably give me a “heart attack” also.

    I completely agree with renaming the Fulmer Cup-after all he has been gone for 4 years. Give UM another year to get a tOSU team purely of hi own recruits and you may see problems.

  30. gklimes says: Jul 6, 2013 11:13 PM

    No, you cannot blame Urban Meyer – solely. He and others are enabled by many. This includes the university, boosters, and fans. Yes, the fans (including law enforcement and “regular ” joes like you and me) are part of the problem.

    They allow people who do stuff like this to get a pass, and these kids take this to mean that they are “entitled” to behave badly. When he is getting served drinks (under age) in a bar, gets into a scuffle, and police are called – but he is not arrested for under-age drinking – what do you expect him to think? That just reinforces the thinking that he is untouchable.

    This is true with numerous other schools, sports, and fields. Not just UF.

    It’s that “just win, baby” attitude in high school, college, and professional sports that continues.

    If all programs simply said, “You do something, you’re gone no matter WHO you are or how GOOD you are!” and then followed through, sports would get cleaned up fast.

    Of course, this applies to Hollywood and other places, too.

  31. vols84 says: Jul 7, 2013 9:14 AM

    How long does Urban stay at Ohio State before he pulls another Achy Breaky Heart?

  32. metalhead65 says: Jul 7, 2013 12:47 PM

    all you people on here calling out myer for the type of player he recruits/recruited are hypocrites. he did /is doing nothing that any coach does not do in order to win. you people would be the same ones screaming for the coach to be fired at your school if he did not have a winning record regardless if the players on his team were choir boys and and graduated on time. so he is suppose to investigate crimes when police do not consider a player a suspect? he did what he could with him during his time there. I am petty sure he would have done something more if he had shown signs he was going to be a killer when he left Florida. how about we stop blaming everybody but Hernandez himself? most college superstars are coddled and babied and yet do not murder anybody but it’s myer’s fault hernandez did? I am not a gator fan or myer one for that matter but am sick of hearing how it is fault and how fla. ran a outlaw school while he was there. kids get in trouble everywhere even at at bama and are not kicked off the team. why should he be held to a higher standard than other coach?

  33. angelheartsbuckeyes says: Jul 7, 2013 2:15 PM

    How come John McCay gets a free pass?

    HE SHOULD HAVE KNOWN!!!

  34. angelheartsbuckeyes says: Jul 7, 2013 3:08 PM

    Frank Beamer should have saved all those poor doggies.

  35. angelheartsbuckeyes says: Jul 7, 2013 3:11 PM

    You mean to tell me Barry Switzer never heard of cocaine????

  36. angelheartsbuckeyes says: Jul 7, 2013 3:16 PM

    Why yes, a pattern of ridiculousness has emerged.

  37. j0esixpack says: Jul 7, 2013 10:20 PM

    Why stop with blaming the coach?

    How about the media who never called him on it until now?

    Ultimately, College Football Talk itself should be considered an accessory to all of these crimes if indeed we are going to go as far as blaming coaches when their players commit crimes.

  38. dkhhuey says: Jul 8, 2013 9:05 AM

    Here is an excellent article on the subject from a more rational point of view!

    http://www.chillicothegazette.com/article/20130703/SPORTS/307030022/Urban-not-bad-guy?nclick_check=1

  39. bo1210 says: Jul 8, 2013 11:29 AM

    “A bunch of bitter SECheat and Gator fans here again.”

    When the last three major scandals have come from B1G and ACC? Nice logic there, barkleyblows.

  40. theuglitruth says: Jul 8, 2013 3:41 PM

    Let’s see…AH went to play for Urban Meyer…he’s a win at all cost scum bag! Then….AH went to play for Bill Belichick….who happens to be a win at all cost (cheating) scum bag! No wonder he operated without impunity for so long.

  41. waynefontes says: Jul 9, 2013 12:04 PM

    barkleyblows says:
    Jul 6, 2013 4:08 PM
    A bunch of bitter SECheat and Gator fans here again. I’m almost shocked.

    Oh well, whatever makes these losers happy.
    —————————————————-

    Says the bitter guy who posts all the time on anything SEC related.

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