Blaming Urban Meyer for Aaron Hernandez’s Dilemma “Wrong and Irresponsible”

Urban Meyer

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Former Florida and current Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer has seen his name dragged through the mud recently for his alleged snitching on a Gators coach for a recruiting violation and more recently for defending his character. Meyer is accused by many of enabling former Gator and New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez in the aftermath of his arrest on murder charges.

In a USA Today report Meyer says he is not taking the blame.

“Prayers and thoughts are with the family and friends of the victim. Relating or blaming these serious charges to the University of Florida, myself or our staff is wrong and irresponsible.”

The notion that anyone was to blame for the murder of Odin Lloyd other than the people who pulled the trigger and orchestrated the murder further solidifies my belief that the lack of accountability is apparent across our country.

Blaming someone else for our problems is as American as baseball, hot dogs and apple pie. It should be enough to lay the blame at the feet of Hernandez and let the legal system run its course to discover what happened on the night Lloyd was murdered in cold blood.

In the world of college football where rivalries are chock-full of hatred drawing parallels to Hernandez’s transgressions at Florida under Meyer and drawing assumptions that Meyer is to blame for the plight of Hernandez is expected and also off-base. To blame his football coach who was in his life for three years and intimate he harbored a potential serial-killer is further nonsense that needs to end.

Meyer’s wife Shelley and daughter Gigi posted their thoughts on those deflecting the blame away from the alleged murderer on Twitter.

I do not see anyone blaming Patriots head coach Bill Belichick who was in effect his boss when Hernandez was accused of the murder. No one is blaming his family. No one is blaming his high school coach. Perhaps Meyer is an easy target, but just because it is easy does not make it right. Whatever happened to self accountability?

Meyer said:

“Our staff, myself and our families worked very hard to mentor and guide him…at the end of the day, there is free will. You can’t change people. You can set the table and try to help them, make sure there is a spiritual component in their life, make sure there is a family atmosphere. And that’s what we try to do — it’s what we’ve tried to do everywhere.”

Meyer tried to help Hernandez as best he could. He invited him into his home for Bible study and was there during the time Hernandez coped with the untimely loss of his father. Meyer cares about his players on and off the field.

Hernandez had no public issues after he was drafted by the Patriots, but as Meyer said you can’t change people, especially when those people do not want to be helped.

Meyer did what he believed to be right for Hernandez when he was under his watch, but the only person to blame for the plight of Hernandez is Hernandez.

Patrick’s a college football writer for Rant Sports and radio host on Follow him on Twitter @PatrickASchmidt and add him to your Google network.

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  • SportsGenius705

    There’s no such thing as personal accountability anymore. It’s sad and a shame but 100% the truth.

    • Patrick Schmidt

      I agree with you. By and large people are used to passing the buck to someone else for why they don’t make enough money, or why they’re in an unhappy relationship, or why the traffic is bad on the highway. That’s painting with a broad brush because there are people who take responsibility for their behavior, but we have become a society of blaming others and not looking in the mirror and accepting the consequences for our actions. Blaming Urban for a murder that may have been committed by one of his players 3 years removed form his watch is as he said wrong and irresponsible.

      • SportsGenius705

        I truly don’t think it’ll ever get better either.

        • Patrick Schmidt

          Definitely in a downward spiral as far as that’s concerned. It’s easier to blame someone else though. And we are a society where doing what’s quick and easy often prevails. But like I wrote just because it’s quick and easy to blame Urban, it doesn’t mean it’s remotely close to being right. I’m sure he wishes he could have done more and this tragedy didn’t happen, but it’s not on him.

          • SportsGenius705

            We live in an entitled society that has no responsibility and hides in the shadows of social media. It’s a me first, your fault society and I think it’ll only get worse. Anyone that thinks it’s anyone’s fault but Aaron Hernandez needs to be sent to live in North Korea.

  • Tim Leonard

    Lot of slurping going on in this article, Patrick. Why did Meyer never kick Hernandez off the team while all of these transgressions were happening under his watch? You never addressed that issue in your ode to Urban. It’s wonderful that he invited a gang member to Bible study. Why not give him the boot? Oh, that’s right. Urban was trying to win a national title. Let’s not allow anything to get in the way of that. Of course, Hernandez is ultimately to blame for his actions, but part of Meyer’s job is supposed to be helping these kids become men. He failed miserably with Hernandez. To absolve him of any blame here is irresponsible. Meyer should just be allowed to continue to recruit felons and criminals? His take on that would be that everyone deserves a second chance. But then when they kill someone, Meyer washes his hands of them. You’re just helping him do that. Sad.

    • Patrick Schmidt

      I’m helping him absolve Urban Meyer by saying he’s at fault for the death of a human being? That is sad. Hernandez failed one drug test and got into a altercation at a restaurant, which is pretty much par for the course for a lot of major college football players and normal college students, right? But I suppose Urban should have known 3-4 years after he’s been under his watch he would one day kill a man. Hope that’s not “slurping” too much.

      • Tim Leonard

        So one failed drug test and an assault are just fine with you. That speaks volumes about you. That you have no problem with both of those transgressions, never mind just one of them, means you’re an enabler. Go ahead, Urban, win at all costs. Keep a known felon on the team, just make sure he reads a Bible once a week. Never mind the reputation of the university. Never mind that Meyer is bringing felons to his campus and community, where they will endanger the lives of their fellow students. It’s all “par for the course” with you. That is just pathetic. You don’t even realize how much you’re slurping, which is the worst part of all.

        Also, I have no clue how any sane person could rationalize your first sentence based on what I wrote. i said that part of Meyer’s job is help these kids become men. I never said he was responsible for anyone’s death. Please try some better reading comprehension next time, rather than drawing ridiculous conclusions based on your own imagination rather than my words.

        • Patrick Schmidt

          Failed drug tests and assault aren’t “fine with me,” If you wanna talk about my reading comprehension, I never said that. We can take personal shots and stoop down to that level or we can be adults and have a legit discussion.

          I’m not an enabler, but I believe some people deserve second chances depending on the offense. A single failed drug test for pot is not going to make me dismiss a player. That’s not enabling drug use, that’s making a kid responsible for his actions and disciplining him and putting him on a path so he won’t repeat his mistakes. You can scoff at the Bible study, but he tried to get him on a good path in the manner he believed would help him the best.

          You may be more or a zero-tolerance guy person than I am, and that’s fine, and I’m not going to insult you like you did me, but to go to the original point here, why did Urban take the brunt of this and not Hernandez himself, Bill Belichick or the Hernandez family? People alleged to have committed murder have no one to blame but themselves in my opinion.

          Hernandez was not a felon when he was brought to Florida “where they will endanger the lives of their fellow students.” It’s not “par for the course” with me, This is not like the case in LSU where Les Miles recruited a sex offender–that is a case where he brought a criminal who could “endanger the lives of the students and community”–and Jeremy Hill has done just that.

          Did Meyer put too much emphasis on winning at all costs than caring about his players off-the-field behavior? That’s certainly debatable, but he’s in the vast majority of coaches in every sport who do. But if he gets blame for Hernandez then why does he receive zero credit for Tebow? Shouldn’t it go both ways?