One of the more surprising parts of Rolling Stone’s big feature on Aaron Hernandez is how much support the coaches at the University of Florida tried to give him in college.
While Rolling Stone initially promised that the story would detail how coach Urban Meyer “covered up” some of Hernandez’s violations at the school, UF actually comes off looking pretty good.
Some of the measures the school took:
- Urban Meyer had meetings where he would read scripture to Hernandez every morning.
- Meyer had two veteran lineman — the Pouncey brothers — look after Hernandez.
- Meyer assigned Tim Tebow as Hernandez’s “life instructor.”
- UF wide receivers coach John Hevesy treated Hernandez like a son. He had him over to his house twice a week for dinner and to play with his kids. He also took him deep-sea fishing.
Said Hevesy, “He played video games with my son, and my daughter wore his jersey to sleep. But whenever he left campus, he’d come back different. That’s when the problems happened.”
Rolling Stone points out that a lack of a “tough love” approach may have made Hernandez feel like he was invincible.
But it’s not like the school didn’t try to help him, and the story doesn’t offer any evidence that Meyer tried to “cover up” his transgressions in college.
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