Goodbye, Gator: UF Erases Every Trace of Disgraced Former Hero, Aaron Hernandez
He lost his freedom, lost his job and his jersey with the NFL's New England Patriots, and now maybe the unkindest, hurtingest cut of all -- at least for any University of Florida alum -- Aaron Hernandez has lost his standing as a Florida Gator.
UF's University Athletic Association announced Thursday it will erase Hernandez from school memory as far as it's able. Just like that.
It will remove the former Gator tight end's All-American brick from the front of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. In fact the school already made other Hernandez reminders throughout the team’s facilities go away.
Hernandez remains jailed in Massachusetts on six charges including first-degree murder for the shooting death of 27-year-old Odin Lloyd. And he's being investigated in a double murder in Boston last year.
He was named a First Team All-American by the Associated Press in 2009. He led the Gators with 68 receptions for 850 yards and five touchdowns that season. That year he won the John Mackey Award, given to the nation’s best tight end.
Doesn't matter now. UF is out.
Here's what Florida’s UAA said in a statement released Thursday:
"We didn’t feel it was appropriate to celebrate Aaron Hernandez. 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."