After reading numerous articles and listening to countless podcasts and radio programs, I just can’t keep it in anymore. With the sporting world attempting to make connections between Ohio State Football Head Coach Urban Meyer and the Aaron Hernandez fiasco, I’ve decided to join the masses and throw in my two cents.
Stories have now surfaced dating back to Hernandez’s time in Florida. Said stories detail his involvement in a bar dispute, on top of yet another shooting in the same year. Now, members of the media want to make a connection to Meyer.
In a text conversation with Tim May from the Columbus Dispatch, Meyer finally spoke out to defend not only himself, but the University of Florida.
“I just received an email from a friend where there is an accusation of multiple failed drug tests by Hernandez covered up by the University of Florida or the coaching staff. This is absolutely not true,” Meyer texted. “Hernandez was held to the same drug testing policy as every other player.”
Meyer went on to respond to being referred to as an “enabler” in great length that resulted in him saying, “Relating or blaming these serious charges to the University of Florida, myself or our staff is wrong and irresponsible.”
Not only is it wrong and irresponsible, it’s absolutely moronic. Meyer was his football coach, not his father. Meyer was his teacher on the field, not off the field. Meyer was the voice he heard between the lines, not between his ears.
My point is, when will the media and the masses start to blame a person for his or her actions? Instead of trying to push the blame on someone else, when will people start to put the responsibility on the person? And on top of that, when will said person take responsibility for their own actions?
In the court of law, you’re innocent until proven guilty. In the court of social media, however, you’re guilty until proven innocent. The Patriots cut involvement with Hernandez immediately, and now the fans have, too. On the flip side, the Ravens and Brian Billick stayed behind Ray Lewis during his moment of darkness (Stay with me, I’m going somewhere with all this). But, at the center of all this media chaos, Meyer’s name is the one being brought up? For possible incidents in Florida that may or may not have happened?
Odin Lloyd was murdered. There’s no questioning that. Not only was he murdered, he was murdered execution style. Professionally. As in, whoever did it (Hernandez being a top suspect, allegedly) has had past experience. Did he allegedly murder Lloyd while under Meyer at Florida? No, he allegedly did it while in New England. (The key word of the paragraph, just for clarification: allegedly).
If Meyer’s going to get questioned for being an enabler, when will we see Bill Belichick’s name in the headlines? If Hernandez is found guilty, he would be found guilty of multiple crimes that happened right under Belichick’s nose. His very, very large nose.
All kidding aside, I don’t think Belichick deserves any blame. Should he have tried to help Hernandez if he noticed any irregular behavior? Yes, but that’s a completely different rant. I’ll also say the same for Meyer if he noticed anything back in his days at Florida. But it’s absolutely insane to bring Meyer’s name into this horrific and extremely unfortunate conversation.
Meyer has been questioned in regard to the actions of his players before, also during his time at Florida. USA Today reported in 2010 that over a 5-year period, 25 players were arrested in 31 off-the-field incidents. Earlier I heard Scott Van Pelt on his ESPN Radio show say that Meyer deserves some blame for this overwhelming stat. In part, I agree.
However, I also disagree. Meyer cannot be blamed for the actions of his players off the field of play. Period. Now, can he be blamed for recruiting some less-than-stellar behaved individuals? Abso-freaking-lutely. Again, this all falls back on who? The players. You don’t learn “right” from “wrong” from a college or professional coach. You learn it in your youth. And if you aren’t smart enough to know that killing someone is wrong, you deserve the absolute reality of the law.
The argument can be made that Meyer may or may not have let Hernandez down along the way (that is if he didn’t do something that he could have done to help Hernandez). The same argument can be made for anyone who has interacted with Hernandez. Long story short, Hernandez let himself down.
Now, all that being said, the NHL’s Winter Classic will be held in Hell before the media ever properly handles a situation like this, where they solely put Hernandez to blame. But hey, a guy can dream, right?