The Aaron Hernandez mess has caused a double-take of Urban Meyer’s time at Florida and it ain’t pretty:
Now that Meyer has defended himself and the University of Florida football program in connection with the background and history of Aaron Hernandez, Meyer has invited increased scrutiny of the players he recruited. As pointed out by Greg Bishop of the New York Times, at least 31 players were arrested during Meyer’s run from 2005 through 2010 as the Gators’ head coach.
ProFootballTalk also also ponders this question:
The Hernandez situation, which has shed new light on an unsolved shooting from 2007, highlights a bigger question: How many players avoided arrest, thanks to local law-enforcement officials who didn’t want to undermine the football program?
And then provides an answer:
A spokesman for the Gainesville Police Department told Bishop that Gators players did not receive special treatment under Meyer.
Hmmm…31 players were arrested, but that’s ok, no one else received special treatment. Is that supposed to make us feel better? Well, if so, it doesn’t.
Anytime you shepherd 100+ football players, you are bound to have problems. No matter the school and no matter the location. But 31 arrests…that’s insane. That’s a statistic for a football program out of control. Plain and simple: out of control from top to bottom.
No matter what disciplinary structure a school uses, at some point – pretty early on – players need to be ejected from the program. That’s the one way to assure a) the player involved won’t be a problem anymore; b) it sends a message to the other players. Sure, discretion can be used and every situation is not the same, but, at some point, either the coach or the players have to hit the road.
Instead, we’ve heard the “roster management” cry babies remind us of how the Florida Gators would never do such a thing. They might want to re-think that plan.