With former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez facing murder charges stemming from the shooting death of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd, organizations and institutions related to Hernandez have distanced themselves from him in recent weeks.
Hernandez's alma mater is the latest party to join the trend.
According to University of Florida sports media professor Ted Spiker, the school has decided to remove a brick from campus that celebrated Hernandez's All-American status.
Aaron Hernandez All-American brick coming down. pic.twitter.com/gCflaDAXjS— Ted Spiker (@ProfSpiker) July 25, 2013
The process was quick and surgical in nature; there is now no sign that Hernandez's brick was ever there. All that remains is an empty space above offensive lineman Maurkice Pouncey's brick, according to Julie Quittner of Gainesville Television Network.
And it's a blank spot now, like Hernandez brick was never there... pic.twitter.com/cUUVoalTaw— Julie Quittner (@JQuittner) July 25, 2013
Quittner also captured a shot of Hernandez's brick before the contractor brought it back to his plant.
Here's what's left of the Aaron Hernandez brick- contractor was told to take it back to their plant in Lake City. pic.twitter.com/UZvvMdjoE7— Julie Quittner (@JQuittner) July 25, 2013
Hernandez received the All-American honor in 2009, when he also won the John Mackey Award as the nation's best tight end. Hernandez reeled in 68 passes for 850 yards and five touchdowns that year, which led directly to the Patriots drafting him in the fourth round (No. 113 overall).
Was removing Hernandez's brick the right decision by the University of Florida?
In comparison to the Pats, the Gators are a bit late to the party when it comes to striking Hernandez from their consciousness. Not long after Hernandez's June arrest, New England released him and essentially severed all ties. It seems as though the University of Florida is trying to do the same thing.
According to a university statement sent to Wesley Lowery of The Boston Globe, the process of removing Hernandez-related items from campus started when news of his arrest originally broke. The brick removal was one of the final steps in Florida disassociating itself from Hernandez.
Univ of Florida says it's removing Aaron Hernandez's name/image from various spots on campus. Here's full statement pic.twitter.com/0ayQ8lAM1O— Wesley Lowery (@WesleyLowery) July 25, 2013
Hernandez is still innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, but the Patriots and Gators clearly aren't interested in waiting around.
The prosecution was granted a 30-day continuance in its quest to prove probable cause, according to Kevin Manahan of USA Today, so this saga is still in its beginning stages.
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