BOSTON (CBS) — Bill Belichick said on Wednesday that he and the Patriots were disappointed to learn of Aaron Hernandez’s murder charges, and now the tight end’s alma mater is making the same statement, though without using any words.
The University of Florida removed a brick honoring Aaron Hernandez for his All-American season in 2009. The brick sat outside of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, next to former teammate Maurkice Pouncey’s.
Ted Spiker, a University of Florida journalism professor, tweeted a photo of the removal process on Thursday morning.
Julie Quittner of the Gainesville Television Network posted photos on Twitter after the brick had been removed, saying it will be taken back to the contractor’s plant and showing the blank brick that’s replaced it.
Quittner also posted the official statement from Florida’s University Athletic Association. It read:
“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 fooball 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.”
Hernandez played three seasons for the Gators from 2007-09, winning a national championship in his sophomore season. In addition to earning First Team All-American honors in ’09, he also won the Mackey Award as the nation’s best tight end.
He entered the draft in 2010 but was not selected until the fourth round, reportedly due to a failed marijuana test. He was named to one Pro Bowl in his Patriots career, but he was arrested and charged with the murder of Odin Lloyd this summer.
Earlier in July, the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, also removed an image of Hernandez that had been on display.
“In the spirit of good taste we thought we’d take it down,” Joe Horrigan, the museum’s VP of communication and exhibits, told the Cleveland Plain Dealer.