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UF Can Remove Hernandez' Brick, but not History

Jul 26, 2013 -- 11:27am

By: T. Miller (@jortstorture)

With the removal of Aaron Hernandez's All-America brick, the University Athletic Association has successfully removed all references to the former Gator tight end from the memories of Florida fans, rivals and the national psyche Ben Hill Griffin Stadium grounds.[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="430"]

A very conspicuously blank brick. Via @JQuittner[/caption]I'm not going to stand up and fight the #FreeHernandez fight. I'm not even going to sit here proselytize that the UAA should have at least waited for a trial. For the moment, it certainly looks like he killed that guy (or those people, as the case may well be). Even if he didn't, any involvement in those crimes is probably enough to merit some level of separation between Hernandez and the Gators.

Still, I don't know how much I really like the removal of his All-America brick from the grounds of Florida Field. Aaron Hernandez was an All-America football player at the University of Florida. He helped us win a lot of games. He helped us win a national championship. He helped Tim Tebow win a Heisman trophy.

Are we scrubbing the stadium of any reference to any of that? I don't think so.

Certainly we aren't proud of Hernandez now, but can't we still be proud of what he and his teammates accomplished before things turned sour? I can understand conveniently avoiding replays of Hernandez highlights on the video boards or in promotional videos. You won't see his face in the media guide or on your ticket stubs, and that's fine.

But if you ever get the urge to watch the 2008 BCS National Championship Game on your DVR, No. 81 will be in it. Not actively promoting his time at UF is one thing, but attempting to completely erase it is a fool's errand. Aaron Hernandez happened.

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