Bill Belichick isn’t the only big-name football coach in Ian O’Connor’s upcoming book, “Belichick: The Making of the Greatest Football Coach of All Time.” Current Ohio State coach Urban Meyer is also in it, along with his former player from the University of Florida – Aaron Hernandez.
Hernandez, who played for Belichick and the Patriots from 2010 to 2012, was found guilty of first-degree murder in 2015 and sentenced to life in prison before committing suicide in 2017.
Meyer’s time at Florida, lasting from 2005-10 when he abruptly retired, was highly scrutinized.
Many of his players — including Hernandez — were given second chances despite there being at least 31 arrests in that time frame.
According to O’Connor’s book, however, Meyer warned at least one NFL team that it should not draft Hernandez, saying “look, this guy’s a hell of a football player, but he f—ing lies to beat the system and teaches all our other guys to beat the system. With the marijuana stuff, we’ve never caught this guy, but we know he’s doing it. … Don’t f—ing touch that guy.”
An official with the NFL team Meyer spoke to said he was shocked when Belichick, Meyer’s friend, ended up drafting Hernandez in the fourth round.
“I never understood that,” the official said.
In an interview with Rolling Stone in 2013, a local reporter who covered Meyer’s team at Florida said that Meyer frequently covered for Hernandez’s bad behavior and said he “wasn’t ready to play.”
Other reports found that Hernandez had failed drug tests. Hernandez would fail other drug tests, according to reports, and should have faced bans for up to half a season, per school regulations. Instead, he didn’t miss a single snap.
Meyer’s handling of his players and staff has again come under scrutiny. He recently served a three-game suspension for his mishandling of domestic violence accusations against former wide receivers coach Zach Smith.
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