Florida Gators remove brick honoring Aaron Hernandez’s All-America season
By Zac Ellis
The University of Florida is continuing to distance itself from former player Aaron Hernandez.
The Gators have removed a brick from just outside Ben Hill Griffin Stadium that honored Hernandez’s All-America status. Florida All-Americas are routinely recognized with a brick located on the Gator Walk entrance on the outskirts of the stadium.
Julie Quittner of Gainesville Television Network posted photographs of the stone’s removal on Thursday.
A former tight end at Florida from 2007-09, Hernandez received the Mackey Award — given to the nation’s top tight end — and earned All-America status during his junior year. Hernandez, who went on the star with the New England Patriots in the NFL, was arrested and charged with murder on June 26.
The Gators have been removing images of the former player from team facilities since Hernandez’s incarceration.
“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 football facility,” the school said in a statement.
“We were able to implement some of the changes immediately and this [brick removal] was a more complex process to complete with our vendors. The plan was to have everything completed before the end of July.”