News Column

Aaron Hernandez Featured in Gators Calendar

July 2, 2014

Tom Mahon, Philadelphia Daily News

July 02--NEWS broke yesterday that Aaron Hernandez is featured in a University of Florida 2014 football calendar.

Which seems appropriate because the tight end has nothing but time on his hands as he sits in a Massachusetts jail awaiting two trials for allegedly murdering three men.

Hernandez was charged with the murder of Odin Lloyd in June 2013. After his arrest, he also was charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the 2012 drive-by shooting of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado.

The Odin trial begins in October. The de Abreu-Furtado case will be tried next year. Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Hernandez played for the Gators from 2007-2009 and was drafted in the fourth round by the New England Patriots.

It's likely that news of Hernandez's inclusion in the Florida calendar wasn't discovered until people flipped from June to July, the month in which his photo appears. He is seen running while clutching the ball in his right hand. And to think they could have gotten away with a mugshot.

The calendar is reportedly still on sale. It was produced by a third party -- Turner Licensing -- and the university doesn't have the authority to have it pulled from the shelves.

Turner Licensing did not respond to a request for comment from the Associated Press.

Florida's Daniel Apple said university officials approved the calendar months before Hernandez's arrest.

"There are thousands of Gator products in the pipeline for approval at any given time and it's not common practice to re-review them once they have already been approved," Apple told the AP. "We have since notified the licensee that it is no longer approved."

It was only last year that the Patriots faced a similar situation when Hernandez was featured as Mr. August in the team's 2013 calendar.

But much as with Florida, the calendar was planned long before Hernandez had been arrested.


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Original headline: Gators feature Hernandez in 2014 calendar

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Source: (c)2014 Philadelphia Daily News

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