Now that the NCAA has set this precedent here is my question – If Hernandez is found guilty of murder will the NCAA be consistent and punish the University of Florida football program in the same manner it punished Penn State? After all, there are many similarities between the two the cases.
Both Hernandez and Sandusky committed their crimes once they were no longer at the schools.
Both Hernandez and Sandusky committed vicious and violent crimes that impacted the lives of countless people.
Both the University of Florida and Penn State looked the other way and did not discipline any wrongdoing. Hernandez was said to have failed several drug tests, was in a bar room fight (but mysteriously the case resolution is unknown), was questioned in a double shooting that left one man in serious condition, and photos were uncovered of Hernandez holding illegal handguns. In all, Hernandez was suspended for one game. In fact, Florida coach, Urban Myer, had a record of recruiting kids with questionable backgrounds and for not disciplining players who committed crimes. Did Florida look the other way just as Penn State did for Sandusky? Can the NCAA rule that Florida had an unfair advantage over other teams because their discipline was too lenient and allowed players to play when they should have been booted off the team?
Both the University of Florida and Penn State communities looked the other way. In the case of Sandusky, a school guidance counselor did not believe a student who confided with her. And let’s not forget a grand jury decided not charge Sandusky back in 1999 (meaning he was cleared of any undoing while he was a coach at Penn State – but the investigation cost him his job). Hence, the community had a chance to stop Sandusky. The same can be said for the University of Florida. How else can we explain Hernandez having no record when in Gainesville even though he committed several felonies? Communities like their football and will do anything to help these programs to win games – including looking the other way when a football player commits a crime.
If Penn State and community enabled Sandusky then it is easy to say the same about Florida and community about Hernandez. Think about it; why would over half the NFL teams take Hernandez off their draft boards and the rest lower his value if Hernandez had no police record? NFL teams did their homework and knew Hernandez was tied to guns, drugs, and gangs. After all, Hernandez’s tattoos told the story of gang involvement. They also knew the University of Florida and local police protected Hernandez. Hernandez was a late first or early second round value who dropped to the fourth round. Hernandez duped the Patriots into selecting him by writing them a letter about how he is reformed and seen the light – It was the place he wanted to be drafted – close to his hometown of Bristol Connecticut. But like any reformed addict, to be successful they must leave the area they resided to get a fresh start. For this reason, the Patriots were the worst place for Hernandez to land – too close to many previously bad influences.
Both Sandusky and Hernandez flied under the radar; even though it is unimaginable that those closest to these monsters felt nothing was wrong? If Paterno should have known Sandusky was a threat to kids, then Myer should have known Hernandez posed a serious threat to others.