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Florida removes Hernandez All-American brick from stadium

Posted by Obnoxious Boston Fan  July 25, 2013 09:02 AM

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Hernandez.jpgFormer New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was an All-American at the University of Florida, a member of the Gators' 2008 national title team and one of Tim Tebow's favorite targets.

His honorary brick was removed Thursday from the honor walk outside Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on the Gainesville campus. The school began removing pictures of Hernandez located in the team area, football offices and facility and throughout the stadium after Hernandez was arrested and charged with murder of Odin Lloyd on June 26, according to ESPN.com.

"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," a school statement said.

"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."

The above photo was posted on Twitter by Ted Spiker, who is an assistant professor of journalism at UF.

Florida players named as All-Americans are honored with a brick in their name, located on the Gator Walk entrance in front of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. The area also includes life-sized bronze statues of the Gators' three Heisman Trophy winners: Steve Spurrier, Danny Wuerffel and Tebow.

Urban Meyer, who coached Hernandez at Florida, spoke about Hernandez's situation at his Big Ten press conference Wednesday and Patriots coach Bill Belichick also discussed the Hernandez case for the first time Wednesday.

"Guys gave their life and their soul to make this program great and now they're permanently part of the history in the greatest stadium in all of college football," Meyer told GatorCountry.Com in 2008. "Out there where everybody can see them and embrace what they've done."

Hernandez was a Gator from 2007-09 and left school early before being taken in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL draft by the Patriots. On Wednesday, he had a probable cause hearing in his case delayed until Aug. 22. He's also being investigated in connection to a double murder last year in Dorchester.

The Gators are just the latest organization or company trying to purge itself of Hernandez's presence. Earlier this month, the Patriots, who cut him once he was arrested and before he was charged, held a jersey give-back for fans who wanted to trade in their Hernandez jerseys. EA Sports said on July 8 that Hernandez had been removed from both the NCAA Football 14 and Madden NFL 25 game. Trading card and memorabilia company Panini removed stickers of Hernandez and replaced them with those of Tebow in 500,000 of its sticker books, which had been produced but had yet to hit the shelves.

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