The murder charge faced by Aaron Hernandez has led to scrutiny on his college coach, Urban Meyer. And Meyer’s family isn’t happy about that.
Although Meyer refuses to talk about Hernandez, his wife and his daughter both took to Twitter to say that Hernandez alone deserves the blame for what Hernandez is accused of doing, and that blaming Meyer or anyone else is wrong.
“When will we start holding individuals accountable for their own decisions/actions and stop blaming any/everyone else?” Meyer’s wife, Shelley, tweeted, according to the Columbus Dispatch.
Meyer’s daughter Gigi added, “Smh ppl lol #liveyourliferight and #stopblamingothers. There’s this thing called #SelfAccountability. It exists, I swear. God Bless.”
It’s easy to understand why Meyer’s wife and daughter would be hurt by the criticism he has faced. And they’re both absolutely right that it’s an enormous stretch to suggest that Meyer is to blame for what Hernandez allegedly did.
Still, the criticism Meyer has taken is less about blaming him specifically for the crimes that Hernandez allegedly committed, and more about the general sense that he cares a lot more about winning (which he has done everywhere he’s been, including an undefeated first season at Ohio State last year and two national championships at Florida, where he coached Hernandez) than he does about molding young men, or promoting a strong educational atmosphere, or any of the other things that are supposedly part of college sports.
As Orlando Sentinel columnist Mike Bianchi wrote, “by the time Meyer left UF, his program was like a fleabag motel, infected from the shady characters he recruited and the discipline he failed to instill.” Rams cornerback Janoris Jenkins may have put it best when asked to describe the kind of program Meyer ran at Florida: When Meyer left and new Florida coach Will Muschamp kicked Jenkins off the team after two marijuana arrests, Jenkins said, “No doubt, if Coach Meyer were still coaching, I’d still be playing for the Gators. Coach Meyer knows what it takes to win.”
Meyer does know what it takes to win. And at Florida, where his players were arrested at least 31 times, he won with a lot of off-field trouble makers on his team. It’s fair to criticize Meyer for that, even if his wife and daughter wouldn’t want to hear it.