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letters | making sense of Aaron Hernandez

Teams failed to help troubled star

Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez appeared in court last week to face murder charges.

Mike George/The Sun Chronicle/AP/pool

Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez appeared in court last week to face murder charges.

THE AARON Hernandez situation is a terrible tragedy. Hernandez is clearly most responsible for these tragic events, if the police’s allegations regarding the murder of Odin Lloyd are correct. However, the New England Patriots and the University of Florida should also share some responsibility.

Both the university and the Patriots used Hernandez for his physical skills and helped him develop his athletic talents, but appear to have provided him with no help with his emotional or intellectual development.

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Is big time college football really that manipulative that Hernandez learned nothing at a well-regarded educational institution? Or do the Patriots just give a 22-year-old with a troubled past a $40 million contract and say, have fun, we’ll see you when the season starts?

Both of these supposedly upstanding institutions took Hernandez in, cashed in on his toughness and talent, apparently had zero impact on his moral compass, and now have kicked him to the curb like a broken piece of equipment since he is no longer useful.

Where was the mentoring and the teaching that this young man clearly needed?

Now he faces being locked up for the rest of his life. What a terrible waste of a life with so much potential.

Arthur Jackson


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