Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez's past has been examined and reports of previous misdeeds have proliferated in the week since he was arrested and charged with murder in connection with the death of 27-year-old semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd.
According to the Orlando Sentinel and The Wall Street Journal, one of the troubling incidents involving Hernandez that occurred during his time at the University of Florida ended up involving Gators quarterback Tim Tebow. Citing Gainesville police records, the Sentinel reported on Tuesday that Tebow atempted to break up a fight at a bar involving Hernandez in 2007. The alleged incident took place at an establishment called The Swamp and was reportedly instigated by Hernandez, age 17 at the time, refusing to pay for alcoholic drinks served to him.
“Tebow stated that he witnessed the dispute,” the officer wrote in the police report, according to the Sentinel. "Tebow stated that he went over to try to help resolve the conflict.”
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The Wall Street Journal also obtained police records relating to the incident, reporting that Hernandez punched an employee at the bar & grill, rupturing his ear drum. Gainesville police department spokesman Benjamin Tobias told the Journal that police did not arrest the teenaged Hernandez but that the department recommended a charge of felony battery.
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On the day of Hernandez's arrest and arraignment late last month, TMZ Sports shared a concerning photo of Hernandez purportedly taken during his time UF. In the "selfie" reportedly from 2009, Hernandez was brandishing a handgun.
— TMZ (@TMZ) June 26, 2013
Even before Hernandez's arrest, Greg Bedard and Pete Thamel of Sports Illustrated reported that some NFL teams avoided drafting the tight end out of Florida over concerns about his character and off-field troubles.
"There were a lot of teams that had him off the board," an unnamed NFL personnel executive told Sports Illustrated.