Urban Meyer: Accusations of Aaron Hernandez coverup 'absolutely not true'

Kevin C. Cox

The former Florida coach denies that his staff covered up failed drug tests and criminal activity by the former Gators tight end, now accused of murder.

Former Florida -- and current Ohio State -- head coach Urban Meyer has denied accusations that he covered up criminal and drug activity by former Gator tight end Aaron Hernandez. Meyer's long-awaited response to the coverup allegations came in a series of tweets with Columbus Dispatch reporter Tim May:

"I just received an email from a friend where there is an accusation of multiple failed drug tests by Hernandez covered up by University of Florida or the coaching staff. This is absolutely not true," Meyer texted. "Hernandez was held to the same drug testing policy as every other player."

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"He was an athlete at Florida 4 -7 yrs ago and there are some comments being made that are not correct," Meyer's text continued. "Our staff, myself and our families worked very hard to mentor and guide him."

Since Hernandez's arrest for first-degree murder, Meyer has been under heavy scrutiny for allegedly allowing Hernandez to engage in inappropriate acts while a member of the Gators football program. Gainesville Police reports indicate Hernandez was questioned in a shooting investigation in 2007 where a witness described a suspect meeting his general description. Hernandez was also reportedly involved in a 2007 bar brawl where he broke a bouncer's eardrum, and allegedly failed multiple drug tests. A Sporting News report indicated that Meyer shielded the press from learning of one drug-related suspension by having Hernandez wear a walking boot and fake an injury.

In recent days, Meyer's wife and daughter have taken to Twitter to defend the Ohio State coach from the Hernandez allegations. Meyer's text messages with May were the coach's first public comment since Hernandez was arrested in late June.

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