Hernandez refutes Boston Globe story

Published: Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at 7:10 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at 7:10 p.m.

Tight end Aaron Hernandez on Tuesday refuted claims in a Boston Globe story Monday that he failed "multiple" drug tests while he was at Florida, according to unnamed NFL sources.

“Leading up to the draft, I provided every interested NFL team with all the information asked of me about football and my personal life," Hernandez said in a statement released by the New England Patriots. "I was as candid as I could possibly be about everything, including my one single violation of the team's substance testing policy over the course of three years at the University of Florida. That is why I was very surprised and disappointed by the recent inaccurate report of additional violations. I regret what happened, I learned from it and will make better decisions going forward. I couldn't be more excited about beginning my NFL career and representing the New England Patriots well.”

Things just don't add up correctly in the Boston Globe story that Hernandez failed "multiple" drug tests for marijuana in his three years at UF.

If Hernandez had failed multiple tests, he would have missed multiple games, and possibly an entire season or more.

But Hernandez missed only one game during his three-year career, which matches up with Hernandez's statement and what a source close to Hernandez said in the Globe story, that Hernandez failed only one drug test at UF, in 2008. Hernandez missed the opener that season against Hawaii, although no reason from UF was given.

In the Globe story, an unnamed longtime NFL executive said Hernandez failed multiple drug tests for marijuana at UF.

"One or two tests? Fine," the source said. "But four, five, six? Come on now you've got an addiction. He's not a bad kid. He just has an issue."

The New England Patriots, who drafted Hernandez in the fourth round of the draft Saturday, declined to comment on the Globe story Tuesday, but released Hernandez' statement late Tuesday afternoon.

The reality is, a student-athlete at the University of Florida would not have the opportunity to fail multiple drug tests, based on the school's substance abuse policy, without missing massive playing time due to suspension and jeopardizing his or her career.

According to the policy, a first positive test results in additional testing and drug counseling.

A second positive test would result in a suspension for 10 percent (one game) of the season and mandatory counseling. A third would cost an athlete 20 percent of the season.

Testing positive for a fourth time would result in a suspension for 50 percent of the season.

A fifth positive test would mean an immediate one-year suspension, with the chance to seek reinstatement at the end of the suspension.

Hernandez missed only one game in his three years at UF - the 2008 opener against Hawaii - but there was no indication from UF that he was suspended for failing a drug test.

Had Hernandez failed "multiple" drug tests, he would have been suspended for numerous games over his three-year career.

In 2006, star defensive tackle Marcus Thomas was suspended for five games after testing positive for marijuana a second time within months. Thomas appealed the penalty, saying he believed the second positive test was related to the first. UF's drug committee reduced the suspension to two games, but Thomas was dismissed from the team by UF coach Urban Meyer later in the national championship season for failing to attend a mandatory drug education class.

Thomas, drafted by the Denver Broncos in the fourth round in the 2007 draft, is still playing in the NFL with the Broncos.

If Hernandez failed multiple drug tests at Florida, it is not reflected in his playing record. He played in 40 of the 41 games the Gators played in his three years at UF.

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