As reports continue to surface about former New England Patriots and Florida Gators tight end Aaron Hernandez’s violent past, one of the stories involved an alleged bar fight when Hernandez was a 17-year-old freshman at the University of Florida.
Hernandez allegedly decked a restaurant manager with a blow that ruptured the man’s ear drum. No charges stemmed from the incident and it appears that Hernandez may have the university to thank.
According to a USA Today report, the Gators may have been involved in reaching a settlement with the bar manager.
Taphorn declined immediate medical treatment, but when he was examined the next day by doctors, they discovered that his right ear drum had been broken, an injury that would take four to six weeks to heal, the incident report said.
Curiously, police said Taphorn was adamant about pressing charges when he first spoke to officers, but when police followed up with Taphorn, he told them “that he may request the charges be dropped,” an investigator wrote in the supplemental report. He added: “Taphorn did state that he had been contacted by legal staff and coaches with UF and that they may be working on an agreement. However, nothing is finalized.”\
Although police recommended a felony assault charge against Hernandez, a juvenile at the time, no charge was lodged.
UF spokesman Steve McClain denies that anyone from the university was involved in a settlement, while the manager, Michael Taphorn, denied ever working at the restaurant and knowing about the incident.
The more we learn about Hernandez, the more we understand why he slid in the NFL Draft despite his first-round talent.
Hernandez was a troubled kid before he ever enrolled at Florida and he was obviously never held accountable for any of his mistakes.
In the end, that hurt Hernandez the most. He has likely walked his last day as a free man as he awaits trial for the murder of his 27-year-old acquaintance Odin Lloyd.