Tim Tebow calls Hernandez murder case ‘heartbreaking,’ defends Meyer

Jarrett Bell, USA TODAY Sports

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Tim Tebow offered no revealing insights into the drama surrounding Aaron Hernandez, his former teammate with the Florida Gators and, briefly, the New England Patriots who is now facing first-degree murder charges.

But after completing his first training camp practice with the Patriots on Friday, Tebow acknowledged the tragedy of the execution-style shooting of Odin Lloyd, an acquaintance of Hernandez. Then Tebow demonstrated his ability to recite his new company’s line.
“It was heartbreaking, it was sad,” Tebow said in his first public comments about the murder. “And we’ve been advised not to comment on an ongoing legal investigation. So I’m not going to comment further. But it’s just heartbreaking and sad. All my prayers go out to the families that were involved.”

Tebow played with Hernandez at Florida, where they won a national championship together in 2008. Tebow spoke to more than two dozen reporters for about eight minutes. But when pressed about Hernandez, he repeatedly deflected the questions.

“I understand why you have to ask all the questions,” he responded to a query from NFL Network’s Albert Breer. “That’s part of doing your job. Mine is listening to instructions. We’ve been told not to talk about it.”
Tebow did answer a question to defend the reputation of Urban Meyer, maintaining that this former college coach did not run an outlaw program at Florida.

“I feel like Urban Meyer is a great man, one of the best that I’ve had to the privilege of being around,” Tebow said.

“He’s someone who not only tries to win football games, he’s someone who tries to invest in young men’s lives and help young men grow. He cares very deeply about that. That’s one of the reasons why I’m so close to him, and I’m proud of him.”


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