Iowa reacts to guilty verdict for Hernandez

Rick Brown

IOWA CITY, Ia. – When former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole Wednesday, that verdict's ripples reached the football offices at the University of Iowa.

Aaron's brother, DJ, is as a graduate assistant football coach at Iowa.

"There are a lot of things that happen in life that are tough to explain," Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz said Wednesday. "And I'm not sure anyone can explain this one. Certainly it's been a tough period for (DJ)."

Brian Ferentz, the Hawkeyes' offensive line coach and running game coordinator, coached Aaron Hernandez with the Patriots.

"These things are unfortunate," Brian Ferentz said. "Really, I don't think it benefits Iowa football or myself to comment on the situation, other than it's tragic. It's certainly much more tragic for the victims involved. These types of things, they affect everyone. I feel bad for DJ and for his family, but I feel worse for the victims in this case."

Kirk Ferentz and his staff have lent their support to DJ Hernandez since charges were filed against his brother.

"All you can do is lend support," Kirk Ferentz said. "It's a very tough thing for DJ to go through. DJ is a tremendous young man. He had a great career at the University of Connecticut. He was a very unselfish player there. A two-time captain and a very good student."


Upon further review, Iowa all-American and Outland Trophy winner Brandon Scherff will not be able to attend the Polk County I-Club on April 28 after all.

A release from the Polk County I-Club indicated Scherff would be among the attendees at the event, scheduled for the Sheraton in West Des Moines. That was reported in the Des Moines Register. But Scherff will not be able to attend as he will be traveling to Chicago. Scherff was one of 26 players invited by the NFL to attend the April 30 draft in person. Scherff is expected to be selected in the first round.