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Nation/World

July 2, 2014

Aaron Hernandez in Gators/Patriots 2014 calendars

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Ex-Florida and New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez, jailed while awaiting trial in the killing of three men, is Mr. July in the Gators’ 2014 sports calendar and is also seen in a photo carrying the pigskin in a Patriots calendar by the same company.

The school said Tuesday that officials approved the publication months before he was charged with murder, and the Patriots said they would not comment on matters involving Hernandez.

The calendars are still available for sale through Target.com and feature tight end No. 81 in the Gators’ white jersey and blue pants with an orange stripe carrying the football under his right arm and almost looking into the camera. It includes his height, weight and hometown of Bristol, Connecticut.

In the Patriots calendar, Hernandez is seen holding the ball in red-gloved hands and wearing a dark blue jersey, silver pants and high socks. It’s hard to tell from the Target ad in which month he is featured. It has the NFL and NFL Players Association logos on the back.

Hernandez started 29 games for the Gators between 2007-2009, catching 111 passes for 1,382 yards and 12 touchdowns, according to the team’s website. He later went on to star for the Patriots, with 175 catches for nearly 2,000 yards and 18 TDs from 2010-2012.

After the 2012 season, on June 26, 2013, Hernandez was arrested in the slaying of Odin Lloyd, whose body was found in an industrial park about a half-mile from Hernandez’s mansion in North Attleborough, Massachusetts. Hernandez faces a murder trial starting Oct. 6. Others also face charges in the case.

Officials approved the calendar last spring, months before the arrest, said Florida spokesman Daniel Apple. The calendars’ maker, Turner Licensing, a division of Perfect Timing Inc., did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

Since then, the 24-year-old Hernandez has also been indicted on two counts of first-degree murder in the drive-by shooting of two other men, Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado and faces trial next year. He has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges, and is in jail in Massachusetts.

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