Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Chris Rainey "Situation"

By now, most college football fans are probably aware that Florida wide receiver Chris Rainey was arrested and charged with aggravated stalking this past Tuesday. It's been reported that he went to the home of a woman that he's dated on and off for three years after she missed a call from him. Then, after leaving, he sent her at least one threatening text message. Currently, Rainey is not with the team.

I've read and heard a number of opinions ranging from he should be booted immediately to he should be suspended indefinitely and assisted with any anger issues he has. There are also people questioning the severity of the incident, and seem to think it's along the lines of a boyfriend-girlfriend spat.

Personally, I can see the validity in just about all of those points of view, and I'm pretty torn on exactly what Coach Meyer should. Obviously, a lot is being made of the number of arrests under Meyer, and being a Florida alum I don't like seeing any school "representatives", be they athletes, coaches, AD's, etc., in trouble with the law. From that side I can see why people think Rainey should be dismissed from the team.

However, I've coached youth sports, and while it's not quite the same as being an FBS head football coach, I do have a little insight into how athletics can be the only release for some kids. Rainey has always seemed to have a pretty good relationship with Meyer, and I'm sure that the decision of whether or not to take football away from him is something that Meyer will agonize over. I would imagine that Meyer really feels like he can help Rainey through this, but because of prior transgressions with UF football players he might not get the chance to.

In the end, there can be a delicate balance between using your athletic abilities to achieve success, and using them to gain preferential treatment that allows you to escape what the public deems as proper punishment.