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Ex-Gator Rainey Proves That Discipline Isn’t A Bad Thing

gfx - honest opinionIn the fall of 2010, Florida receiver Chris Rainey was arrested on stalking charges after sending a threatening email to his girlfriend.  The message read, “Time to Die, Bitch.”

Not long after Rainey agreed to a plea bargain, then-Gator coach Urban Meyer welcomed him back to the UF football team.  Meyer took heat at the time for looking the other way.  But the coach said Rainey had never been in trouble before: “He’s never been an issue before and he certainly better never be again.”

Rainey finished up his career at Florida and is now a professional with the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Meyer left Gainesville after the 2010 season only to get back into coaching this season at Ohio State.  In April of last year, Rainey repaid his ex-coach’s 2010 leniency by saying that he believed Meyer and his coaches “were scared” of certain players and gave them preferential treatment as a result.

Apparently the irony of what he was saying was lost on Rainey.

I bring this all back up because Rainey was once again in the news today.  At 8:26am this morning, Gainesville Police received a call from a witness who reported seeing a male and a female engaged in “a verbal altercation that turned physical.”  The police report states that “Rainey and the victim got into an argument over Rainey’s cell phone” and that witnesses “observed Rainey slap the victim across the face with an open hand.”

Rainey was charged with one count of simple battery for “dating violence.”  The police report says Rainey has been dating the victim for about nine months.

To be fair, Rainey hasn’t been found guilty yet and perhaps both of his dustups with women can be explained away easily.  Here’s guessing, however, that there’s more to these stories than just coincidence.  Also, if Rainey is found guilty of this latest offense, it will be crystal clear to us that he might have benefited had Meyer handed down some real discipline back in 2010.

There’s a feeling among coaches — and most fans — that a troubled player on their team can be helped more with love than with punishment.  While this writer is far from a hanging judge, there are certain issues that require discipline and consequences whether those consequences hurt a team’s chances of winning games or not.  Violence or violent attitudes toward women are among those serious issues.

In Rainey’s case we’ve now moved from a threatening text to an alleged slap.  What’s next?  And would the slap have even happened had Meyer benched Rainey for a number of weeks back in 2010, showing him that his ways would have to change?

We’ll never know the answer to that last question.  We’ll only know that Meyer looked the other way — as many coaches do — when Rainey crossed a line.  Police and witnesses say Rainey has now crossed another one.  Wonder what Meyer thinks about that today?

 

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Muschamp Happy About The Direction Of UF’s Program

Will Muschamp inherited a tougher situation than most people imagined when he took over the Florida football program.  First, he would have to deal with expectations created by Steve Spurrier and Urban Meyer, two men who won three national/BCS crowns between them.  Second, he would have to restock a roster that had been built to fit Meyer’s spread offensive system.  Third, he would need to instill some off-field discipline back into the Gator program… something that was sorely lacking under Meyer.

Add all that up and it’s no wonder Muschamp’s first year turned out about the same way Meyer’s final year in Gainesville had — average.  But that doesn’t mean the second-year coach isn’t pleased with the progress his program is making:

 

“We are where we are.  We’re 15-11 the last two years.  I think we’re on the upswing.  I think we’ve recruited well.  I think our upcoming junior class has some really good players in it.  I think our senior class has got some mature guys that are ready to have a good year.

I think our upcoming junior class for the most part played for the first time last season… I’m excited about where things are headed at this point.”

 

Muschamp told The Gainesville Sun that he’s “excited about where we’re headed” in part because his team should actually be able to run the ball a little bit this season.  In the SEC, that’s a rather key component of a pro-style offense.  ”The cohesiveness offensively and being more physical and running the ball, we are better than we were at any point last year because of experience, because of knowledge, because we’ve kept some continuity with some things terminology-wise.”

Left unsaid:  The fact that the Gators’ top two running backs in 2012 will no longer be 5-9, 175 pounds (Chris Rainey) and 5-7, 191 pounds (Jeff Demps).  Those guys could fly — especially in Meyer’s spread-option attack — but to be featured in Muschamp’s power, pro-style attack?  Fuggedaboutit.  (NSFW)

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SEC Headlines 10/1/2011 Part One

Kentucky at LSU

1. Limiting turnovers a key for Kentucky.  LSU is first in the SEC and fourth in the country in turnover margin.

2. The quarterback spot at LSU: Will an “offense with identity” be threatened by the return of Jordan Jefferson?

3. Kentucky’s biggest (only) advantage? Since 1960, LSU has won 78 percent of its home night games, but only49 percent during the day.

4. Jim Kleinpeter: LSU fans get a chance to celebrate the No. 1 team in the nation Saturday - if they can get up early enough.

Buffalo at Tennessee

5. The maturation of quarterback Tyler Bray: ” I think he’s on a really nice growth pattern right now,” says offensive coordinator Jim Chaney.

6. “Today is the last mulligan for Dooley and Co.”

7. Tennessee leads the SEC in passing offense but has just 245 rushing yards in the first three games.

Alabama at Florida

8. No. 3 vs. No. 12.  Alabama wide receiver Darius Hanks: ““That’s why you come to Alabama, to play in big games like this. Big-time players make big plays in big games.”

9. Florida offensive coordinator Charlie Weis: “There’s a difference between hoping to win and expecting to win. And I promise you, we expect to win. We’re not hoping.”

10. Since people began calling Ben-Hill Griffin Stadium “The Swamp”, Florida is 8-7 against higher-ranked opponents.

11. Will Muschamp: “It’s going to come down to tackling.” LA Times: “Florida might have as much to say about this year’s title race as any team.”

12. Chris Rainey had a reputation for opening his mouth before he thinks – but that’s now changing.

Texas A&M vs. Arkansas

13. Aggies coach Mike Sherman is 0-for-4 against the SEC.

14. Will the Aggies be able to rush the Hogs?

15. Once A&M enters the SEC, will SEC fans travel to College Station.

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Is Muschamp Spreading Misinformation?

Last week Florida running back Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps talked to the press about running the Wildcat package.  When Will Muschamp was asked about it yesterday, he sounded like a man who’d simply put out some misinformation to toy with his opponents:


“That’s why we’ve closed everything.  I do think it’s an advantage for us this season not to show.  What is Charlie (Weis) doing?  Is he doing what he did at Notre Dame?  Kansas City?  New England?  How is he using this guy?  This guy?  This guy?  This guy?  We put a wild rumor out there about Wildcat.  So defensively, are we doing Dan Quinn or Will Muschamp?  Are we 3-4 or are we 4-3?  I don’t know.  That’s why we’ve closed things.”


Then again, all the cloak and dagger talk could have just been a cover for the fact that his running backs really did spill the beans on his super secret Wildcat plans.

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UF’s Rainey Has Title Ring Stolen

While Auburn’s players were receiving their national title rings yesterday, a Florida Gator was having his stolen.  The home of Chris Rainey and teammate Moses Jenkins was broken into yesterday morning and among the items reported stolen were Rainey’s 2008 BCS championship ring.

Considering Rainey’s past, the thief had better hope the speedy receiver doesn’t track down his cell phone number… or else it might be “time to die.”

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Would a win over Florida State save the Gators’ season?

Florida
Content provided by Swamp Things – Gators Blog.

The year started with high expectations but has been largely disappointing. A win over rival FSU might go a long way to make up for that. (Orlando Sentinel photo)

After Florida beat Appalachian State last week, center Mike Pouncey said a win this week at Florida State would still make the season a success. Not to be mistaken, the Gators fell short of their goal of returning to Atlanta for the SEC title game.

But, after all the Gators and their fans have been through this season – transitioning to life after Tim Tebow, Chris Rainey’s arrest, a rash of injuries that might be the worst in coach Urban Meyer’s career and three home losses – is Pouncey right?

It has been a difficult season in Gainesville, but at least Florida can end it on a high note by extending its six-game winning streak over the Seminoles.

What do you think? If Florida wins today’s game at Doak Campbell Field, does that save the season? Vote below, please.

Would a win over Florida State save the season for the Gators?online surveys


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Chris Rainey helped convince current Gators to pass on FSU

Florida
Content provided by Swamp Things – Gators Blog.

Florida RB/WR Chris Rainey helped convince Lakeland teammates Ahmad Black and Mike and Maurkice Pouncey to become Gators rather than go to Florida State. (Orlando Sentinel photo)

Florida strong safety Ahmad Black grew up a Florida State fan. Mike and Maurkice Pouncey, Black’s teammates at Lakeland, verbally committed to the Seminoles.

So how did all three end up at rival Florida? Chris Rainey.

All four high school teammates at Lakeland, they – along with Steven Wilks – ultimately picked the Gators. As Florida prepares to face the Seminoles on Saturday, Black joked that Rainey “probably had stock in Gatorade” t0 want to come to Florida so badly.

“Chris Rainey was kind of the lead nut in the whole deal, the lead recruit,” said coach Urban Meyer. “He was a guy that I first met him at an FCA banquet down in Tampa, Outback Bowl deal, we developed a great relationships via phone and everything else from there. From then, the Pounceys jumped and Ahmad Black jumped and Steve Wilks jumped.”

Black’s joking aside, Rainey might have helped Meyer land some of the best recruits during his tenure at Florida. Maurkice Pouncey was the school’s first Rimington Trophy winner as the nation’s top center and was taken 18th in the NFL draft. Mike stayed in school to increase his draft stock, and recent projections have him going in the first round this year.

Despite his size, Black is the best strong safety in college football, his coaches argue. He leads the Gators with 96 tackles and has three interceptions this season. At 5-foot-9, 190 pounds, he doesn’t fit the NFL mold, but defensive coordinator Teryl Austin – who spent six years coaching defensive backs in the NFL – says a team should take him.

“They offered me a scholarship,” Black said of Florida. “I was too small and too slow to go to Florida State.”

Wilks’ return from a back injury has helped paved the way for an improved running game, something Rainey has contributed to. He has been the team’s leading rusher since returning from suspension, gaining 211 rushing and 553 all-purpose yards in the past four games.

“I can remember Rainey got maybe three scholarship offers coming out of high school.,” Black said. “Everybody use to wonder why, and I was like well maybe because he told everybody he wanted to come to Florida. I can remember coach Meyer asked me did I want to come here,and I had Rainey right here standing in my ear saying, ‘Yes, yes!’

“Rainey played a big factor.”


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SEC Headlines – 11/12/10 Part One

1.  Urban Meyer says his Gators learned from their midseason struggles.

2.  Back in action, Chris Rainey is gaining redemption on the football field.

3.  Shooting will be a priority for Billy Donovan’s team tonight.

4.  Mark Bradley of The AJC writes that Auburn University’s reputation is on the line if it allows Cam Newton to play tomorrow.

5.  If he does play, Georgia’s defense will have to stop him.  (I wouldn’t hold my breath.)

6.  Georgia’s basketball team is confident heading into tonight’s opener.

7.  Once again, Kentucky versus Vanderbilt lacks prestige.

8.  Several senior walk-ons have contributed to Kentucky’s football team this year.

9.  Freshman point guard Brandon Knight says it’s an honor to be John Calipari’s point guard… following John Wall, Tyreke Evans and Derrick Rose.

10.  To beat Kentucky, Vanderbilt will first need to survive tomorrow’s second quarter.

11.  Vandy’s Brad Tinsley is glad he’s running the point.

12.  It’s Festus Ezeli time in Nashville!  (And no that’s not a foreign holiday.)

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Florida Getting Healthy For Carolina

Heading into tomorrow’s SEC East Division championship game, Florida is getting a number of players back from the injury list.

Receiver Andre Debose is “pretty close” to being full speed, according to Urban Meyer.  Defensive end Jay Howard is probable, but he’ll be limited if he plays.

Unfortunately for UF, Jeff Demps is still not back to 100% and he will once again be limited against the Gamecocks.  Meyer told The Gainesville Sun, “He won’t play the whole game.”

When Demps comes out, Mike Gillislee and Emmanuel Moody (both healthy) will split carries with Chris Rainey.

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Meyer on Rainey: "He hit rock bottom and he is coming up and going as fast as he possibly can."

His teammates say Chris Rainey is a different person. Senior center Mike Pouncey, who knows Rainey as well as anyone on the team, says Rainey’s "attitude about the game” has changed drastically since he was suspended earlier this season for five games.
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