Florida’s Meyer rolling the dice with Chris Rainey

Nobody asked me but:

1. Urban Meyer is rolling the dice with Chris Rainey: The Florida wide receiver had his felony stalking charge knocked down to a misdemeanor and will not be prosecuted for this text message threat to a Gainesville woman. I know that Meyer likes this kid and has tried to work with him, but if Rainey is allowed back on the team and something goes wrong, the University is going to be in a very vulnerable position from a liability standpoint. Meyer knows the kid. I don’t.  Local authorities have assessed the situation and don’t believe there is a threat. The woman involved is not pressing charges and issued a public statement saying that she does not believe there is a threat. That’s all well and good.

All I know is that since the Virginia lacrosse case (where a male member of the lacrosse team killed a female member of a team in the same sport by beating her head against a wall), the wisest policy is zero tolerance when it comes to threats towards women.

2.  I was wrong about Mark Ingram and the Heisman Trophy: When Ingram missed the first two games of Alabama’s season with a knee injury, I assumed that he was out of the Heisman Trophy race and would not repeat as the winner. I was wrong. I think Ingram is very much in the Heisman race after his 157-yard day against Arkansas. A lot of national media saw his incredible 54-yard touchdown run early in the game and how he was the most dominant player on the field in the fourth quarter when Alabama stormed back to win 24-20. Saturday he gets another national stage when No. 1 Alabama hosts No. 7 Florida.

3. Playoff PAC is out of line: Playoff PAC is a political action committee that is working towards eliminating the BCS and replacing it with some kind of playoff system. This is America and that is what political action committees are for: advocating and advancing a point of view through the political process. I have no problem with that. But the lawyers who work  (free of charge) for Playoff PAC have been sifting through the tax returns of the four BCS bowls looking for dirt. They think they’ve found some in the compensation packages for some of the bowl executive directors. Playoff PAC has filed a 27-page complaint to the IRS.

These guys want a playoff  and someday that might come to pass. It’s a good argument but they haven’t won it yet. So in order achieve your objective you’re going to sick the IRS on people who deem to be opponents? I’m for a four-team playoff but guys but this is over the line. It’s just a football game.

4.The ACC may be bad, but the Big East is worse: We’ve been beating up the ACC and its 1-9 record against non-conference BCS opponents in the first three weeks of the season. But the Big East is worse at 1-10 against the BCS and 6-13 against all Division I-A opponents. Pittsburgh, which was supposed to be one of the two best teams in that league just got mauled at home by Miami. West Virginia, the other top team, lost at LSU. The lowest ranked team to ever play in a BCS game was 8-3 Pittsburgh, which played and lost to Utah in the 2004 Fiesta Bowl. That team was ranked 21st in the final BCS Standings. The Big East champion of 2010 could be worse.

5. LSU may have the best defense in the SEC: I have to admit that I had my doubts about the LSU defense when it got torched for over 400 yards passing in its opener with North Carolina. But since then John Chavis has whipped his troops into shape. Chavis has moved from  working the game from the sidelines to up in the press box. I don’t know if that is a factor but here are the results going into Saturday’s home game with Tennessee: LSU is first in the SEC in total defense (254.0 ypg), first in rushing defense (74.8 ypg), and second in scoring defense (12.0 ypg). Alabama leads in scoring defense at 9.8 points per game. Chavis told Scott Rabalais of the Baton Rouge Morning Advocate that he has been emphasizing speed over size. “For some reason I can coach the ones who run faster,” Chavis said. That speed will come in handy next week when LSU goes to Florida.

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Programming note: Auburn coach Gene Chizik, Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe, and Ivan Maisel of ESPN.com will join us on the “Barnhart and Durham Show” beginning at 10 a.m. on Wednesday. Please check us out at www.790thezone.com.

343 comments Add your comment

Palladin

September 29th, 2010
8:17 am

Good morning Tony.

VolunteerNation

September 29th, 2010
8:21 am

Coach Urban Meyer is scum. He should not allow any of his thugs to take the field. I have lost any and all respect for Meyer after his team’s 30 arrests.

Something smells rotten down in The Swamp!

ChizzedOn

September 29th, 2010
8:25 am

Tony – I give not credit to Mark Ingram and anything associated with that lying, cheating program Nick Satan runs over in Tuskaloser.

Cam Newton has a better shot at the Heisman, he’s far superior and hasn’t missed any games – all the while leading us to a perfect 4-0 mark.

WDE!

Mightykc

September 29th, 2010
8:28 am

Funny vol fan, Rainey isn’t playing but a bunch of thugs that beat up a cop and kicked folks while on the ground have already seen the field in Knox!

Chris

September 29th, 2010
8:29 am

The bowls are suppose to be not for profit companies. What the lawyers are looking for is showing that they are not. The bowls are basically a monopoly, if the BCS and NCAA lost it not for profit label we would get a college football playoff.

Don’t forget Tony, the government used the same tactics of using the IRS on Al Capone.

If I am Mike Bobo...

September 29th, 2010
8:29 am

…the first play I run Saturday is a slant to AJ; the second play is a stop route to AJ; the third play is a bomb to either Troupe or Durham (or whoever is on the opposite side of AJ); the fourth play is a bomb to AJ (even if it is the next series); THEN I run my first running play – see, this offensive play calling is not rocket science…but then Bobo did go to UGA…

Tomsjeep88

September 29th, 2010
8:31 am

Don’t sell us short, Tony: the ACC is 3-9 vs BCS teams!

Big Al

September 29th, 2010
8:31 am

ChizzedOn cut back on the coffee you will blow a gasket. Name calling so early—-just saying

Colin

September 29th, 2010
8:32 am

If LSU could only figure out its quarterback situation, the team will be a threat to win the SEC championship.

mightykc

September 29th, 2010
8:34 am

tony, nice journalism. way to pander to the masses w/ a misleading headline….maybe they have room for you at TMZ. meyer is “rolling the dice”? by kicking rainey off the team?

wouldn’t it be more responsible to save this blurb until/if rainey is allowed back on the team? c’mon, you can do better than that. but maybe it keeps the scent off the dogs problems for a day.

poopdawg

September 29th, 2010
8:34 am

The games Rainey missed were due to his concussion.

Palladin

September 29th, 2010
8:35 am

1. A “zero tolerance” policy often has widespread public support, but it is NEVER “wise”. Wisdom requires the consideration of extenuating circumstances in each individual case. People often get into arguments and say things that they don’t really mean in the heat of the moment. Were we all exposed to the media spotlight that illuminates high profile athletes, such a zero tolerance policy would render most of us unemployed or imprisoned for brief incidents of impropriety induced by anger.

2. Mark is certainly worthy of consideration for the Heisman award. That said, I suspect that he would rather have a NC ring for his other hand than another fancy doorstop.

3. Playoff PAC is just one more example of lawyering gone wild.

4. Small consolation for the ACC.

5. There is no denying that LSU has an excellent defensive squad. That said, early season stats are often misleading, as the early games tend to include a heavy dose of cream-puffs.

CharlotteGator

September 29th, 2010
8:36 am

1. Thanks for the opinion Tony. Not sure where it’s coming from as there’s been no mention of him being returned to the team, but a tip of the hat to you for the flame fest that will ensue in these comments. I personally don’t think he should come back this season, but at the very least you’ve ensured this entry will get tons of comments.

2. Agreed. The guy is an absolute stud. Fearing his impact on this weekend’s game.

3. I have zero problem with these guys investigating the tax stuff of the bowl execs. At the end of the day, if you pay your taxes and don’t cheat you have nothing to worry about. How is it over the line?

4. This point seems obvious and irrelevant all at the same time.

5. LSU does have a great D, but I want to see them matched up against a high powered offense before they’re crowned. WVU, UNC, and Miss. St. aren’t the best offensive sides they’ll see, but you can’t take anything away from them; they’re fast, athletic, and hungry. Should be a great game in the Swamp.

Trey

September 29th, 2010
8:39 am

more nonsense from tony. tony doesn’t like people who commit crimes to be investigated? oh wait only if it’s a uga opponent.
tony b-the biggest idiot at this paper. stewart mandel writes circles around you. you are a joke to the sport. be sure to pick your doggies again friday. eventually you will be right.

BIRDDAWGONE

September 29th, 2010
8:39 am

Goooo I.R.S. Sic’em. If there are Bowl executives getting one penny that is improper they should be treated like A.J. Green.

Gator Hater 1992

September 29th, 2010
8:40 am

http://www.pricezack.wordpress.com this has some pretty good articles that is a must read for a sec sports fan.

CharlotteGator

September 29th, 2010
8:40 am

Palladin,

Excellent point on the Rainey stuff. While I still think he should not be allowed to come back, you make very good points about extenuating circumstances and such. Could totally see that argument, and there’s probably a little ‘let he without sin cast the first stone…’ sentiment which I can certainly understand. However, I still think, emotion or not, that’s a line that’s hard to cross and then explain away later. Not something you play with. Admittedly when I read that it was the sister who called the cops and the original girl said not to, I was skeptical, but you just can’t put yourself in that position and leave it up to others to determine your motives.

I.R.S. = NCAA

September 29th, 2010
8:41 am

Enough said.

Another Steve

September 29th, 2010
8:42 am

Good Morning Tony. While I enjoy your blog, please lay aside your judge’s robe, crystal ball, and fear mongering. There are people smarter than you involved with evaluating the Rainey situation. Why don’t we let them work together and come to a thoughtful resolution.

meyer, coach

September 29th, 2010
8:42 am

I dont believe that I have let him back on the team yet, have I TB???

One angle to the story that has not been investigated….or at least I have not seen it written about, is that Rainey suffered a concussion in the game just before this incident took place. Could the concussion have anything to do with his behavior?? Could it have been a contributing factor?? Maybe she did need to be put in her place..we just don’t know the whole story.

Palladin

September 29th, 2010
8:43 am

@CharlotteGator

Playoff PAC is not investigating tax impropriety. They have used IRS information to “prove” that bowl executives receive generous salaries. This fact might anger some college football fans, but it is hardly illegal. Were that the case, then the Red Cross would have to be shut down immediately, since they offer more generous benefit packages to their not-for-profit executives than do any of the bowl committees.

5IML

September 29th, 2010
8:44 am

1. Rainey will be back as soon as he’s medically cleared (concussion) to play. Until he actually does kill her, he’s on the team. The suspension is meaningless.

2. Mark’s mom uses the trophy as the centerpiece of her dining room table. We prefer team championships.

3. No comment

4. Public knowledge

5. Chavis is suspect.

Football Fan

September 29th, 2010
8:45 am

So Rainey is not playing Saturday, is still suspended, and is not even considered to be a part of the team, yet you are blasting Meyer for what he MAY do and are comparing Rainey to a man who basehd a woman’s skull in ???

That’s some excellent journalism there.

DAWG07

September 29th, 2010
8:46 am

Tony, don’t understand NCAA logic, Alabama player get approx $2K and two games off and AJ gets $1K and four game. Whats up? Seems like in past NCAA kepts investigation undercover that later results in wins moved to the lost column. Since AL has been in recent touble with NCAA that might have resulted in not only loss of games but loss of a Campionship like USC. Any thoughts?

Corch Myer

September 29th, 2010
8:50 am

All this kid needs is a break. He was born in prison and has fought his way through life to make himself successful. His only mistake, if any, is his preference in women. He now knows those women are quick to call 911 and he should learn from that. I sure could use another good Christian face to put in front of the cameras now that my program is being called “dirty”.

You Ain't-Know Gaily Whacker

September 29th, 2010
8:50 am

The Reporter: Mr. McGarity, yesterday you said the Pepper defense was history, and that you would share the second ” Soda Pop ” defense with us, could you elaborate ?

Greg: For sure, the second ” Pop ” defense was the 7Up, we used it against Mississippi State. Here is how it ended up.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0fXxo7JIjk&feature=related

You can’t give them seven points and expect our team to be ” All Action “. We just can’t score seven points, like the drop of a jersey.

The Reporter: Is that your last ” Soda Pop ” play ?

Greg: No, we have one more that we will use against the Buffalo’s. It is the RCMP.

Mulk

September 29th, 2010
8:50 am

Boneheart wants a 4 team playoff and wants at least 3 (2 division winners plus highest ranked 2nd place division runnerup) of them to be SEC teams. I can hear him lamenting now, “how can they pick the Big 12 champ over a 3?4? loss SEC team?” Of course, all these games would have to be played in Atlanta, Birmingham, New Orleans.

Boneheart should also be helping Saint Richt with disciplining his team and leave Meyer alone.

CharlotteGator

September 29th, 2010
8:54 am

Palladin,

Oh, OK. If they’re simply using tax records to show someone’s salary, then you’re right, that is onerous.

I assumed, however, that if they had filed a complaint to the IRS surrounding the packages, there was some tax issues involved as I don’t imagine you can complain about someone’s salary. Otherwise, there are a lot of people I know who get paid excessive salaries and I’ve got some complaints to send in to the IRS. :)

Paul in RDU

September 29th, 2010
8:54 am

1. People are always quick to rush to judgement when an athlete is charged with something. I hope that Meyer has made the correct call.
2. Ingram has an excellent chance of winning the Heisman, but if Denard Robinson keeps playing the way he has the trophy will be going to Ann Arbor.
3. The PlayoffPAC is not out of line. The Bowls are registered as tax-exempt charitable organizations and they need to follow the IRS rules. Quoting the suit
“Playoff PAC’s review uncovered a disturbing pattern of BCS Bowl organizations using their charitable funds to enrich Bowl executives, pay registered lobbyists without disclosure, fund political campaigns, and heap frivolous benefits on Bowl insiders. The BCS Bowls’ activities raise important concerns under federal tax laws and we anticipate that the IRS will give these issues due attention.”

http://blogs.forbes.com/sportsmoney/2010/09/23/playoff-pac-files-irs-complaint-against-bcs-bowls/

4. The ACC is better than the Big East but that is no cause for celebration.
5. LSU gives up over 400 passing yards to TJ Yates and they have one of the best Ds in the SEC. GT gives up just over 200 passing yards to Yates and they have the worst D in the ACC.
Moral: You can’t judge a D by 1 game.

Ron Mexico

September 29th, 2010
8:54 am

Wrong Palladin. While not illegal per-se (as in criminal), not for profits have guidelines and lose their not for profit status if it can be shown that salaries paid are exorbitant. It is ludicrous that these bowls have non-profit and not-for-profit statuses, when they exist solely as profit centers. Don’t get me wrong, I love the bowls, but the tax laws are clearly being abused.

Palladin

September 29th, 2010
8:55 am

@DAWG07

Marcell Dareus was under the false impression that a friend was paying his expenses to attend the party in Miami. When he discovered that the money was actually coming from a sports agent, he immediately self-reported the incident and he and the University cooperated fully with the NCAA in their investigation.

Perhaps A.J. was less forthcoming in reporting his own violations? If you think that the NCAA is cutting Alabama slack in this case, then you obviously haven’t followed the history of interactions between the NCAA and the University of Alabama.

Dawg_Mike

September 29th, 2010
8:56 am

So, let me see…if Chavis can see the field better from the press box it must make a difference.
Bobo said he was more comfortable on the sideline and CMR lets him decide without any protest.

Barry

September 29th, 2010
8:56 am

No worse than Yech playing an FBI drug sting busted crook that went on to threaten a girl with a gun and get arrested again last year, or the fact they are currently playing a rapist on defense.

UGA Preseason number one 2008

September 29th, 2010
8:57 am

“I think Ingram is very much in the Heisman race after his 157-yard day against Arkansas.”

Auburn’s QB racked up 176 yards, Tony. Guess you missed that just like your missed prediction.

“LSU may have the best defense in the SEC”

LOLOLOL

James T. Kirk

September 29th, 2010
8:58 am

What’s wrong Tony? Are you upset that the Jackets are poised to win yet another world championship this year while your puppies bring up the rear as usual? Hopefully Nezbit remembers you when he’s giving his Highsman winning speech

Dawg_Mike

September 29th, 2010
8:58 am

Oh, and the Heisman will go to Pryor because they traditionally go against repeat winners.

Playoff PAC

September 29th, 2010
8:58 am

We need to investigate those who are critical of our goals. Tony B is on that list.

Mutt Nonsense

September 29th, 2010
8:59 am

So let me get this straight….

A washed up, furman bisher wannabe with a history of:
1) “the single worst call I’ve seen in my career of covering college fball” (UGA-LSU celebration call last year)
2) defending any and all things UGA
3) out and out homerism
4) making a federal case out of an incident Ealey said “was no big deal”

…has a post where he specifically lists all the people who know more about the situation than he does, then finishes the said post with “all I know” and what the “wisest thing” to do is.

You’ve got to be kidding me. This is humor and irony at its best since its coming from a UGA grad. Tony, please drop more insights from your vast experience coaching football. Who knows, maybe those same insights will make their way to Athens. That sorry excuse of a team needs all the help you can offer.

Beast from the East

September 29th, 2010
9:00 am

1….Agree totally. Let him EARN his way back onto the team NEXT season. Or else, just go away. We do not need that kind of stupidity.
2….Ingram’s got as good a shot as anyone. He’ll surely get as much or more exposure that anyone in the country.
3….Bowl exec’s being looked at for shady payouts? Surely you jest. LOL!
4….Both conferences should have their automatic BCS bids revoked. They need to be in the same classification as the WAC or the MWC. EARN your spot in a BCS game!
5….Let’s not crown anyone the best “D” yet. We just started the conference schedule and there’s lots of ball to be played.

GO GATORS!

athensdawg

September 29th, 2010
9:01 am

St. Richt needs to quit trying to fool everybody, resign, and do what he really wants to do….be a missionary.

GovClintonTyree

September 29th, 2010
9:02 am

Volunteer fan calling out Meyer for a dirty program? That’s rich. How about those clowns (Nukeese Richardson, et al) in Knoxville last year?

When you put a football team together, a lot of times you’re talking about guys who didn’t have three squares and a roof over their heads and a male and female role model to figure out how to avoid and resolve problems. In Rainey’s case, he lost his parents to the streets and he was headed the same way until the Pouncey family took him in.

His conduct was inexcusable and he needed to be punished and he has been and will continue to be. Question now is, do you give up on him?

My answer, and apparently Meyer’s, is, no. He’s on a short leash, but you see if you can keep him on the path. It’s a tough problem because the text he sent was horrifying. Who knows what the conflict was about; it’s inappropriate. It’s criminal. How you deal with it is the question.

My sense of Chris Rainey is that there’s still something there worth working with, and it’s not 4.4 speed. I think he’s a decent guy who got out of control.

Jake

September 29th, 2010
9:02 am

I don’t see the Vols hurting the LSU D-data Sat.

WEAGLE!!

September 29th, 2010
9:03 am

If Ingram is a legitamate contender, Cam Newton is the frontrunner. Check the number. On zero tolerance: in some cases, zero tolerance is the only intelligent choice. Death threats must be taken seriously. Meyer is an enabler for Rainey. I think he needs to go.

UGA Preseason number one 2008

September 29th, 2010
9:07 am

Scarbinsky: Gators would be much better today with Cam Newton

ou can’t look forward to Florida coming to Alabama without looking back at the road that took Cam Newton to Auburn. It’s not possible unless you’re in absolute denial after witnessing his rare and obvious talents.

A different action here, a different decision there, and Newton could be coming to Alabama as the Florida quarterback. Florida could be reloading on offense, rather than rebuilding.

For the third straight year, Alabama and Florida could be meeting as the top two teams in the nation. Or not. No one will ever know for sure.

This much, we do know. One sequence of events two years ago involving Newton had a bigger impact on the SEC in 2010 than any other recruiting or coaching decision since.

He came to a crossroads of his own making and chose to leave Florida, and Auburn is glad he did.

But what about Florida? Deep down, in places they don’t talk about at press conferences, how can the Gators look at Newton in different shades of orange and blue and not wonder what might’ve been?

The young man they signed to be the next Tim Tebow is playing like a bigger and faster version of Superman himself. Did Tebow ever take off horizontally at the 7-yard line and come down to earth in the end zone?

Meanwhile, Florida starter John Brantley, who signed with the Gators at the same time as Newton in 2007, who competed with him to succeed Tebow, is experiencing the normal growing pains of a first-year starter.

Newton’s maturation began long before he took his first snap and dropped his first jaw in an Auburn uniform. The turning point for him came two years ago when he followed a really dumb mistake with a really smart decision.

After foolishly buying a stolen laptop and then tossing it out the window in a panic when the cops came to call, Newton got arrested. Urban Meyer suspended him indefinitely but – to the coach’s credit – didn’t kick him off the team.

Newton stayed in school to finish the semester, then decided to start over at Blinn Community College. After a year and a juco national title there, he chose Auburn.

I understand that Newton, who completed a pretrial program and had his charges dropped, could’ve stayed in Gainesville and tried to work his way back into Meyer’s good graces. He wouldn’t have been the first Florida player to travel that road.

But with Tebow coming back for his senior year and coordinator Dan Mullen leaving for Mississippi State, it made more sense for Newton to get a fresh start elsewhere.

He had to wonder if he’d ever get a real chance to earn the starting job with the Gators. Imagine if he had.

No offense to Barrett Trotter, but Auburn would not be 4-0. All apologies to Brantley, but Florida would not be such a big underdog at Alabama.

5IML

September 29th, 2010
9:07 am

DAW07,

Marcel (BAMA) was hanging with Marvin Austin (UNC) who was paying for everything. When Marcel discovered that Austin was getting the money from an agent, he promptly returned to Tuscaloosa, told Saban, and spilled his guts to UA’s and the NCAA’s compliance officers.

AJ sold the jersey knowing it was a violation and only got caught when the NCAA reviewed his bank statements. To his credit, he did tell the truth from that point.

Palladin

September 29th, 2010
9:07 am

@WEAGLE!!

Bama is gonna MURDER Auburn at BDS come November 26.

Now… I will go directly to my local police station and turn myself in for violating the “zero tolerance” policy. ;-)

BAMA dude

September 29th, 2010
9:08 am

So in order achieve your objective you’re going to sick the IRS on people who deem to be opponents?

Wow. Just, wow.

When discussing AJ Green you lamented the poor college kids being tempted to do things like sell jerseys based on the millions made off of them by the institutions. Now you are arguing in favor of one of the gazillionaires who not only made a boatload of cash off the kids but potentially hid it from the IRS. Hard to figure which side of the fence you sit on Tony.

UGA Preseason number one 2008

September 29th, 2010
9:09 am

“Bama is gonna MURDER Auburn at BDS come November 26.”

Yeah, and global warming is gonna destroy the Earth in 2006.

SimpleDawg

September 29th, 2010
9:13 am

Well, the Heisman candidacy of Marcus Lattimore sure was derailed in a hurry…..can’t play the woeful Georgia defense every week.

Ingram certainly picked up where he left off last year…… Running all over Duke wasn’t a big surprise, but given how well Arkansas was playing last Saturday, his 157 yards was pretty impressive. And Trent Richardson got his yards also…..

Ol’ Urban is facing the difficult decision a lot of coaches have to make….do I go for the win, or do I send a message about anti-social behavior? …….most go for the win, although Rainey still misses the Bama game. At least Urban thought Rainey’s offense was bad enough for a whole game suspension. It doesn’t matter, the Gatuhs don’t have much of a chance against the rising Tide in Tuscaloosa.

I guess Gameday going to Eugene, Oregon instead of Tuscaloosa was a bone to the PAC-10 for their only really big game of the year……at least we hope it’s going to be a big game.

The Big Least is definitely worse than the ACC. No one really knows who’s in the Big Least anymore because their teams aren’t necessarily in the East. The ACC should schedule Big Least teams for out-of-conference opponents….it would improve their record against BCS conferences.

LSU needs to play really good defense….their offense can keep any of their opponents in the game.

This Playoff PAC bunch are another example of a vocal minority stirring up a pile to get their way….crying, kicking, and screaming hasn’t worked so far. We know it’s those little western conference schools behind all of this whining. Sic’n the IRS on anyone is un-American….no one likes the IRS. I guess desperate people will engage desperate measures……And why are they griping so much? They have Boise, Utah, and TCU ranked, and they don’t have anyone else to rank.

I still can’t believe the Dawgs are 1 – 3. Shoulda, coulda, woulda,………we are what our record says we are……bad.

But we’re still the Georgia Bulldogs and that’s still a good thing!

BAMA dude

September 29th, 2010
9:13 am

UGA Preseason number one 2008

September 29th, 2010
9:09 am
“Bama is gonna MURDER Auburn at BDS come November 26.”

Yeah, and global warming is gonna destroy the Earth in 2006

Guarantee that the line on that game would approach double digits if it were played this weekend.