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

ratherBgambling

September 29th, 2010
4:44 pm

I’m Mike Hamilton and I’m still an idiot!

gdawginkalamazoo

September 29th, 2010
4:49 pm

Good to see you back Atlanta Gator!

The girl friend did not feel threatened because she could kick Rainey’s arse. Bottom line, nothing to get excited about. Keep moving people.

Gatorman

September 29th, 2010
5:01 pm

Wait a minute, LSU got those stats against West Virginia. Let’s see how good the defense is when they play Alabama and Arkansas.

simplythetruth

September 29th, 2010
6:05 pm

Tony, you need to comment on the Ben Jones atrocious play against the MSU player before you even open your mouth about Chris Rainey. I don’t recall you ever spouting off about any of Bobby Bowden’s player’s shenanigans or for that matter any Bulldawg garbage until after it had snowballed into hell. Try to be objective, it won’t kill ya.

Tony???

September 29th, 2010
7:15 pm

How is kicking Rainey off the team supposed to prevent him from assaulting a woman… or anyone for that matter? I don’t get the liabilty comment.

Isn’t Georgie the school most known for itimidating women (Jan Kemp)? I can’t think of a school with more notoriety on this topic.

Go Gators!

TampaGator

September 29th, 2010
7:21 pm

Tony…who in hell appointed you God and executioner over Chris Rainey? And I am sure glad the girl has more forgiveness in her heart than you do. And I am sure you also have no idea about the 22 years this kid has lived a model life until the day he suffered a concussion and lost his sense of normality. And by the way….Urban Mayer has respeatedly said….”Chris Rainey is not part of the team.” I fully expect Chris will be given another opportunity to set things right with everyone…in time…and after proving to Urban Meyer and the public that he deserves another opportunity. It might be this year…or it might not. But…I guess…you want to judge and destroy a kid’s life when the kid has never done anything (unlike the kid at Virginia who had repeated verbal and physical encounters with the girl he killed) before that even closely resembled irrational behavior….and like I have repeatedly stated….Chris Rainey has suffered a concusion earlier in the day…which can cause you to act irrationally. Frankly, the more I read you column, the more I realize the your limited ability to have rational or reasonably thoughts as well. WHAT A TOTAL JERK YOU ARE! I sure hope the AJC and CBS realize this about you soon.

P.S. If I were Urban Meyer….Chris Rainey could earn his way back on the team….next year….and proving in that year he deserves the right to earn it. But I would never judge and execute the kid like you did in this article. SHAME ON YOU!!! And not just because the kid is a Gator…..but the kid is not deserving of you low ball attack…nor is Meyer.

And the Vols fan who posted early…..I would not come on criticizing another program based on what happened recently in your program….you guys actually physically attacked people….including a cop….and most of them got away with it. Great message coming out of Knoxville, right?

TampaGator

September 29th, 2010
7:24 pm

P.S…..I aplogize for all the typing “typos” in the above post….Tony just pissed me off more than usual.

TampaGator

September 29th, 2010
7:29 pm

And…..Tony….if you had ever met and talked to Chris Rainey….and I have…..you would have never written what you wrote about the kid. What he did is not who Chris Rainey is…or ever has been. I is well liked by almost everyone who knows him….including his best friends on the team from Lakeland….who have known him most of his life. He made a terrible emotional mistake of judgement for which he is paying dearly for….both by the state’s attorney….and by not being a part of the team by Urban Meyer….and my most likely losing the woman he cares about. So get over it, Tony Mouth.

Beast from the East

September 29th, 2010
7:33 pm

Calm down, TampaGator. Tony’s a UGA homer and everyone (including him) knows it. Just another opportunity to try and criticize a rival that his team cannot compete with on the field.

Longhorn beef stew

September 29th, 2010
8:08 pm

When is that great new coach at Notre Dame going to get his
‘ Signature Win ‘ ?

Not this year.

Johnny DangerDawg

September 29th, 2010
8:38 pm

Cam Newton looks like the MVP of the SEC right now. Alabama without Mark Ingram is still the best team in the SEC. Auburn’s success heavily relies on Cam Newton.

Hit A Single

September 29th, 2010
8:50 pm

If it were Mark Richt, he would be getting crucified for not kicking him off the team. How you let a guy claw another player’s eye and only suspend him for a half is still a joke. And don’t give me that, well he has won a NC.

Hick Dead

September 29th, 2010
9:08 pm

Hit a single; Let’s see Spikes stuck his fingers in Washout Ealey’s facemask, missed his eyes to which Ealey laughed about it when asked and Meyer gives Spikes a half a game. Ben “fat redneck” Jones cuts a guy from Ms State 20 yards down field and the sweet baby sitter Richt takes him out for one play. The guy could barely get off the field under his own power. Another whining humper fan.

Buford Sowega

September 29th, 2010
9:14 pm

Someone discovers tax irregularities amongst a supposedly not for profit operation, and it’s “out of line” to report it? Okay. I just wish I could figure out your angle. Everybody wants something. I just want a straight-up set of matchups to settle who’s on top for the season. I guess a playoff would take power away from sports writers.

Alabama | MrSEC.com

September 29th, 2010
10:01 pm

[...] 1.  Urban Meyer (and some in the Gainesville press) have said that Florida’s players aren’t interested in revenge.  Well, tell that to Ahmad Black.2.  Gator defensive end Duke Lemmens this is “the biggest game of the year.”3.  Here are five keys to a Florida victory on Saturday night.4.  This time around, it’s Florida with the inexperienced quarterback.5.  This writer gives Greg McElroy the edge over Florida’s secondary. 6.  If Florida puts eight in the box, the secondary will have to play mistake-free football.7.  The Gators will face a tough task in trying to stop Bama’s ground game.8.  UF’s players say distractions cost them last year’s SEC title game. 9.  This year, it’s all business for the Gators.10.  Bama is having to prepare for Trey Burton — a true triple threat.11.  Alabama’s Wildcat formation has been effective… even if everyone does know what’s coming.12.  The Tide know all about Florida’s team speed.13.  This writer says Florida would be much better today with Cam Newton at quarterback.14.  Tide-Gators is the closest thing to a prize fight in college football.15.  Florida’s Fun ‘N Gun has turned into run, run, run.16.  Dont’a Hightower has moved back to his old weak inside linebacker spot.17.  Safety Robert Lester has gone from question mark to SEC interception leader in one month.18.  In the preseason, Meyer thought about devoting one day a week to preparing for Alabama… until he “flipped on the film and saw how poor we were.”19.  The average ticket price for a Bama-Florida ticket on StubHub.com is still lower than the average ticket price for a Texas-Oklahoma ticket.20.  An EA Sports simulation of the game — which means absolutely nothing and is simply a way for EA Sports to hawk their game — shows the Tide winning 38-28.21.  Finally, Tony Barnhart of The AJC says that he was wrong about Mark Ingram’s Heisman chances… and that Urban Meyer is rolling the dice by not fully dismissing Chris Rainey. [...]

Seth

September 29th, 2010
10:19 pm

Dogs ad bringing uf to uga with not playing anymore ooc games. I don’t like that. I can see not travelling all the way out west but we should play a decent team from say the acc or big east or conf usa.

Boomer Sooner

September 29th, 2010
11:24 pm

TAMPA GATOR.
You are the biggest homer on here…..you make excuses for every Gator arrested, every time UF looks horrible and anything you type is just homerism at its finest. You say you live in Tampa…go read the St. Pete Times or the Tampa Tribune and get your Gator fix, because everyone on here knows you are gator impaired.

Douglas

September 29th, 2010
11:43 pm

Tony: I have the utmost respect for you as a sports journalist. But when it comes to issues of domestic violence, you are a complete fool. I am a therapist: this is not unusual for a woman to want to drop charges. She believes this guy will not harm her or refuses to press charges…because she fears he will either come back and beat her or kill her. Meyer is a complete loser to allow Rainey to come back on the team. He is just as guilty as Rainey if he does.

Atlanta Gator

September 29th, 2010
11:49 pm

Seth—-

Greg McGarrity is a very smart AD. He knows that the Dawgs are in a rebuilding phase, and may continue to be in some phase of rebuilding for the next two to three years. I suspect McGarrity also believes that a coaching change may in the Dawgs’ near future. If so, the last thing the Dawgs will need during the next two seasons is a couple of road games against top-ten out-of-conference opponents.

I have defended Richt over the last three seasons because I believed he was a good coach with a lot of long-term potential. Now, I am in wait-and-see mode. Regardless of his personal merits and coaching skills, change may become inevitable. Sometimes, even good coaches need to be replaced for the greater good of the program. UGA may be approaching that tipping point.

Cold Hard Truth

September 29th, 2010
11:52 pm

None, and I mean NONE of you idiots posting know anything about these situations in these programs.
Funny how if it’s your team, it’s excusable. If it’s your rival, it’s inexcusable.
Everyone should just STFU.

Delbert D.

September 29th, 2010
11:54 pm

The PAC playoff guys need to look for kickbacks to conference commissioners as well. Not saying there is anything there, but evidence can be manufactured.

The Knoxville bar brawl incident perturbs me because of the lack of witnesses who will say anything. Is the bar that had the “agreement” with Vols football players controlled by the mob?

Cold Hard Truth

September 30th, 2010
12:04 am

…and no one is more full of sh!t concerning these issues than you clowns at the AJC.
“Mr. College Football”- what a pompous a$$. Just go back up to NYC where your southern accent can make you sound like a southern football guru to the crowd up there that has less of a clue than you about what makes these coaches and programs tick.

Atlanta Gator

September 30th, 2010
12:13 am

Cold Hard Truth—-

No, some things are not excusable, regardless of which player at what school is involved. The particular topic today involved Gator Chris Rainey, a first-time offender with no history of legal or team discipline problems. Even though his screw-up involved no actual violence against the woman in question, threats against women are not exceptable. To be clear: I am not defending what he did, but I am defending a good kid who screwed up and I believe he should be given the opportunity to redeem himself and earn his way back into the coach’s good graces.

I’ll let other fans discuss the problems at other schools.

warhorse

September 30th, 2010
1:56 am

Funny to hear a UT guy talk about Rainey. This is the school where a handful of its players beat and kicked a law enforcement officer until he was sensless in a hospital. Those players have not missed a game. Interesting law enforcement in Knoxville that takes care of player and does not take are of a fellow officer.

That is real thuggery and again shows that you cannot spell thug without UT.

No Homer

September 30th, 2010
5:14 am

Tony you write too often with an agenda. I am not a fan of a particular school, rather of college football in general. Florida has issues with it’s conduct, but so does UGA. Where are you calling out the Richt “Mr. Moral and Values” for begging for Greens reduction in penalty for breaking the rules? Where is your crying for Richt that has a conversation with a guy about driving and then the player doe sit anyway, leaves the scene afterwards but receives a 1 game suspension? Richt is not running an SEC program…If you are going to provide negative comments or thoughts, how about cleaning up your own house first…UGA is an embarasment!

Florida Dawg

September 30th, 2010
5:33 am

I don’t see how in any way an investigation into the tax question is out off line.
If these “executives” are on the take…expose them. Why not…are they not like all of us and have to pay taxes.
Good for the investigators….I hope someone writes more about the progress.

TampaGator

September 30th, 2010
6:56 am

Douglas…..

A good therapist would never see or call anyone “a loser”. Obviously, you are not a good one….and I doubt you are even one based on your comments in your post. Chris Rainey has no history of anger or abuse towards women…..and a good therapist would acknowledge that. Maybe you should try a new field….or go back to school and study psychology….or just admit you are a message therapist.

TampaGator

September 30th, 2010
7:01 am

Boomer Sooner……

I AM an admitted GATOR HOMER….and I think you are a Sooner homer as well.

But…for the record….I did not support Jamar Hornsby or Ronnie Wilson. I did support Cam Newton when his charges were dropped and thought he deserved a second chance….and he obviously did based on what he has done to prove it. Now that the charges have been dropped against Rainey….I believe he too deserves a second chance….but that should be next year after he has proven both to the state and to the university that he deserves that chance….over a period of time. That just makes sense….and it has nothing to do with being a homer for any team.

how2fish

September 30th, 2010
8:46 am

I’m not about to second guess CUM on the Rainey kid..if he looks the young man in the eye and is willing to put his neck on the line for him I’m all for it. Everyone makes mistakes with women at some point..and even upset as the kid must have been there was no physical contact he deserves a second chance if Urban who is closest to the situation thinks he does..if he had hurt her then that’s a different discussion..

OaktownGator

September 30th, 2010
8:52 am

Tony, I agree with your concerns on any player who makes threats toward women. Even though the woman in this situation does not take the threat seriously, I think Coach Meyer should, and I expect he will in his expectations of Rainey. As far as I know, Rainey is still officially off the team. Not just suspended, but off the team. And Coach Meyer has not made any decision public on if or when Rainey will be able to work his way back on to the team, or onto the field. I think any reporting on the situation should include that context, in fairness.

dawgster

September 30th, 2010
8:53 am

TampaGator…i’ll be honest i haven’t read all your comments on the Rainey situation, and i don’t know enought about him or his character to make a valid statement regarding the incident…what i can do however, is give some perspective in my opinion only, and that is, our QB(Mett), was dismissed by Coach Richt for making a foolish and serious mistake while intoxicated at a bar and crossed the line with a young lady that shouldn’t have been…Had he not been intoxicated, which is no excuse this more than likely would not have happened….He is still a good kid who made a very dumb mistake…I don’t kinow the whole story only what i read, but if he did threaten the life of this young lady, even by text..correct me if i’m wrong, but i believe it was “time to die”..then he should have in my opinion faced some serious charges…doesn’t matter if he is a good kid or not..alot of good kids make dumb mistakes..i think what bothers everyone is that he seems to be getting off with very little punishment based on the info that is being reported…The point i want make here is that I hope now, the bashing of Coach Richt will stop as far as his handling of player personnel decisions when everyone is screaming that he should “kick the thug” off the team, instead of evaluating the circumstances and not rushing to judgement..I don’t know that a persons career should be thrown out the door for a incident as this…its not place to judge… but had this been Coach Richt and this young man was not off the team, the AJC and others would be bashing him…I hope Rainey can learn from this and maybe should get another chance, but if Coach Meyer reinstates him there will be alot of second -guessers…again i nor alot of people on here know all the facts, so i don’t know how they could judge, but when the situation with our former QB happened the majority of the people called for his immediate dismissal…and before anyone says these are two different situations, well maybe, but one did involve some very ungentlement like behavior and the other sounds like a threat on someones life, evern if they didn’t mean it…

dawgster

September 30th, 2010
9:02 am

Oaktowngator..i do concur with what you said…Coach Meyer from what i have read has not made a decision and that is fair at this time…I do know that along with the dawgs, the gators have had their share of problems with off field issues also…I think Coach Meyer has been given the benefit of the doubt on his handling of these incidents based on his record with the gators and everyone is happy with him…Coach Richt on the other hand is not given that benefit as much and alot of that has to do with our record the past two seasons and when players get in trouble everyone wants Coach Richt to kick them off the team or “0″ tolerance…but when you do that and don’t evaluate each incident on its own merit, you get what happened to the Freshman Linebacker that was dismissed from the team on his first offense…its a shame that it happened, but at this stage, Coach Richt is bashed and we are called thugs, if a “0″ tolerance isn’t installed…I can assure you that if Coach Richt were at the level that Meyer is as far as accomplishments that he would be given a longer rope…again people who are ready to jump on Meyer at this point need to hold off until he actually makes a decision on Rainey…

KeepPaulJohnson.com

September 30th, 2010
9:32 am

Tampa Gator and Beast, if you hate Tony and his insight so much, it would serve you to seek another blog to frequent. I mean, if you have nothing better to do than look for blogs written by graduates from schools other than Florida so you can hurl insults… then you could have too much time on your hands, and might need to look into Anger Management. Just saying.

OaktownGator

September 30th, 2010
9:46 am

dawgster – interesting comments. To be honest, I haven’t followed Georgia’s off field situations well enough to make any kind of informed comment, but I think Coach Richt should be given the leeway to treat each situation on its own merits. That should be the case for all coaches, IMO. If a coach shows that he puts winning ahead of the best interest of helping the players grow into productive members of society, then he should be dismissed for that reason, whether he has a good record or not. Just my opinion, and I know it doesn’t match up with the way a lot of programs are run.

Flo-Ri-Duh!

September 30th, 2010
9:47 am

Colin – LSU will likely have their QB problem solved next year – thanks to UGA. LSU has offered former UGA QB who was kicked off the team for bad behavior. Mettenberger has a scholarship offer from LSU now that they are willing to overlook his problems because of his talent. He will be the answer and may bring thm a SEC title in 2011 if they can keep him out of trouble.He has other offers but I think this will be a good fit and Mett will seek his revenge against UGA for letting him go.

Flo-Ri-Duh!

September 30th, 2010
9:56 am

TampaGator – Maybe Chris Rainey deserves another chance and I will let Urban Meyer decide that. Thretening his girl friends life is a serious situation and he will have to be closeily watched. UGA has gotten rid of 3 players for lesser violations this year and yet Mark Richt continues to get criticized for his “lax” policy towards offenses. A lot of this critcism come from Florida fans on the UGA vent which, of course, is hyopocritical because Urban has let several players (Percy Harvin. etc.) remain on his team for worse violations. If you think that keeping Chris on the team is right then don’t be critcizing UGA for doing the same. Understand?

Columbus Runner

September 30th, 2010
9:57 am

Tony,
RE Rainey at UF, while you are saying you don’t know the kid, it sure sounds like you are saying that you know better than those intimately involved with the situation, including the “victim.” That is pretty presumptuous of you. Additionally, after seeing your show last night, it definitely appears that you are on the bash UF for their arrests bandwagon right now. Frankly, we all should really keep our mouth’s (and keyboards) shut in this regard as our boys have been no better, if not worse, here lately. I mean, we have like 10 arrests in 6 months not including the athletic director. I would say our fans and, regardless of how unbias you try and portray yourself, our writers, should pipe down for the time being. The same could be said for UT and USCe fans. None of us are in position to throw stones at this time.

Flo-Ri-Duh!

September 30th, 2010
10:04 am

TampaGator – Chris Rainey has a history NOW – and it shouldn’t be ignored.

Columbus Runner

September 30th, 2010
10:11 am

Okay, I have to admit it, I’m a Gator Homer impersonating a UGA fan. Unlike my Florida brethren I can’t live with the shame. Tony, I apologize for my chicanery.

PD

September 30th, 2010
10:13 am

Tony, I must say I have become very disappointed in you the last couple of years. You were always one of the only remaining good guys in the business who did things the right way with respect to responsible and unbiased reporting. But you’ve morphed into someone who often clearly just reports things off the top of his head, with a heavy dose of bias, without bothering to pick up the phone and verify or get context from the people involved – all of whom would surely take your call same-day, if not immediately when placed. You’ve gone from a guy who always reported and commented on stories with a great measure of professionalism and percipience, to a guy who just goes straight for the sensationalist angle.

You also seem to have something against Urban Meyer the last couple of years, because you’ve put out sanctimonious finger-wagging columns every time anything happens in Gainesville that does not earn a merit badge from the local scout troop. You suggest that he should dismiss Rainey and wash his hands of him – a kid great kid who came from a scattered and shattered upbringing and has never been in any trace of trouble at UF before, and who would have nothing to turn to without football and the Meyer family….well, a few years ago Urban Meyer cut loose a troubled kid, among other things over some ugly clashes with his girlfriend, and a matter of months later, the young man named Avery Atkins had committed suicide. In his case, Urban truly had given him every chance he could, but the horrible sting of what happened when he cut him loose probably informs him a little more than you and I as to when and to whom he should extend a “zero tolerance” policy over an isolated and from ALL accounts a minor and over-blown mistake.

KeepPaulJohnson.com

September 30th, 2010
10:27 am

Once again Tony, your insight is spot-on! Keep up the good work!

Dawg H8R

September 30th, 2010
12:53 pm

Gainesville police don’t think this is that big a deal? If Rainey didn’t play for FLA, the police would’ve
killed him by now!

Tony the UgA home

September 30th, 2010
5:06 pm

He hates anything florida and will trash them at every opp!! Keep it up tony—your beloved dawgs need you and the AJC!!!!!