Urban Meyer opens door for Chris Rainey's possible return
Florida coach Urban Meyer has decided to allow junior WR Chris Rainey an opportunity to earn his way back onto the team following his arrest last month and subsequent plea agreement.
Rainey is not officially reinstated, but Meyer said in a statement Tuesday morning that Rainey will have the opportunity to rejoin the team if he follows a strict set of guidelines that will be imposed upon him. However, he will not play when the Gators host Mississippi State this weekend.
“Chris Rainey is working towards being part of our football team again,'' Meyer said. "I’m disappointed that he violated a core value of our program, but he continues to pay a price for his actions. Chris will have to meet a set of conditions to become a part of our team again and although he is practicing, he will not play this weekend. The timetable for his return will depend on his ability to follow the guidelines we have laid out for him.”
Rainey was arrested on Sept. 14 for allegedly sending a former girlfriend threatening text messages. She told a judge in open court during his first appearance that the situation had been blown out of proportion and that she never feared for her safety from Rainey. She also refused to press charges against him.
On Sept. 27, Rainey pled to a misdemeanor stalking charge and received deferred prosecution, which included a stipulation that he undergo anger management counseling.
“I am embarrassed and sorry for my actions and I apologize to everyone that I affected by my behavior,'' Rainey said in a statement. "I’m working towards being a part of the Florida football program again and I realize that representing this University is a privilege. I have spent the last several weeks reflecting on my actions and realized that is not who I want to be.''