This is not what coach Urban Meyer needed: RB/WR Chris Rainey has been arrested for allegedly stalking a female student.
This makes 30 arrests during the Meyer tenure in Gainesville.
We must remember that Rainey is innocent until proven guilty, and the charges may be dropped—who knows?
However, the perception is that Coach Meyer has lost control of his players and does little to discipline them when they get into trouble.
Here are two examples:
- Brandon Spikes (2009): Attempts to gouge the eyes of Georgia RB Washaun Ealey during last year's Cocktail Party in Jacksonville. Coach Meyer does nothing, but due to outside pressure Spikes gives himself a one-game suspension against Vanderbilt.
- Carlos Dunlap (2009): Found slumped over the steering wheel and charged with DUI prior to the SEC Championship Game. Suspended for one game and returns for the Sugar Bowl against Cincinnati.
There are several more that could be listed, but the point is that perception is reality in college sports, and the perception of the Florida Gators is now as bad as that of the Miami Hurricanes of the 1980s.
The 2010 Florida Gators are having identity issues with their offense. Chris Rainey isn't helping that by getting arrested. The last thing Coach Meyer needs now is to defend his players and team again when they are preparing for their first road game and SEC matchup of the season.
Who knows what will come out of this latest drama out of Gainesville, but one thing is for certain: The image and reputation of the Florida Gators is taking a serious hit with all of these arrests, and Coach Meyer must do something to overcome it.