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Chris Rainey, according to police, stood outside a woman's apartment Monday night in Gainesville and said, "I'm here, and I will bust out your window." She told him to leave. He texted her: "Time to Die B__ ..."
When police came, the Florida football player allegedly told the woman, "Wait and see what happens when they leave."
The larger story doesn't involve judging a college kid in his worst moment. It involves waiting and seeing what happens when the police leave this latest scene of a Florida player, though.
It's waiting and seeing if the arrests in the Florida football program ever stop coming. It's waiting and seeing and hoping and urging Urban Meyer to coach his players off the field as well as he does on it.
Fifty-seven wins. Two national titles. Thirty players arrested.
That's the line on Meyer's five-plus years at Florida. Most fans at most programs would take those numbers, because winning is all they care about. So a kid gets in trouble? So what? What's his backup run the 40 in?
But, trust me, most successful coaches want to help boys become men and men become responsible. There's no reason to sound a chorus of clucked tongues that Meyer doesn't care. He cares. He tries. You watch him, you know that much.
He's just failing at this part of the job. If he doesn't change that, a tipping point will come where all his good work will be contaminated by jokes and labels. It's strange that hasn't happened already, to tell the truth.
Remember how Florida coach Steve Spurrier described Florida State as, "Criminoles" after some arrests? Do you see how Miami hasn't been able to scrape off the national tagline of, "Thug U." despite years of trying?
Do you even know how many Miami players have been arrested in nearly four years under Randy Shannon?
That might be the most remarkable stat in college football today. Departed quarterback Robert Marve pulled off a car's side mirror. A misdemeanor. That's the only arrest in nearly four years at Thug U.
Why, the Dolphins had four players arrested on more serious charges just this past offseason.
Still, you can hear some people saying, "Shannon hasn't won anything at Miami." And that's true. So the question becomes whether it's equally true that good football demands bad behavior.
That's the stereotype. And, like most stereotypes, it's intellectually sloppy. Alabama won a national title last season and is No. 1 today. No Alabama player has been arrested in more than a year.
So it can be done. The Miami team that won the 2001 national title was notably clean of trouble, too. Team leaders Jonathan Vilma and Ken Dorsey were intent on proving the school could win that way.
No one expects perfect police blotters. They're kids. And it's a big, complicated world anymore. But the issues that keep coming up at Florida are more serious than a vandalized car mirror.
In the past nine months: Carlos Dunlap fell asleep, drunk, at the wheel four days before the Southeastern Conference championship game; Frankie Hammond was arrested for a DUI with open bottles of whiskey in his car; and there have been a couple of misdemeanor alcohol charges and a misdemeanor battery charge.
Now there's Rainey arrested on felony stalking charges. Does it mean Meyer has a blind spot? That he's putting winning over helping? That he's recruiting too many of the wrong players? That there's a lack of control? That Miami is doing something that Florida isn't?
But, if I'm Meyer, I call up Shannon after this season and have a talk. Whatever Florida is doing isn't working. Who knows, maybe Miami can pick up a diagrammed play in the exchange.
Florida is an elite program. Meyer is an elite coach. Those facts don't change. Nor does the police report saying Rainey is the latest Florida player to make a serious mistake.
What you'd like to see change, though, are some numbers. Two national and Two SEC titles under Meyer are great. But having a player of his arrested (30) for every two victories (57) seems a bit much.
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