Florida receiver Chris Rainey faces stalking charge

GAINESVILLE, FL - APRIL 10: Running back Chris Rainey #3 of the Florida Gators signs autographs for fans before the Orange & Blue game at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on April 10, 2010 in Gainesville, Florida. (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

After a lackluster showing in their season opener against Miami (OH) two weeks ago, No. 10 Florida got back on track last Saturday with a convincing 38-14 victory over South Florida.

But the program has suffered some embarrassment to start the week, as receiver Chris Rainey has been charged with aggravated stalking, which is a third-degree felony.

SI.com has the details:

According to Gainesville Police, Rainey sent the woman he dated on and off the last three years a text message that read, “Time to die,” after leaving her home Monday night.

Officer Jesse Bostick said the woman fell asleep and missed a call from Rainey. Rainey went to her home, they talked and she told him to leave. According to Bostick, the woman got the text a short time later and called police.

Florida has not announced what disciplinary action it will take against Rainey, though Gators’ offensive coordinator Steve Addazio said Tuesday, “Chris Rainey is not a part of our team right now. That’s really all I have to say on that.”

The young women asked for the charges to be dropped.

“I did not want to have him arrested,” she said. “When the police came, I signed papers to not press any charges. I don’t fear for my safety. … People all over the country have been calling my cell phone. I’m not afraid of him. I’m more afraid of all the repercussions.”

The good thing here is that the woman didn’t feel threatened, but that doesn’t mean Rainey should escape punishment, obviously. It’ll be interesting to see how the Gators handle the situation and if Rainey will remain a part of Florida’s program.

Although I have to admit, if they do kick him off the team I don’t see how that’s helping the kid out. He clearly messed up and taking away football may put him on track to make future mistakes because he lacks that structure in his life. I think it would be best for all parties if he could learn from his mistake under the tutelage of Urban Meyer, even if the team has to suspend him for a certain period of time.

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