GAINESVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 10: Chris Rainey #1 of the Florida Gators runs for yardage during a game against the UAB Blazers at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on September 10, 2011 in Gainesville, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
In the Sporting News' big article on the downfall of Urban Meyer's program at Florida, only one former player was willing to go on the record about things. That player was not Chris Rainey, which in hindsight is odd given that he's always good for a quote on anything. Meyer usually didn't have to wait long into a season before he'd issue Rainey a gag order over something he said.
Someone at the local NBC affiliate in Gainesville caught up with Rainey and did get some quotes:
- Leadership from the coaches didn't change much over time.
- Some players were coaches' "favorites" and got rewarded more for good play than others. Examples of favorites are Tim Tebow, Percy Harvin, and Brandon Spikes.
- The favorites got to sit out some drills at practice. Rainey speculates that part of that could have been trying to keep them healthy.
- He heard the story about the altercation between Harvin and former wide receivers coach Billy Gonzales from other players, but he didn't see it.
- He says there were players that the coaches were scared of in the same way that some players are scared of other players. He names the same three examples as before and adds Carlos Dunlap to the list.
On the point of coaches being scared of some players, Rainey says "they just good at sports, and you can't do nothing about it." He said it in a very matter of fact way, shrugging his shoulders even. I interpret that to mean that it's understood that some players will get to play no matter what happens because they're just too good to keep on the bench. I suspect that's not unique to the Meyer era at Florida, but it does open the door for players to abuse the privileges that come with being a great player. That kind of abusing power is what the article was all about, and to this day, Meyer has yet to deny that it was going on under his watch.