Rainey on Meyer era: Coaches were afraid of certain players

The in-depth piece by Matt Hayes of the Sporting News detailing the latter years of the Urban Meyer era at Florida remains on the minds of many fans and members of the college football media as we continue through spring practice season.

Recently, former Gators running back Chris Rainey spoke to Gainesville Television Network's Julie Quittner to discuss his time in Gainesville and how the program was run while he played for Meyer, the new head coach at Ohio State.

Among the highlights of the video is Rainey's assertion that stars such as Tim Tebow, Percy Harvin and Brandon Spikes received preferential treatment from the coaching staff. Those players were likely included in Meyer's "Circle of Trust," a select group of players that reportedly were given more leeway on issues on and off the field because of their higher level of talent.

Overall, Rainey says what we all know: if you're a good player, a lot of things can be overlooked. That wasn't just a Florida issue, however. That's an issue in many sports, college or pro. The issue is magnified, however, because of both the success and downward spiral that the Gators endured under Meyer.

The comments certainly were a bit surprising coming from Rainey, who was one of the team's best players when he was on the field. However, he was charged with aggravated stalking in 2010 when he sent a text message reading “time to die” to his girlfriend at the time. Meyer suspended Rainey for four games, and he was one of dozens of players arrested during Meyer’s tenure.

The interview is very interesting to say the least. Here is the sitdown in its entirety, courtesy of GTN.

Email dave.miller@nationalfootballpost.com or follow me on Twitter at Miller_Dave

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