GAINESVILLE, FLA. (AP) - Florida receiver Chris Rainey, suspended last month after being charged with aggravated stalking, is back and could play again this season.
Coach Urban Meyer said in a statement Tuesday that Rainey has returned to practice. Meyer said Rainey won’t play Saturday night against Mississippi State but left open the possibility that Rainey could be back on the field against Georgia on Oct. 30.
“Chris Rainey is working towards being part of our football team again,” Meyer said. “I’m disappointed that he violated a core value of our program, but he continues to pay a price for his actions. Chris will have to meet a set of conditions to become a part of our team again and although he is practicing, he will not play this weekend. The timetable for his return will depend on his ability to follow the guidelines we have laid out for him.”
Rainey, one of Florida’s more dynamic offensive players, was arrested Sept. 14 and charged with a third-degree felony for allegedly sending a woman a threatening text message that read, in part, “Time to die …”
Rainey agreed to a plea deal on a misdemeanor charge two weeks ago. If Rainey fulfills his community service agreement and remains out of trouble for six months, the charge will be dismissed.
Rainey apologized for his actions.
“I am embarrassed and sorry for my actions and I apologize to everyone that I affected by my behavior,” he said in a statement. “I’m working towards being a part of the Florida football program again, and I realize that representing this University is a privilege. I have spent the last several weeks reflecting on my actions and realized that is not who I want to be.”
Rainey, from nearby Lakeland, has six receptions and a touchdown this season. He also served as the team’s primary punt returner.
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