Principle Sixteen: Beware of Gators

Gator on the River by Thomas PatePrinciple 16 of the Arizona Sports Summit Accord states, “The profession of coaching is a profession of teaching. In addition to teaching the mental and physical dimensions of their sport, coaches, through words and example, must also strive to build the character of their athletes by teaching them to be trustworthy, respectful, responsible, fair, caring, and good citizens.”

University of Florida football coach Urban Meyer has his work cut out for him on that front. Since he began coaching at Florida in 2005, Meyer has led the Gators to 60 wins and two national championships. According to the Miami Herald via, he’s also just seen his the 30th arrest among his players.

Receiver Chris Rainey was charged with aggravated stalking for sending a woman a text that read “time to Die [expletive] u and ur???” after she refused to let him into her apartment. The woman called the police, and the officer who responded had her call Rainey. When she told Rainey that the police wanted to talk to him, he told her, “Wait to see what happens when they leave.” Rainey denies saying that.

With charges against him, Rainey must abide by a curfew, and Meyer has suspended him indefinitely from the team. Meyer told the Palm Beach Post that he was upset about the latest incident. “People making stupid mistakes,” he said, “that’s something we’ve got to correct.”

The first thing Meyer should do is accept that aggravated stalking is a lot more than a “stupid mistake.” The second thing he should do is develop a plan to build the character of his student-athletes.

We know some people he can talk to about that.


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