Head coach Urban Meyer and offensive coordinator Steve Addazio.
We did not hear from Urban Meyer. You might be familiar with him as the head coach of the Florida Gators. That's the team that Rainey plays for, or did play for.
We know that Rainey is not playing this weekend at Tennessee, but we don't know anything else because Meyer did not speak to the press or release a statement. Instead, we got the assistant that Gator fans hate and the lawyer that gives us the creeps. Meyer is required to speak to the press Wednesday during the SEC teleconference. Hopefully then, Meyer can give us a concrete sense of what discipline Rainey is looking at.
Aside from Rainey's actions, what concerns me most about all of this is a possible lack of authority or leadership within the football offices. When Dan Mullen left for Mississippi State, the Gators adopted "play calling by committee," which involved Addazio, Billy Gonzales and Meyer deciding the offensive flow. Last season, that relationship became so unhealthy that UF struggled to score in the red zone and Gonzales left UF for the same position at LSU.
When Meyer announced his leave of absence, Addazio was asked to take over more day-to-day duties. Addazio is liked by the players, but he has some of the responsibilities of a head coach, his work as offensive coordinator and offensive line coach. Not to mention, UF has three new coaches who lack institutional knowledge and need to be brought up to speed. I assume a portion of that falls on Addazio, an assistant who is paid like an assistant. He's not supposed to be the guy. That's Meyer.
It creates a position of not knowing who is driving the train on a daily basis. If it was a GM-Head Coach relationship, that would be fine, but college football doesn't work that way. Instead, we get 1A and 1B. With a group of 18-22 year olds, you will have daily problems with classwork, injuries, helicopter parents and normal teenage angst. With the way the Gator football staff is set up lately, Addazio is probably taking care of issues that normally went to Meyer. Maybe Rainey's situation still happens if Meyer is fully engaged. But at least he would be the one to kick Rainey off the team for this season or kick him off forever. Not Addazio's vague statement of Rainey being, "not a part of our team right now."
Unless you have a mole in the UF locker room (and some of you do, or think you do), you don't know what exactly is going on. I generally give players the benefit of the doubt because they are overgrown children. All college students are. But coaches are grown-ups. They have to understand that the situations they create have ramifications beyond their own personal situations. If that means Meyer coming back with a heavy hand, that's what needs to happen. The Gators under Meyer are at their best when they are in the image of their head coach. The players might still screw up, but Meyer will be out in front, just like when Carlos Dunlap was arrested for DUI. If there is any good that comes out of this episode it is that the coaching staff reasserts themselves and Meyer regains his hands-on role that won two National Championships.