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Chris Rainey should be suspended for four more games

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Florida high school students must volunteer for 75 hours of community service to be eligible for Bright Futures Scholarships. 

In comparison, Chris Rainey must volunteer 10 hours, go to counseling (which is provided at no charge) and donate $100 to a domestic violence network to have a misdemeanor charge dropped against him.

This does not make sense to me. I expected the State Attorney's office to drop the charges against Rainey, which is what they did in terms of deferred prosecution. The deal given to Rainey is also offered to other first time offenders, which means Rainey did not get special treatment. The State Attorney's office and the woman who Rainey is accused of threatening both said that Rainey did not pose a danger to anyone. But such a small response required of Rainey seems not to fit the crime.

Now that the legal process has dropped Rainey, Urban Meyer will get his say. Rainey has already missed three games, including Saturday at Alabama. While I would prefer a full season suspension, I would think an acceptable minimum suspension is seven games. That would be four more missed games for Rainey, amounting to half the season. At that point, Rainey could get back on the field, but only after counseling determines Rainey is of a sound mind.

I understand people think that Rainey made a mistake, but threatening someone is not a mistake. It is a huge error in judgment. By allowing Rainey back in the fold too quickly, the Gators would prevent his own rehabilitation, while demonstrating to impressionable 18-22 year olds that what Rainey did can be easily forgiven. I keep coming back to how I would react if this happened to my friend or sister. Most of us know of a case where a friend has been threatened by their boyfriend. Yet, it continues to happen because it is never taken seriously enough by legal authorities or those who are threatened. 

Rainey will be lucky in that he will have people watching over him and maybe he can be rehabilitated. I hope that is the case. Meyer does not have to make a grand example out of Rainey or even respond to the calls that somehow he is running juvenile detention center. But he does have to understand that he needs to keep his team in order. Keeping Rainey out for seven games out of a maximum of 14 would be a decent step towards that.