Florida wide receiver Chris Rainey, suspended since being arrested in September, is back practicing with the Gators but will not play Saturday against Mississippi State, head coach Urban Meyer said Tuesday.
Monday evening, InsidetheGators.net was the first to report Rainey had re-joined his teammates.
However, according to both Meyer and a Florida spokesperson, Rainey technically is not yet back on the squad. But, "Chris Rainey is working towards being part of our football team again," Meyer said Tuesday in a release.
After Rainey, 22, was arrested Sept. 14 he was banned from all team activities. The initial felony charge was reduced two weeks ago to a misdemeanor and will be dropped if Rainey can stay out of trouble with the law six months, perform 10 hours of community service and undergo anger-management evaluation, under an agreement reached with State Attorney Bill Cervone.
"I am embarrassed and sorry for my actions and I apologize to everyone that I affected by my behavior," Rainey 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. "
Before his suspension, Rainey played in two games and caught six passes for 34 yards and one touchdown. He was Florida's starting slot receiver.
"I'm disappointed that he violated a core value of our program, but he continues to pay a price for his actions," Meyer said in the statement. "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 was arrested Sept. 14 on an accusation of aggravated stalking after the alleged victim told police Rainey, a Lakeland native, was mad at her for missing his phone call and sent her a text message that read, "Time to die b--."
When officers responded, Rainey allegedly threatened the woman again.
According to a Gainesville Police Department press release, Rainey said, "Wait and see what happens when they leave."
After that, officers arrested Rainey at his residence.
The alleged victim later told a judge she did not feel threatened by Rainey.