Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Q&A on Florida Gators coach Urban Meyer's decision to take leave of absence

What is the medical condition that has forced the Gators' Urban Meyer to step away from coaching temporarily?

Meyer declined to talk about specifics Sunday at a news conference, but it appears to be a combination of a medical issue related to his heart and the stress that accompanies a demanding job. Meyer, 45, said he has had chest pains for four years and that they had become "significant" in the past two. He denied that he has had a heart attack. Asked if he was going to have any procedures to help his situation, Meyer said, "That's something that we'll find out."

When did he make the decision to step away?

After his trip to the hospital a few hours following the SEC Championship Game on Dec. 5, Meyer said, he contemplated his future and made the decision on Christmas Day.

What happened after the SEC Championship Game?

Meyer told the New York Times that he had lost 20 pounds in the 10 days leading up to the game and experienced chest pains after it. He said he also lost consciousness while having the pains, which hadn't happened before. He was taken to Shands at the University of Florida hospital in Gainesville by ambulance and released the afternoon of Dec. 6 after nine hours of tests. He said he has had several episodes since.

How far had the Gators gotten in their efforts to find a permanent replacement for Meyer after he first announced he would resign?

Athletic director Jeremy Foley said preliminary discussions had been held internally but officials were still in the beginning stages of a search.

Had a leave of absence been discussed before Meyer made his decision to resign?

Yes, apparently that offer had been on the table and discussed.

Will Meyer get paid during his leave of absence?

Foley said, "He's still our head coach," implying that Meyer will be paid according to the terms of his contract. This year Meyer signed a six-year, $24 million contract extension, making him the third-highest-paid college football coach.

How involved will Meyer be in coaching the Gators in Friday's Sugar Bowl?

Completely. His leave won't begin until after the game against Cincinnati.

What effect will this have on recruiting?

There are two schools of thought. The first one: none. Florida's 2010 class is ranked No. 1 by ESPN, and no mass exodus has occurred since the Meyer news broke Saturday, though that could change before the Feb. 3 signing day. Still, Meyer will be back, likely sooner rather than later. The second school of thought: The effect will be plenty. If you think schools battling for a recruit won't use this against the Gators, you don't know the dog-eat-dog world of recruiting. "You really want to play for Steve Addazio, a lame duck?" "There's no telling when, or even if, Meyer will be back, and even if he does return, he could just as easily make another quick exit." And those are the more tame things opposing recruiters will say.

Q&A on Florida Gators coach Urban Meyer's decision to take leave of absence 12/27/09 [Last modified: Monday, December 28, 2009 9:20am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Charlie Strong, Gulf High and the best (old) Jon Gruden-Tennessee rumor


    As Butch Jones keeps losing, Tennessee Vols fans are turning to one of the media's favorite pastimes.

    Jon Gruden coaching rumors.

  2. Lightning edges Red Wings on road

    Lightning Strikes

    DETROIT — The digs were different, the Lightning seeing the masterfully-done new Little Caesar's Arena for the first time.

    Lightning center/Red Wings’ killer Tyler Johnson gets past defenseman Trevor Daley on his way to the first goal of the game.
  3. Armwood pulls away to defeat Plant 27-7, remain undefeated


    SEFFNER — First-year Armwood coach Evan Davis pulled out all the stops to get his team psyched for Monday's annual grudge match against Plant.

    Armwood defensive end Malcolm Lamar (97) gets fired up before the start of the game between Plant High School Panthers and the Armwood High School Hawks in Suffer, Fla. on Monday, Oct. 16, 2017.
  4. Bucs journal: Dirk Koetter says Vernon Hargreaves needs to improve


    TAMPA — The Bucs now rank 31st in the NFL in pass defense, allowing 301 yards per game in their 2-3 start, and coach Dirk Koetter was asked Monday how concerned he is with the play of second-year CB Vernon Hargreaves.

    Ryan Fitzpatrick, throwing an incompletion under pressure after replacing injured Jameis Winston against the Cardinals,  would start this Sunday in Buffalo if Winston’s shoulder is still bothering him.
  5. Backhand shot makes Nikita Kucherov's offense even more dangerous

    Lightning Strikes

    DETROIT — Nikita Kucherov is on a historic streak, just the fourth player in the past 30 years to score a goal in each of his first six games.

    Nikita Kucherov’s backhand shot adds to his strong scoring.