Urban Meyer: Staying At Florida, But No Schedule

It is apparent that in the decision to take a leave of absence from Florida, Urban Meyer's concern has been with his family and his health. This is necessary, because without those things taken care of, Meyer is no longer coach of Florida. As it is, Meyer is just taking a vacation, as long as he wants. Offensive coordinator Steve Addazio will be a care taker, in a sense. When Meyer was asked about who will hire the new defensive coordinator, he was taken aback. You can interpret this as Meyer wavering. I look at it as a man facing a personal crisis and not thinking about something as insignificant as a defensive coordinator. 

My biggest concern is still Meyer's health. He would not offer specifics about what problems he is having and what doctors said to him. Meyer has every right to withhold this information. We have to take comfort in that the decision makers; Jeremy Foley, Bernie Machen and Shelley Meyer, know what the concerns are. Meyer was also private about family issues. He realizes the stress his wife and three children are under. But he believes he is a strong enough guy to make adjustments in his career to better focus on home life. Also, it seems to me that while there are not problems at home, doctors and advisers told Meyer that family time is the best cure to whatever ails him. Unless he commits to that, his health will make a more serious turn.

When Tim Tebow and Ryan Stamper talked about how the Gators has a spirited practice today, it stood in stark contrast to many people's opinion about the Gators following the Alabama game. Many were willing to throw the team under the bus. Yet, Foley said they acted like pros today. Sure, it took Meyer possibly retiring, but they showed Meyer they still wanted to play for him. With the distractions around the Gators this season and now this, it is amazing how put together everyone is. There's no guarantee the Gators will win against Cincinnati, but they shouldn't lie down either.

The take away from this is that Meyer thinks he will be on the sidelines for opening day on September 4 against Miami-Ohio. "Thinks" being the key word. Nothing is guaranteed. Meyer says "full speed ahead" but health issues could derail Meyer. He might go home and realize that he can't change. A guy who is all or nothing cannot half-ass anything. The challenges of being a father and husband have crippled many men. Add running a multi-million dollar enterprise with raging 18-22 year olds, and family concerns could slip behind the curtain. His family could save him now too. The only medicine for Meyer is Shelley and the kids. The immediate future has Meyer in the Sugar Bowl. After that, no one really knows. We all have to be patient, something Florida fans have always struggled with. 

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