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Urban Meyer Press Conference

[5:29pm] Fin.

[528pm] Volin asks about recruiting and traveling; Meyer mentions dead period of recruiting but it was tough. Dooley asks about Steve Spurrier suggestion of finding a hobby; Meyer says he will give SOS a call. 

[526pm] Foley knew Meyer cannot keep current pace. Concerned about Meyer's health since Meyer is a friend. Seen him not eat and losing weight. Meyer has to evaluate how he's been doing things. "That's the him evaluate how he does things and make him successful."

[523pm] Closest Meyer gets to emotional is talking about kids. Says unless you had kids, you wouldn't understand. Was "alarmed" by chest pains. "You're going to be judged by what kind of husband or father you are."

[521pm] Foley; Meyer is coach of University of Florida. That's it. No buyouts or line of succession (that's my term, not Foley's.)

[520pm] "If I am able to coach, I want to coach at one place; University of Florida...I have too much love for this University."

[519pm] StP Times' Sheldon; problems because of who you are or what you do? "Yes." Well played Urban. "What I have to learn...delegate, have to function. Have had a 30 year coaching career in nine years."

[517pm] Owe it to Foley "to keep this thing going." Practice in Swamp today. Says head coaches get too much credit, credit to program. Team is good because of support and players.

[516pm] UF president Bernie Machen proposed the leave of absence.

[515pm] Pat Forde, did doctors ask you step away? "I'd rather not get into that."

[515pm] Tebow was not aware Urban's health problems were so bad. "Was very hurtful to me...seeing him struggle...hit me like a ton of bricks." 

[513pm] Not even two sleeping pills got Foley to bed last night. Calls the team a bunch of pros for their good practice today.

[512pm] Tebow talks about how Meyer was concerned that team was taken care of. Says there "is a little bit more joy in him this morning." "When he is around the people he loves...he lights up."

[511pm] Meyer appeared to make the decision on Christmas, after being with family. Told Stamper that he loved him on Saturday at practice. Stamper talking about team with spirited practice on Sunday. "Showed what type of program the University of Florida is." Meyer also told Tebow he loved him.

[508pm] PBPost's Volin asks about specifics of heart issues; "I don't want to get into that."

[508pm] Meyer; In his gut he knows he will coach in the fall of 2010. After season, they will have more discussions. Meyer doesn't have specifics, which is not unexpected, but it is clear he wants to push the most serious stuff to next week and behind the football office doors. "I have such great love for the University of Florida...this will all be great." Foley says the concerns about Meyer's health are there and "this is a long term conversation...We want to help him deal with that."

[505pm] Tim Tebow knew ahead of time something was up because he could he could sense it. Calls Meyer a Dad. "Most coaches would not give up something for his family, for his faith...I'm extremely proud of him for it."

[503pm] Sentinel's Fowler asks about the schedule and gets no specifics. Meyer says he will keep the freight train moving. Herald's Goodman asks if there are up coming procedures (Meyer answers with non-answer) and who hires a defensive coordinator. Meyer appeared startled, but no specifics.

[501pm] NYT's Pete Thamel asks about if Urban can change. Meyer gives no specifics. Thamel asks about family. Meyer family found out about the change today. Meyer says he won't put them in jeopardy, but again, so specifics.

[501pm] Sentinel's Mike Bianchi asks about Billy Donovan, not Meyer's family. Bianchi, this isn't a time to fill your blog.

[500pm] Health: chest pains started 2 years ago, stress related and mentions Skip Prosser, not by name. Hospitalization made him realize needed to change. Needs to fix it in order to prevent damage. Was getting checked out all season.

[457pm] Says players help changed his mind. Called himself a Southerner. "Want to do right by my family. My second family is my players." Foley says Meyer called Sunday from practice after a good practice and players were a motivation.

[455pm] First answer; Meyer says he saw the team Sunday and considered the offer from Foley and close family members. Wanted to at least try to take leave of absence. Says "full speed ahead" in terms of prep. Dooley asks Foley about Meyer being coach in waiting. Foley says prime concern is Meyer's health, "it's the right thing to do for the institution."

[453pm] Meyer picks the leave of absence, "to improve my health." He is reading from statement. Addazio will run team in absence. "I will always be a Gator."

[451pm] Hi Urban!

[447pm] For what is is worth, there does not appear to be much traffic near the location of the team hotel in New Orleans. The Superdome is about 14 blocks northwest of the New Orleans Marriott Convention Center, which is on the Mississippi River. By the way, New Orleans is awesome for New Year's (I was there for 2007), so don't worry about having a bad time before the Sugar Bowl. Unless you don't like drinking, good food, good music or having fun.

[441pm] Every time they show Urban footage from Bowling Green, it looks like he is coaching a high school team.

[439pm] MSNBC was able to fit live streaming video of Meyer's presser in between complaining that the health care bill is bad/not good enough/doesn't cover pets.

[431pm] Jeremy Fowler on ESPN talking about recruits still sticking with UF and Meyer's leave of absence (or sabbatical, as if he was a professor) considering those recruits. I guarantee that Meyer found out about Tennessee and Miami coaches calling Florida recruits Saturday night and said, "Maybe I can just take a break." 

[428pm] PB Post's Ben Volin reports the Gators have just left Armstrong-New Orleans Airport. Counting on traffic from the just ended Saints game, we're looking at 5pm at the earliest for the presser.

[425pm] Mark May talking about Urban delegating responsibilities; apparently he didn't see the cluster that was offensive play calls. Urban needs to delegate, but pick a guy and stay out of it. Addazio might have been the wrong play caller, but having Billy Gonzales around didn't help that (or vice versa). Too many cooks spoil the broth. Urban needs to trust a guy or find one. He trusts Addazio, so maybe we should start trusting him too.

[422pm] Pat Dooley says Shelley Meyer and Jeremy Foley were behind the leave of absence. Shelley Meyer is an amazing woman.

[420pm] ESPN showed the presser table with an orange "Gators" helmet on it. After those wretched white "F" helmets, those script Gators helmets are beautiful.

[417pm] I keep thinking about Meyer and his relationship with his family versus his team. The thing I come back to is that while guys like Tebow and Joe Haden are not his children, he is responsible for them. Nicki, Gigi and Nate are his blood, but as a coach, you take on the burden of raising someone else's children too. If Meyer needs to change his thinking or his schedule, that is fine. All of us are very aware of the burdens placed on his family and if anyone has a problem with him taking care of that, you're not a Gator.

[410pm] ESPN's Rinaldi says Tim Tebow and Ryan Stamper will also be with Meyer at the presser. Also, since they are in New Orleans, I keep waiting for Anderson Cooper to pop up in cargo clothes. Let the good times roll, baby.

[407pm] Bucs win 20-17 in overtime! TAMPAAAAA!!!!! BAYYYYY!!!!!

Pour on the crazy, it's the Urban Meyer Press Conference live blog. Chris Mortensen reports that Urban Meyer is taking an offer from Jeremy Foley to take a leave of absence. Mort says the doctors told Meyer that he can't ignore his health issues, but he has to calm down. The problem is Meyer is not built that way. We'll keep updating this post.