Florida coach Urban Meyer is taking an
indefinite leave of absence instead of resigning and expects to be
on the sideline leading the Gators when next season opens.
"I do in my gut believe that will happen," Meyer said Sunday
at a Sugar Bowl news conference.
Offensive coordinator Steve Addazio will run the team during
Meyer's absence, but Meyer will be the coach against No. 4
Cincinnati on New Year's Day.
"It's full speed ahead. We're going to do everything possible
to win this game," he said.
Less than 24 hours after resigning because of health concerns,
Meyer changed his mind. He said he was offered and encouraged to
take a leave of absence earlier in the week by the university
president. Sunday, after conferring with athletic director Jeremy
Foley and his family he "accepted the offer to improve my
The 45-year-old Meyer said being with his players at a
"spirited practice" Sunday morning persuaded him not to resign.
"To not try would not be the right thing to do," he said.
On Saturday night, Meyer shocked college football when he said
he was stepping down after five seasons as Gators coach.
After the Southeastern Conference championship game three weeks
ago, Meyer spent several hours in a Gainesville, Fla., hospital
because of chest pains.
Meyer said Sunday he had experienced similar problems at times
this season but had not had a heart attack. However, he would not
elaborate on his physical condition. When asked if doctors advised
him to stop coaching, Meyer again declined to answer.
Foley said when he went to sleep Saturday night he did not think
there was any chance Meyer would change his mind.
"It was a long night for everybody in Gator nation," Foley
said. "The intent here is to make sure Urban goes and deals with
the issues we discussed last night."