Meyer’s chest pains originated in esophagus

Florida Gators head coach Urban Meyer is feeling better.

That, above all else, is the gist of what the two-time BCS National Championship-winning coach wanted to convey when speaking with members of the media at the 2010 Southeastern Conference Spring Meetings in Sandestin, FL, on Tuesday.

However, the specifics of what Meyer revealed about his health scare and subsequent resignation last season are interesting nonetheless.

According to Meyer, his chest pains were diagnosed as being caused by esophageal spasms, defined by the Mayo Clinc as “an uncoordinated series of muscle contractions that prevent food from traveling properly from your esophagus to your stomach.”

Chest pain is listed as a common symptom of the affliction; it “can be very painful” and is “often intense, which [one] might mistake for heart pain (angina).”

“The biggest thing is I wanted to find out what those darn chest pains were and I did,” said Meyer as transcribed by Florida Today. “I’ve just got to be smarter in the future and I’m going to be. I’m not going to let that happen again. But the biggest thing was all that was related to what the heck were those pains going through my chest. Once you find out what it is, life gets a little better quickly.”

Meyer likened the feeling to “waking up every morning with a toothache in your chest,” saying it is now under control due to prescription medication. He noted that he has not experienced any issues since January and is ready to proceed with his job as scheduled.

“I feel fantastic,” Meyer said.

Photo Credit: Butch Dill/Associated Press

TWO BITS: Cooper, Dunlap fight for playing time

1 » The size and speed new Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper is bringing to the table may cost one or more of the team’s current players (read: Hank Baskett) his job, but that doesn’t necessarily bother the former Florida Gators pass catcher. “It’s definitley a good situation for me coming in here,” Cooper told the Philadelphia Daily News. “There are some good veterans ahead of me, so there are good people to learn from. I’m in a good spot, and I just want to take advantage of it.” That being said, Cooper still has a lot to learn (like going up to grab passes rather than letting them fall to him) in order to succeed long-term in the NFL.

2 » Defensive end Carlos Dunlap also has a lot of adjustments to make in order to grab some playing time in his rookie season with the Cincinnati Bengals. With the team’s starter – Antwan Odom – recovering from a ruptured Achilles tendon, Dunlap was thought to have the inside track on being given a bunch of snaps that the incumbent starter would be unable to play. Instead of supplanting Odom right away, Dunlap will be watching from the sidelines as the veteran has recovered from his surgery and returned to the practice field late last week, according to Jason La Canfora of NFL Network.

Florida brings home “ultimate” national title

While the Florida Gators’ baseball, softball, track & field and tennis teams have been competing for the opportunity to play for their sports’ respective National Championships recently, one lesser-known University of Florida team took home their own on Monday.

UF’s ultimate Frisbee squad, competing for the 2010 USA Ultimate College Championship over the weekend, captured the event’s title Monday with a 15-12 defeat of Carleton College, their sixth victory in seven games.

In addition to their accomplishments on the field, the team’s captain, fifth-year senior Brodie Smith, finished as runner-up for the Callahan Award, given to the nation’s most valuable ultimate player. He compiled a team-high 10 assists on Monday afternoon, catapulting the team to their second National Championship (2006).

A unique piece written by Tom Green and published Tuesday morning by The Independent Florida Alligator notes that Florida is “one of the sport’s most hated teams” in the club sport and was said to not “have the best reputation in the ultimate community” by one of the announcers calling the match.

Gators will host regional as No. 3 national seed

No. 3 Florida Gators baseball (42-15) has been announced by the NCAA as the host of one of 16 regionals for the 2010 NCAA Tournament. Four teams, including the Gators, will compete in the Gainesville Regional at McKethan Stadium beginning on June 4.

On Monday, the NCAA set the entire 64-team field, placing Florida Atlantic (35-22), Oregon State (31-22) and Bethune-Cookman (35-20) in the Gainesville Regional. Florida will take on the Wildcats in the second game of the event on Friday, June 4 at 7 p.m. The first game will feature the Owls and Beavers going head-to-head at 1 p.m.

The winner of the Gainesville Regional will face the victor from the Coral Gables Regional (featuring host Miami) in Super Regional action starting Friday, June 11. Should Florida win, Gainesville, FL, would likely be the host site of the next round.

Outfielder picked for SEC All-Tournament Team

Gators senior outfielder Matt den Dekker was named to the 2010 Southeastern Conference All-Tournament Team on Sunday. den Dekker was only 4-15 (.267) during the event but led Florida with four RBI and tied for the lead with three runs scored.

Tournament-winner LSU (five), Alabama (three), Ole Miss (one) and Vanderbilt (one) filled out the rest of the 2010 team.

No. 4 Gators softball downs No. 13 Sun Devils, advances to Women’s College World Series

No. 4 Florida Gators softball (48-8) won its second straight game against the No. 13 Arizona State Sun Devils (44-17), defeating them 5-2 on Sunday in the second game of the Gainesville Super Regional to advance to the 2010 NCAA Women’s College World Series. Florida’s berth to the event is their third in as many years.

The Gators outscored the Sun Devils 13-2 over the weekend at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium, with junior starter Stephanie Brombacher (34-6) earning both victories in back-to-back complete game efforts. She did not allow a single run over the first 12 innings before letting ASU score one in both the sixth and seventh on Sunday.

Like Saturday, junior outfielder Kelsey Bruder (2-2) led the way for Florida offensively with three RBI off of two home runs. Fellow junior first baseman Megan Bush (1-3) added a solo shot of her own, giving the Gators a 4-0 lead going into the last six outs.

Florida will begin the WCWS by facing No. 5 UCLA in Oklahoma City, OK, on Thursday at 3:30 p.m. The game will air live on ESPN and ESPN3.com.

Baseball selected to host a regional

No. 4 Florida baseball (42-15) has been announced by the NCAA as the host of one of 16 regionals for the 2010 NCAA Tournament. Four teams, including the Gators, will compete in the Gainesville Regional at McKethan Stadium beginning on June 4.

The NCAA will announce the entire 64-team field (including Florida’s three initial opponents) live on ESPN on Monday at 12:30 p.m. This will be the third time in the last six years that a regional has been hosted in Gainesville, FL.

Photo Credit: University of Florida

FOUR BITS: Softball up one, doubles falls, track

1 » No. 4 Florida Gators softball (47-8) began its quest for a berth in the 2010 NCAA Women’s College World Series with an 8-0 shutout of the No. 13 Arizona State Sun Devils (44-16) while hosting the Gainesville Super Regional on Saturday night at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. Junior starter Stephanie Brombacher (33-6) has been dynamite in the postseason; she recorded her 11th shutout of the year, pitching a complete game and only yielding four hits. Junior outfielder Kelsey Bruder (2-3) and senior third baseman Corrie Brooks (2-2) each led the Gators with three RBI, while freshman designated player Brittany Schutte (2-3) added two. Florida hopes to conclude Super Regional action by prevailing in the second game, Sunday at 3:30 p.m.

2 » The Gators’ No. 5 doubles pair of senior Marrit Boonstra and freshman Allie Will was eliminated from competition for the 2010 NCAA National Championship Saturday, falling 2-6, 7-5, 7-6 to Tennessee’s No. 1 duo of Natalie Pluskota and Caitlin Whoriskey at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, GA. Florida tennis – both men’s and women’s – has now been completely removed from NCAA competition for this season.

Find out which Gators qualified for the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Championships and what sport Georgia is going after Florida in…after the break!
Continue Reading » FOUR BITS: Softball up one, doubles falls, track

FOUR BITS: Meyer visits Rays, UF-UGA contract

1 » Florida Gators head coach Urban Meyer visited the Tampa Bay Rays clubhouse Friday night before their game against the Chicago White Sox. Rays pitcher Wade Davis and clubhouse manager Chris Westmoreland (Florida fans) were happy to see Meyer, but others like P Lance Cormier (an Alabama alum) and outfielder B.J. Upton (a former Florida State commitment) gave him a hard time by hanging up an Alabama shirt and doing the tomahawk chomp, respectively. “It’s good to have probably the best coach ever in college history in the clubhouse,” Davis told MLB.com. “I haven’t met him yet, but that’s pretty cool. I know Westy’s probably having a good time.” Meyer also met up with White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski – a huge Gators fan – before the game.

2 » Florida and Georgia are in the process of renewing their contract with the city of Jacksonville, FL, to play the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party there for the next six years. A few new provisions have been placed in the deal as uncovered by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which received a copy of the work-in-progress contract via the state’s Open Records Act. The contract stipulates that the schools will be given the rights to sell the name of the game to a corporate sponsor (which is not being planned), the Bulldogs will receive up to $300,000 in additional funds covering travel expenses and the Greater Jacksonville Agricultural Fair will never be held the same weekend as the game (which caused a traffic and parking issue in 2008).

3 » A source close to the team has informed OGGOA that redshirt senior linebacker A.J. Jones has been wearing a protective boot recently after having “simple surgery” to remove a screw from his foot. He is healing nicely and will be able to participate in on-field action sooner than expected.

4 » Jerimy Finch, the No. 1 safety recruit in the nation a few years ago, has decided to leave the Indiana Hoosiers football program just two years after transferring from the Gators. A release from the team states that Finch will “pursue other interests outside the program” but does not go into further detail.

Photo Credit: Bob Andres/Atlanta Journal-Constitution

No. 4 Gators eliminated: Alabama tops Florida 5-2

No. 4 Florida Gators baseball (42-15) was eliminated from the 2010 Southeastern Conference Tournament Saturday after falling 5-2 to the Alabama Crimson Tide (37-21) on Saturday at Regions Park in Hoover, AL.

The seven-inning game, previously decided to be shortened due to weather, represented Florida’s second loss of the double-elimination tournament.

Gators sophomore starter Tommy Toledo (3-2) allowed four earned runs in the first three innings and left the game two outs later. Three Florida relievers held the Crimson Tide scoreless throughout the rest of the game, but the staff was no match for Alabama’s Adam Morgan (6-4), who only gave up two earned runs in a complete game effort.

Senior outfielders Matt den Dekker (1-3) and Jonathan Pigott (1-3) recorded Florida’s only two RBI, leading the way on offense.

The Gators now await an official announcement from the NCAA set to come Sunday at 3:30 p.m. regarding whether or not McKethan Stadium in Gainesville, FL, will be one of 16 hosts for 2010 NCAA Regional action beginning on June 4.

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