SIX BITS: Urban Meyer absence edition (Part 1)

By Adam Silverstein
December 28, 2009

1 » Urban Meyer’s Press Conference Transcript

2 » Perhaps the key component to Meyer’s recent decision and then about-face is the effect it will have on rival schools and coaches who will use it as an opportunity to pounce on the Florida Gators and their recruits. OGGOA starts the festivities with a piece from Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution who contends that Meyer’s flip-flop is a bad sign for Florida and an opening for the Georgia Bulldogs. “Meyer isn’t so much on the clock now as he is looking at it,” Schultz writes before flip-flopping himself. “Don’t misunderstand. I’m not projecting the Gators’ program is going to implode. But odds are, the Gators take a significant step back.”

3 » Next to jump on the pile are the Tennessee Volunteers faithful. The Knoxville News-Sentinel named Gainesville, FL, the flip-flop coaching capital of the world. No real reason to click that link – not much to read there. Just covering all angles.

Check out three more BITS (worth reading) after the jump!!!

4 » Whose next? The Florida State Seminoles. Wait a minute, is FSU empathizing with Meyer? Their coaches told the Tallahassee Democrat that they can relate to his stress issue and understand where he is coming from. “Two things you ignore and he brought them both up in his [statement] – your health and your family sometimes,” new head coach Jimbo Fisher said. “That’s the thing you’ve got to fight. And I fight [it] with my two kids and my family all the time – every waking moment. You create situations where you can spend with your family.” Also chiming in is the legendary Bobby Bowden. “I think as you grow older, you get wiser,” Bowden said. “You have to realize somewhere along the line that there’s something more important than football. If you don’t, you’re in for some rough time. When you’re young, you just spend so many hours away from your family. You put your profession first. You work like mad. Then you finally realize there’s something more important than that. And of course one of those things is family. I always thought No. 1 was your faith and No. 2 was your family.”

5 » Not only do FSU’s coaches understand what Meyer is going through – they are being cautious with UF’s recruits and will not seize on the Gators’ uncertainty with negative recruiting. “In recruiting we’re always on the same guys anyway,” Fisher said. “We’ll wait to see the fallout from that as we go on. I’m sure there will be some. And for some, there won’t be. Everybody will react differently; every individual kid.” Seminoles’ recruiting coordinator James Coley seems to agree. “You’ve got to respect their commitment,” Coley said. “We never take shots. We learned this from Coach Fisher – you don’t take shots at other schools. You never really know what’s going on over there. We can speculate, but if we spread that speculation then we’re part of the problem that’s going on in college football.”

5 » Time to hear from the Miami Hurricanes and LSU Tigers, whose respective coaches spoke to the media Sunday about Meyer going back on his decision. Both appeared to be supportive. “You don’t want to see anything happen to anybody,” Miami head coach Randy Shannon said. “This job that we do is serious business. I wish him well and a recovery from his medical conditions. I just hate to see a family member go through that.” LSU head coach Les Miles understands Meyer’s change of heart. Saying he did not “begrudge” his decision, Miles continued to say that he completely understands and that everybody has to make personal decisions. “Who’s to say that stepping aside for some amount of time is not a wise decision? Certainly not me. I’m glad to have him back whenever he gets back.”

6 » The Gators’ opponent on Jan. 1 in the 2010 Sugar Bowl, the Cincinnati Bearcats, have staff members who know Meyer quite well. One is running backs coach Tim Hinton, who worked with him at Ohio State University in 1986 and considers Meyer to be a close friend. “The one thing I know from my time being around Urban is he’s a guy who’s tremendously committed to his profession,” Hinton said. “Urban is a guy that if he feels like he’s not 100 percent doing what he wants to do, I’m sure mentally that would bother him because he is a ‘100 percent guy.’ He is very purposeful in everything he does. He has a plan. He has an objective in how he wants to get it done, and he’s really followed his plan to a ‘T.’ There’s some smart people telling him you’d better take a good look.”

One Comment

  1. gators22 says:

    My comments on Pat Forde article:

    I’d like the preface this comment by saying I am a gator fan and may have biased opinions but please continue to read. If I had one word to explain this article it would be ridiculous. It begins with a total mockery of a man that has achieved greatness. I can probably bet that this man has put more effort into his job than any of you ESPN writers. Gator Haters surround the NCAA and frankly, it’s getting a little old. If you want to condemn a guy write about Tiger Woods unbelievable infidelity and general jerk qualities.

    He has a RIGHT not to talk about his medical condition. It isn’t like the guy ran into a tree in his neighborhood at 2:30 in the morning and has countless women claiming to have slept with him over the last 5 years he’s been married. It’s obvious that he has a heart condition that the public has no need to know about. It’s his and his families’ business.

    The claim that this was a “me, me, me” stunt is flat out wrong and moreover disrespectful. This guy has simply been stretched too thin and his priorities have been mismanaged. Can’t you admire someone who cares enough about his family to consider giving up his passion?

    This is the most pathetic article I’ve read on ESPN in the last 10 years. Get over yourself and have some respect for someone who respects and loves his family enough to get right before returning to his passion.

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