Saban Can Handle Football Stress

Alabama Coach Nick Saban can make light of the stress in his life as a football coach, but he appears to be quite concerned about the health of Florida Coach Urban Meyer.

The biggest news of the bowl season is not the Alabama vs. Texas BCS National Championship Game, at least not yet. So far the biggest news has involved the situation of Florida Coach Urban Meyer.

As has been well documented, on Saturday the University of Florida announced that Urban Meyer would retire following the Sugar Bowl game against Cincinnati. The story referred to Meyer's health, as well as his desire to be closer to his family and his faith. Speculation as to the illness has included both heart and brain situations for the 45-year-old Meyer.

Less than 24 hours later, Meyer had adjusted his retirement to an indefinite (very indefinite) leave of absence following the Sugar Bowl.

Following the original announcement, Alabama Coach Nick Saban had expressed his hope that Meyer would recover and return to college coaching and said that he considers Meyer a positive force for college football.

On Monday, Saban met with the media for the first time since before Christmas and was asked about stress in his life.

"My motivation is I figure I can work here and take the stress here, or I can retire and go home and work for Terry and take the stress there," Saban said. "So, so far, I've been trying to keep my day job, because I would be working just as hard at home. That's kind of my motivation.  I don't think I really feel like I have an out right now, so I'm willing to hang in there.

But Saban was serious about Meyer.

He said, "I think that college football is a lot better off with people like Urban Meyer in our profession.  He is a true professional in what he does.  He has done a fantastic job every place he has been and he does it with a lot of dignity and class and professionalism. We not only have a lot of respect for him as a person, but the wonderful job he has done everywhere he has been, especially at the University of Florida.

"So, we're also very mindful and concerned that he doesn't have a health issue that will affect his future and our thoughts and prayers are with his family, in terms of making sure that he takes care of himself, so he doesn't have issues in the future, relative to his health."

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