Meyer Takes Leave of Absence

After a whirlwind of news over the last 24 hours regarding Urban Meyer's health and coaching future, he confirmed upon arrival in New Orleans that he will not resign as head coach at the University of Florida, but take a leave of absence.

"I was offered and considered taking a leave of absence," Urban Meyer said. "After careful consideration and spending time at practice with players and coaches that I care so deeply about, I have accepted this offer to improve my health."

"We've built a great program, and to not try and come back would not be the right thing to do."

Meyer has made no secret the close relationships he develops with his players, and he said their attitude and effort at this morning's practice after learning of his decision to resign yesterday convinced him to change his mind. While Meyer focuses on improving his health, offensive coordinator Steve Addazio will take over the head coaching duties.

"I believe he is one of the top coaches in America," Meyer said. "He's also been on our staff for the past five years."

Meyer said he will coach the Gators when they face undefeated Cincinnati on Jan. 1 in the Sugar Bowl.

"It'll be full speed ahead," Meyer said. "I have a great group of seniors that have set unprecedented records with what they've accomplished in the last four years. We've recruited every one of these guys. ... We're going to do everything possible to win this game."

We'll have a full transcript of Meyer's press conference up shortly...


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