Urban Meyer Leave of Absence: Coach Isn't Retiring

Ryan BassContributor IDecember 27, 2009

GAINESVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 21: Coach Urban Meyer of the Florida Gators directs play against the Florida International University Golden Panthers, November 21, 2009 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

University of Florida head coach Urban Meyer is apparently rethinking his decision to retire from college football.

According to sources close to UF officials, Meyer has decided to take an indefinite leave of absence rather then step down as the head coach of the Gators, as reported by the Orlando Sentinel on Sunday afternoon. Meyer will address the media in a press conference scheduled at 4:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon.

Meyer, 45, reportedly informed his team of the decision on Sunday before they boarded the plane to New Orleans, where they will be preparing to take on Cincinnati in the Allstate Sugar Bowl on Friday afternoon.

Steve Addazio, Florida offensive coordinator, will take over as the interim coach until Meyer returns.

Assistant coach Dan McCarney told the Orlando Sentinel that Meyer was at Florida's practice field this morning and "knew he made a mistake". He also said that the time table for return is unknown, but that he is "definitely coming back".

Meyer released a statement Saturday evening saying that he was resigning as the head coach of the Gators due to health reasons.

Ryan Bass is a sports-talk radio host for WKNT in Orlando, Fla. Visit his site to listen to his interviews and download his podcast: www.thesportsreportonline.com