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Rushing Back Expected, But Not Wise For Urban Meyer

NEW ORLEANS - DECEMBER 27:  Head coach Urban Meyer of the University of Florida Gators speaks during a press conference on December 27, 2009 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  Meyer is going to take a leave of absense from the team due to health concerns.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Joe MorganSenior Analyst IDecember 31, 2009

Ever since Urban Meyer resigned as the head coach of the Florida Gators Dec. 26, he has taken the Gator Nation on an emotional and unpredictable roller coaster ride.

Following his sudden resignation, Meyer again shocked the nation by abruptly deciding to take a leave of absence instead the following day. Now Meyer plans on returning to the sidelines come August, further puzzling everyone who is following this story.

So, the same health issues Meyer considered too serious to continue his coaching career merely a week ago can now seemingly be taken care of in eight months.

Having such a dramatic change of mind should be a cause for concern, especially considering the severity of Meyer's chest pains after the SEC Championship Game. In the recently released 911 call from his wife Shelley, Meyer's chest pains rendered him speechless and resulted in his rushing to the hospital by an ambulance.

His planned haste in returning to coach the Gators is foolish.

Why does Meyer insist on returning for the 2010 season if he claims that his health and his family are truly his priorities?

Granted, the obvious answer is to save face with recruits, which is evidenced by Meyer telling Florida commit Mack Brown that he would be back by August 2010. However, if Meyer wants to put his health and his family first, then why would he jeopardize his long-term health just to make sure a few kids pick Florida over USC?

Coach Meyer is a man of diligence and dedication. Meyer works as hard as he does because he cares deeply for his team and the Florida football program. Not only does this devotion make him so endearing to his players and his assistant coaches, but it also has helped make him arguably the best coach in college football.

Winning two national championships and coming to the brink of a third in five seasons is unprecedented in college football today and takes a special work ethic and passion to accomplish.

Unfortunately, this passion to coach to the best of his ability has put him on an unhealthy course and has taken a major toll on his health.

Meyer even hesitated to reveal his true health condition in order to keep his players and the university from worrying about him because he felt it was the best thing to do. I'm not one to give the man who seemingly always has the right answers advice, but here's what I would tell Meyer if given the chance.

The best thing for both the two-time national champion coach and the Gators is for the ball coach to not set a return date until he has his health in order.

The Gator Nation loves seeing Meyer patrolling the sidelines at "The Swamp," but they would surely rather see their beloved coach alive and well.

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