Meyer hoped to keep chest pain private
NEW ORLEANS — Wanting to protect his children and football team, Florida coach Urban Meyer was "very careful" about releasing information regarding his hospital stay following the Southeastern Conference championship game.
He hoped to keep private his chest pain, ambulance ride and diagnostic tests — at least until he had a chance to tell those closest to him.
"I have three children that mean more to me than anything. I have a football team that means more to me than anything. I didn't want it to get out at all," Meyer said at a Sugar Bowl news conference yesterday. "We were very careful. I didn't want anyone alarmed.
"And I think at some point, whether you're a football coach, whether you're a lawyer or whatever, you think at some point there would be a lot of respect for families involved and children and 11-year-old boys and 16-year-old girls and 19-year-old girls," he added.
According to a 911 recording, Meyer complained of chest pain and said his side was tingling before he was hospitalized Dec. 6.
Meyer's wife told an Alachua County dispatcher that her 45-year-old husband had a pulse but wasn't talking when she contacted emergency officials at 4:27 a.m., hours after the Gators returned home from a 32-13 loss to Alabama.
"My husband's having chest pains," Shelley Meyer said. "He's having chest pains, he just woke up in the middle of the night and said he's having chest pains."
Shelley Meyer said her husband had taken a sleeping pill that night and had suffered chest pains before. She repeatedly tried to rouse Meyer, who was lying on his stomach on the floor.
"Urban, Urban, talk to me," she says.
The 911 recording first was obtained by ESPN.
Meyer abruptly resigned last Saturday, citing health problems, and then decided he would instead take an indefinite leave of absence. He plans to coach the fifth-ranked Gators in the Sugar Bowl against No. 4 Cincinnati today.
Arkansas: The Razorbacks suspended linebacker Wendel Davis, safety Matt Harris and wide receiver Marques Wade for unspecified violations of team rules. They will not play in tomorrow's Liberty Bowl against East Carolina. Davis is the team's second-leading tackler and Harris the third.
Tennessee: Safety Eric Berry, the Jim Thorpe Award winner as the nation's top defensive back, said last night that he will skip his senior season and enter the NFL draft. "I really don't want to leave, but I feel like this is just something that I need to do to help my family," Berry said.
Montana: Wide receivers coach Robin Pflugrad was promoted to head coach yesterday, a week after Bobby Hauck left for UNLV. Pflugrad, 52, was an assistant coach for the Grizzlies from 1986 to 1994, then returned in July after three seasons as wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator at Oregon.
Auburn: Former Florida quarterback Cameron Newton, who was kicked off the Gators team last year after he was arrested and charged with stealing another student's laptop, has signed a national letter of intent with Auburn.
Louisville: New Cardinals coach Charlie Strong, still working as Florida's defensive coordinator, has hired Gators cornerbacks coach Vance Bedford as his defensive coordinator. Bedford will coach the Sugar Bowl today, then head to Louisville with Strong.