It had already been a bizarre year for Florida’s football team.
You name it, and this season had it, from Tim Tebow’s concussion, to Carlos Dunlap’s arrest, to the unyielding pressure of trying to repeat as national champions ... and now this.
The past 20 hours or so have been unlike anything in Florida football history.
First, there was the shocking announcement by the university on Saturday evening that Urban Meyer was stepping down because of health concerns.
Only 45, Meyer had been battling heart concerns for the past couple of years and was rushed to the hospital the morning after the SEC championship game loss to Alabama with severe chest pains.
He knew something had to be done, and after much discussion and soul searching, that something was stepping away from the job he loved and the program he loved.
He told his family on Christmas night that he was resigning as Florida’s coach.
The shockwaves reverberated across the college football landscape.
Meyer was at the pinnacle of his career, having won two national championships in the past three years.
And, suddenly, he was walking away.
His wife, Shelley Meyer, told The Orlando Sentinel in a text message that there was “no chance” that Urban Meyer would change his mind.
But after sleeping on it and having additional conversations with Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley on Sunday morning, it appears that Meyer has done just that.
Several different sources are now saying he’s decided to take a leave of absence rather than resigning, and there’s a chance he could be back in time for the 2010 season, or maybe he sits out the entire season and then decides to come back.
Either way, this is about as bizarre as it gets in college football.
Meyer will address the situation himself later Sunday afternoon from New Orleans.
You’ve got to wonder what his family is thinking, what his players are thinking and what the Gators’ recruits are thinking.
Talk about being in limbo.
The entire Gator Nation has been in limbo for the past 20-plus hours.
The most important thing is that Meyer does whatever he needs to do to maintain his health.
Coaches as successful as he is and as competitive as he is don’t walk away easily. They also don’t lose their passion to coach very easily, nor do they change their stripes very easily.
Let’s hope Meyer comes back when the time is right for him ... and not everybody else.