Urban Meyer opens up about brain cyst, will coach 'as long as I can'

Ohio State coach Urban Meyer opened up with reporters about his health issues Tuesday, saying a cyst in his brain, first diagnosed in 1998, causes severe headaches.

Meyer detailed the severity of the arachnoid cyst, which has caused issues to flare up the past two years. The cyst causes frequent pain on the left side of his head, he said. He said it was responsible for him dropping to his knees on the sideline against Indiana earlier this month.

Meyer said, "I am fully committed to Ohio State, the football program, as long as I can."

Meyer, 54, said so far the pain has been manageable, and he has kept OSU athletic director Gene Smith in the loop about his condition.

"He and I have talked about his health," Smith told The Columbus Dispatch. "He's shared with me that he wants to continue coaching.

"He has a management plan for what he's dealing with. I think he's done exceptionally well with it. I go by his lead 100 percent. We have unbelievable medical support at the university. So I don't have the concerns everyone else seems to be raising."

Meyer said his medical condition is separate from the issues that resulted in his three-game suspension by the university for not disciplining or firing former assistant coach Zach Smith despite a string of inappropriate behavior, including multiple police investigations of domestic violence accusations made against him.

"It is a medical issue," Meyer said. "We're just managing through it. We're working hard."

Ohio State also provided a statement from Dr. Andrew Thomas, Meyer's personal physician: "The past four years, we've been working closely with Coach Meyer to monitor and manage the symptoms that have risen from his enlarged congenital arachnoid cyst. This includes aggressive headaches, which have particularly flared up the past two years."