- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 27, 2009

NEW ORLEANS — Less than 24 hours after he resigned, Florida coach Urban Meyer is instead taking an indefinite leave of absence and expects to be on the sideline leading the Gators when next season opens.

“I do in my gut believe that will happen,” he said Sunday at a Sugar Bowl news conference.

Offensive coordinator Steve Addazio will run the team during Meyer’s absence, but Meyer will against No. 4 Cincinnati on New Year’s Day.

“It’s full speed ahead. We’re going to do everything possible to win this game,” he said.

Meyer said he was offered and encouraged to take a leave of absence earlier in the week. He said being with his players at a “spirited practice” Sunday morning persuaded him not to resign.

“The love that I have for each of these players,” Meyer said when asked what changed his mind.

On Saturday night, he shocked college football when he said he was stepping down after five seasons as Gators coach because of health concerns.

After the Southeastern Conference championship game three weeks ago, Meyer spent several hours in a Gainesville, Fla., hospital because of chest pains.

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