Florida: Meyer dehydrated after loss

Updated: December 6, 2009, 10:48 PM ET
By Chris Low and Mark Schlabach | ESPN.com

Florida football coach Urban Meyer admitted himself into Shands Medical Center in Gainesville, Fla., early Sunday morning and was treated for dehydration, according to school spokesman Steve McClain.

McClain said Meyer was treated and released around 2 p.m. and is feeling much better.

Meyer checked himself into the hospital only hours after the Gators lost to Alabama 32-13 in the SEC championship game in Atlanta's Georgia Dome.

[+] EnlargeUrban Meyer
Chris Graythen/Getty ImagesUrban Meyer checked himself into a Gainesville, Fla., hospital early Sunday morning following his No. 1 Gators' loss in the SEC title game.

The loss snapped Florida's 22-game winning streak and left the Gators to face Cincinnati, Meyer's alma mater, in New Orleans.

"We'll get this team going," Meyer said, pointing out his seniors set an SEC record for most wins in a four-year span. "Our legacy is going to be dependent on how we end this season."

Speaking on a teleconference for the Sugar Bowl later in the day, Meyer was asked twice about his health. But Sugar Bowl spokesman John Sudsbury refused to let the coach answer, requesting that all questions be related solely to the New Year's Day game against unbeaten Cincinnati.

Sudsbury referred any queries about Meyer's health to McClain, who declined to divulge any further information.

It remains unclear what caused Meyer to go to the hospital and how long he spent there. Several reports said Meyer experienced chest pains after his team returned from Atlanta.

Meyer didn't appear on his weekly TV coach's show Sunday. The Gators flew from Atlanta to Gainesville on Saturday night.

Meyer, 45, led Florida to BCS national championships in 2006 and '08 and has been one of college football's most successful coaches the past six seasons.

In a story published by Sports Illustrated this week, Meyer revealed that doctors discovered an arachnoid cyst on his brain when he worked as an assistant coach at Notre Dame in 1998.

According to the report, doctors didn't consider the cyst to be life-threatening but told Meyer he could suffer from head pain if the condition flared up because of stress.

Meyer is one of the country's highest-paid coaches after signing a six-year, $24 million contract with Florida in August.

This season has been one of his most difficult at Florida in terms of off-the-field distractions and problems. After returning quarterback Tim Tebow and all 11 defensive starters, the Gators were a popular favorite to win their second straight BCS national championship.

But several Gators battled bouts of the flu heading into the team's 41-7 victory at Kentucky on Sept. 26, and then Tebow suffered a concussion during the fourth quarter of that game. All-American linebacker Brandon Spikes was suspended one game for trying to gouge the eyes of Georgia running back Washaun Ealey during a 41-17 win over the Bulldogs on Oct. 31.

On Nov. 6, Meyer was fined $30,000 by SEC commissioner Michael Slive for comments made about the officiating in Florida's win over Georgia.

It was the first time a coach was fined under the SEC's stiffer penalties for criticizing officials. On Tuesday morning, Gators starting defensive end Carlos Dunlap was arrested and charged with DUI. He was suspended from playing in the SEC championship game.

ESPN.com football writer Mark Schlabach, ESPN.com's Chris Low and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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College Football

Mark Schlabach | email

College Football and Basketball

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