Meyer rushed to hospital post-SEC finale

Updated: December 31, 2009, 3:44 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

A 911 call made from Urban Meyer's home at about 4:30 a.m. ET on Dec. 6, after Florida lost in the SEC championship game, reveals that the Gators' coach was rushed to the hospital by ambulance after complaining of chest pains and a tingling sensation on his side.

The Dec. 6 call, obtained Wednesday by ESPN, contradicts an earlier statement from the University of Florida that the coach was admitted to a Gainesville hospital that morning for dehydration, only later to admit that he also had chest pains.

Meyer's wife, Shelley, who placed the 911 call, said her husband awoke briefly that morning and tried to get out of bed, but fell to the floor. On the call, Shelley Meyer said he was breathing and had a pulse but would not wake up. She said her husband had been taking the sleeping pill Ambien, which she said often puts him into a deep sleep.

"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."

She repeatedly tried to rouse Meyer, who was lying on his stomach on the floor.

"Urban, Urban, talk to me," she said.

On the call, Shelley Meyer also said her husband had never had a heart attack before but had complained of chest pains due to anxiety.

Meyer announced last Saturday in Gainesville that he was stepping down as Florida's coach because of health concerns.

The following day in New Orleans, where the Gators are preparing to play Cincinnati in Saturday's Allstate Sugar Bowl, Meyer changed his mind, saying he was taking an indefinite leave of absence instead of resigning.

The 45-year-old Meyer will coach in the Sugar Bowl and expects to be on the sideline coaching the Gators when next season opens.

"I do in my gut believe that will happen," he said during a news conference Sunday.

Meyer said that he might need a procedure to alleviate chest pains that started four years ago, but would not say if he had a heart condition. He insisted he didn't have a heart attack and refused to say whether doctors told him to step away.

"I'd rather not get into that," Meyer said.

Meyer has told at least one recruit that he will back. Running back Mack Brown of Lithonia, Ga., said during an interview Tuesday on ESPNU that Meyer told him Monday that he wll return in August.

Meyer acknowledged that part of the problem is his tireless work ethic and his need to put the weight of the program solely on his shoulders.

Meyer led the Gators to BCS national championships in 2006 and 2008. He is 56-10 with Florida, including 32-8 in the SEC and a school-record 22-game winning streak that was snapped by Alabama's 32-13 victory in the conference title game Dec. 5.

Information from ESPN investigative reporter Paula Lavigne and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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