Meyer, who is completing his fifth season at UF, will coach the No. 5 Gators in the Jan. 1 Sugar Bowl vs. No. 4 Cincinnati in New Orleans.
Florida State’s Bobby Bowden, who is coaching his final game in the Gator Bowl on Jan. 1, said of Meyer: “It’s a surprise to everybody. I hope he’s OK physically because he’s done as great a job at the University of Florida as has been done there, or anywhere else. I admire the way he handles himself and I really like his family. The college coaching profession will really miss him.”
The Gators are expected to replace Meyer within the week, The Sun has learned.
It has been a trying season for Meyer and the Gators, who were everyone’s choice to repeat as national champions and opened the year as the preseason No. 1.
After the Gators lost to Alabama in the SEC Championship Game on Dec. 5, Meyer checked himself into Shands early that next morning for what Florida officials said were dehydration issues. But Meyer admitted to The Sun he had also experienced chest pains.
*Meyer reiterated that the New Jersey native Justin Trattou will slide to over replace Carlos Dunlap, who is suspended because of a D.U.I. arrest, at defensive end. He said that the Gators were lucky to have defensive line depth.
*Meyer said that he had been pleased with his team’s ability to focus in light of the distraction of Dunlap’s situation. He said that Dunlap’s reaction had been sincere, as Meyer said he was afraid he let down his teammates. “He is devastated,” Meyer said. He added: “Its not an indictment on who he is for the rest of his life.”