NEW ORLEANS -- Florida coach Urban Meyer says he's taking a leave of absence to improve his health but he won't say exactly what is wrong. On Tuesday, UF safety Major Wright said the problem has to do with Meyer's heart. Meyer has been experiencing severe chest pains over the past month and attributed it to stress, saying he has not had a heart attack.
"Don't look at things like, 'Oh, he just wants to leave us.' That's crazy," Wright said. "This man could literally die over football games and stuff like that, so that's why everyone is like, 'Oh my God." We can't really look at it like, 'Oh, Urb is leaving. Why is he doing this? Why is he doing that?' He has a family to take care of outside this football team. No one would be closer to him than his daughters and son. You can't get any closer than that."
Wright said sitting down with younger players at UF and explaining the gravity of the situation is important.
"We have to talk to them and tell them, 'Look, this man's life is at risk,'" Wright said. "We have to let them know that, hey, this is football and it's not as important as his life."
Just to clarify Wright's strong comments a bit, he said he didn't know the severity of Meyer's health but said he was told it was a heart issue "so I'm going to take it serious. I'm looking at it like this football thing is not more important than your life because he's a great guy, a great coach and a great parent. You don't want to lose a guy like that over football."
On a different topic, Wright told me on Tuesday that he doesn't know just yet if he's going to declare himself eligible for the NFL Draft. Wright said he believes he's ready to take his game to pro football but said his mother, father, uncle and sister will have a lot of input on whether or not Wright returns. Wright has not received his paperwork from the NFL Draft advisory committee, which projects draft statuses for players.