Sprints Is Back After an Absence Longer than Urban Meyer's // 01.24.10

'And when I said "leave of absence," I mean I would neither leave nor be absent'
It's official: Urban Meyer's leave of absence was a joke.

"I’m over 200 pounds. I guess that’s how I gauge it a little bit," Meyer said Saturday at halftime of the Florida basketball team’s victory over South Carolina. "I was not good for a while, but I’m feeling better."

So much better, in fact, that Meyer, who says he has re-gained the 20 pounds he lost during the 2009 football season, said he plans on coaching the Gators during their five-week spring practice in March and April. And so much better that he hasn’t been able to take much time away from his job as Florida’s head football coach, despite saying on Dec. 27 that he is taking an indefinite leave of absence from the Gators to focus on his health.

"I keep hearing about this time off," Meyer said. "I tried that already. I tried a day and a half and it didn’t work." ...

 Meyer said two important people are forcing him to take time off after national signing day on Feb. 3: "My bride and my boss," he said. "I’ve been instructed I have to (take time off). I’m just not sure what to do."

After signing day, Meyer and his staff will determine each person’s role, especially offensive coordinator Steve Addazio, who will serve as interim coach.

Prediction: Meyer will end up taking off a few days and then return to the Florida program maybe a week later. I know: "He's human." "It's just the way he is." "People aren't always rational." I've heard all the excuses.

But it's a joke. Maybe he didn't plan this out beforehand -- I'm inclined to think that no one is that cynical. That doesn't mean it isn't a joke now. This is not complicated. Either Urban Meyer is too sick to coach or he isn't currently sick enough to deserve your sympathy.

One and done
Modesty is really an underrated quality in players like Kentucky's John Wall.

After filling his stat line again on Saturday (16 points, seven assists, three steals), Kentucky freshman John Wall said he had "no choice" but to enter this year's NBA Draft.

In fairness, that comment appears to have come after a reporter noted that head coach and famed humanitarian John Calipari had essentially ordered Wall to go pro.

Optimism in the form of a tweet
I guess this is a good way to look at a loss when tweeting about it.

"The good news from this is that we couldn't have played any worse," Hopson wrote. "Time to rebuild and correct our mistakes. Get back on this win streak."

One idea: Practice instead of using Twitter.

Fulmer-to-Kiffin costs Tennessee more than credibility
Technically, the Tennessee athletics department lost money last year, which your humble correspondent is sure was just part of Boy Wonder's plan.

Mr. Kiffin's arrival in Knoxville in December 2008 to replace longtime coach Phil Fulmer required UT to pay a total of $5.85 million to Mr. Fulmer and several of his assistants.

As a result, in fiscal 2008-09 UT's athletics department reported a loss of nearly $3.2 million. The loss was the first for UT's athletic program since 2005, school officials said. ...

Mr. Myers said last year's financial loss for UT's athletic department was due entirely to how the terminated coaches' contracts had to be expensed in a single year, even though they are being paid out over 48 months.

Firing your longtime head coach after a losing season: $5.85 million. Doing so to hire a self-promoting coach that will quit after his first year: Priceless.

The plan begins: Southern Cal LOGOS AND COLORS in the news
This was inevitable. Boy Wonder has committed a secondary violation at Southern Cal. I know. Shocking. Who would have thunk it?

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