According to an interview GatorBait.net's Ali Peek conducted with Emmanuel Moody, Urban Meyer's health problems are worse than the head coach let on.
(GatorBait.net requires you to register for an account to read their content, so I linked the story coverage from SportsbyBrooks.com).
Here's what Moody, who transferred from USC and played three seasons with Florida, said to Peek about Meyer's health.
GatorBait.net: What was your initial reaction when Meyer stepped down in December 2009?
Moody: “I didn’t know what to think of it. Personally, for me, I was more worried about his health than anything else, because I saw him the night before and he looked like he was about to have a heart attack, which he did have a heart attack later that night [Meyer actually suffered an Esophageal spasm].
“So, I knew it was really the real thing. He really had a heart attack and I saw it coming after the game. But, whatever was going to happen, may God have his way. Coach Meyer’s health was way too important to think about football.”
GatorBait.net: The night that you said he looked like he had a heart attack and then eventually did have one, was that the first sign that something was wrong with him health-wise, or did earlier in the season did you know?
Moody: “No. That was the first sign.”
GatorBait.net: Was that the night of the SEC Championship game?
Moody: “SEC Championship game. He looked really bad. He had a heart attack later that night. That was no surprise. I just started praying for him. I knew it was the real deal. He looked really sick. He didn’t even recognize who I was after the game because he could barely open his eyes.”
GatorBait.net: When he decided to come back, were you nervous for him? Obviously your health doesn’t change in two days, so he clearly wasn’t 100 percent.
Moody: “I talked to him when he was on his break for six months or so, after he decided to come back. He took some vacations and relaxed a little bit. I talked to him during that time and he just seemed relaxed and that he was recovering and I just told him he needed to allow some of the coaches to take some of his duties, because he tries to take everything, the whole team, on his shoulders, and that’s just too much for one man. But, I felt like he made the right decision because he sounded a lot better and it was the old Meyer that I was used to seeing.”
Moody may be confusing the chest pains Meyer suffered from esophageal spasms with a heart attack.
However, seeing as Meyer has been very tight-lipped about his condition in the media, nothing would really surprise me at this point.
When Meyer resigned at the end of this season, Will Smith speculated on our Gator Raiders podcast that this move may have been a year in the making and that perhaps, Foley had actually spoken with Will Muschamp following Meyer's first resignation in 2009.
Now that more information has come out and I've had time to think about it, that theory is starting to seem much more plausible.
After all, athletic director Jeremy Foley's quick move to hire Muschamp seemed a little misguided, especially after his misfire with another career defensive coordinator with no head coaching experience--Ron Zook.
However, if Foley had the year to get to know Muschamp and observe his coaching qualities, then he would be much more comfortable taking a risk with a first-time head coach.
This, of course, is all speculation, so take it with a grain of salt and don't take it as fact.
GatorRaid.com wishes Meyer the best and we hope that his time off from coaching will allow him to regain his health and well-being.