Coach's talk doesn't match his walk

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By Larry Rowell

Urban Meyer, the head football coach at the University of Florida, shocked the Gator Nation last weekend by announcing that he was leaving the Gator program for health reasons.

Meyer had been complaining of stress-related chest pains and he said it was time for him to spend more time with his family.

What shocked me most was not the fact that he resigned; after all, his teams have won two national championships and he clearly is one of the best coaches in the country.

What disturbed me most is the disconnect between his Christian faith and what he actually does.

On Saturday, when Meyer quit his job because he feared for his heart and his health, he told The New York Times that when he told his family that he was through coaching, his 18-year-old daughter, Nicki, hugged him and said, “I get my daddy back.”

That hug, he told the newspaper, he took “as a sign from God that this was the right thing to do.”

However, now he has changed his mind and decided that he would take a leave of absence from the University of Florida, thus leaving the possibility open to return.

That sign from God? Who is wrong, Meyer or God? I’ll put my money on Meyer that he’s a little confused at this point.

And, I’ve never known God to be wrong.

Believing what you say and actually doing it are different things. When a daughter says, “I get my daddy back,” that should be a wake-up call saying that you’ve been spending too much time in the office.

Meyer has also confessed to texting recruits on his cell phone during church services, and that, my friend, doesn’t convince me that his faith is more important than his job. If it did, he’d leave the phone in the car.

It is clear that faith and family do not come first to this man — it’s all about him, and not his family, his faith or even his health.

Meyer has more money than anyone could spend in a lifetime. In addition, he could become a color analyst for ESPN or any media outlet — and he could probably name his price for working several months a year.

That would mean more time at home with family, more time in church worshipping God, and less stress leading to improved health.

The majority of working stiffs in this country cannot take a leave of absence if health problems arise or if the job becomes all consuming.

It only works both ways because Meyer is the head of the most successful football program in the nation.

Meyer should count his blessings, retire and enjoy what time he has left on this earth.

And, 100 years from now, will he be remembered more for national championships or for what he did with his family and faith?