Urban Meyer's announcement of his resignation as head coach of the University of Florida football team echoed across the internet and in the comments section of The Miami Herald. We've assembled some of the better comments here, and cleaned up a few of the typos to make reading them easier.
Gators fans were united in both their support for Meyer and in their surprise at his decision. As Reader smz1965 wrote,"What a shocker! What he did for UF was phenomenal. 2 national championships in 3 years and 4 bcs bowls. I hope he gets better soon. Best wishes to him and his family. To all your gator haters... get a life.... GO GATORS!!"
Robert William, commenting on Facebook, added: "Urban Meyer's 5 years as the Florida Gators head football coach brought the Gator nation 2 National Championships, 1 Heisman trophy winner, 3 BCS bowl games + 5 years of incredible recruiting (let's face it, that's just naming a few of his accomplishments). His loss is devastating, but the memories will last a lifetime."
Predictably, for some the news was an excuse to rehash the UM/UF rivalry, and it wasn't just Gator fans that were annoyed. Reader tony63 wrote, "I understand a little trash talk amongst state rivals, but c'mon man!!!! We are talking about someone's health. I'm a huge canes fan and Seminole and Gator hater. Some of you so called hurricanes fans need to put that [stuff] on hold. Show them that we can be classy and whip the snot out of you at the same time. At this time this is not the place. Wish coach Myers and his family the best."
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A reader using the user name "Drifter" expressed a similar sentiment. "There is nobody who more passionately hates the Gators than I do, however, this story is not about a sports rivalry (or running away from one). It is about a man who has a significant medical condition who has made a decision for himself and his family. I hope that this is the right decision for him and that he is able to live well with his loved ones."
Reader gsxrr - also a UM fan - took a historic view to compare the two teams.
"We suffered so many coaching changes and went through so much from '83 on Howard, Jimmie, Craig, Butch, Larry and now Randy. Assistants leaving. assistants committing mutiny etc... Winning never lasts for ever. I'll save my trash talking for later out of respect to Meyer. Good luck to Meyer. Health and his family responsibilities are more important right now."
Many readers speculated on what could have prompted the announcement now. Ruzbest wrote that the timing seemed ominous.
"I believe that we will find out that his health concerns are much more serious than people are eluding to. Something really would have to be seriously wrong to announce something of this magnitude on Christmas and the Day after Christmas. This would mean that this was the topic of discussion on Christmas Day --- and he had to have spoken to the A.D. and College President ON the holiday. Folks should really pray for him --- this is much more serious than they are reporting."
DannyCouch agreed the situation sounds serious, and supported Meyer's decision to resign. "I thank God Coach Meyer had the courage to stop... If you love this man for the person he is, pray that God restores his health and allows him to return to the game he loves."
The comments are, of course, on going. Add on your thoughts here and check back on the home page for updates. We should know more within a week -- according to UF, Meyer will be available at a Sugar Bowl press conference at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday when the Gators arrive in New Orleans.