Urban Meyer off Florida's payroll

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Former Florida coach Urban Meyer has
severed financial ties with the Gators to avoid NCAA recruiting

Meyer had remained on Florida's payroll since resigning in
December. He signed a deal with ESPN earlier this week to become a
college football analyst, and his job discussing potential recruits
during a national signing day telecast Wednesday would have been an
NCAA violation.

So Meyer chose ESPN over his undefined role at Florida.

"The University of Florida has been a big part of my personal
and professional life for the past six years, and while I will no
longer be able to continue a professional relationship with the
University, I will continue to support the many friends I made
during my time there," Meyer said in a statement.

Meyer will call one game a week for ESPN during the regular
season and also serve as a studio analyst.

When he resigned Dec. 8, the 46-year-old Meyer said he wanted to
spend more time with his family. He insisted his new job wouldn't
get in the way of that, with minimal commitment during the
offseason and travel only over the weekend during the season.

Meyer, who was 104-23 in 10 seasons at Bowling Green, Utah and
Florida, said Monday he would maintain an affiliation with the
Gators and help athletic director Jeremy Foley with fundraising for
the university. Now, though, Meyer won't work in any capacity with
the school or the football program.

"We are happy for Coach Meyer that he is getting a chance to
stay involved with college football -- he has so much passion for
the game and the players," Foley said in a statement. "He will
provide great insight and background for ESPN's audiences.

"We were pleased to provide Coach Meyer with an opportunity
within our athletic department, but the chance to work for ESPN was
a perfect fit for him and his family. He will always be welcome
here and we are forever indebted for what he accomplished and how
he represented the University of Florida.

"He gave every ounce of energy to this program for six years
and we certainly share a special bond with him. We will always
remain close friends and I look forward to seeing him enjoy the
next chapter in his life. Coach Meyer will always be a Gator."