After fielding questions this week about his health, mentality and future as Ohio State's head coach, Urban Meyer felt it necessary to meet with a small group of reporters Tuesday to open up about the the severity of his health condition.
Meyer revealed he has been dealing with severe headaches caused by an enlarged arachnoid cyst in his brain, but despite this, he plans to remain the head coach at Ohio State as long as he can.
“I am fully committed to Ohio State and the football program for as long I can,” Meyer told the Columbus Dispatch.
“I am fully committed to Ohio State and the football program for as long I can.”– Urban Meyer
Meyer's physician Dr. Andrew Thomas, offered a brief statement on Meyer's condition.
“The past four years we’ve been working closely with coach Meyer to monitor and manage the symptoms that have risen from his enlarged congenital arachnoid cyst,” Thomas said. “This includes aggressive headaches, which have particularly flared up the past two years.”
Meyer has dealt with the cysts since 1998 and underwent brain surgery in 2014.
“I feel great. I feel good, not great,” Meyer said after his 2014 surgery. “I feel good. I’ve had [the cyst] for several years. It’s a cyst that’s surfaced a couple times – once in 1998, once in 2004 and a couple other times. It’s just something you have to manage.”
Meyer told reporters he does not plan to have another surgery, and said “we’ll cross that bridge” if it’s needed in the future and said he takes medicine every day to manage the symptoms.
“Over the last few years, I’ve felt better and, with the help of my doctors, learned to manage it and monitor it with medication,” Meyer told Pete Thamel of Yahoo! Sports in a phone interview. “I’m optimistic that this time won’t be any different."
The cyst flared up during Ohio State’s win against Indiana, causing Meyer to go to his knees and hold the left side of his head. He has not gone down to the ground due to headaches stemming from the cyst during any other games. However, the Columbus Dispatch wrote that sources told them that has happened during practices this year.
Athletic Director Gene Smith said Meyer has a “management plan” for dealing with the cyst that he has done “exceptionally well with” and noted that he doesn’t have “the concerns everyone else seems to be raising.”
“As far as our conversations, he’s planning to coach and he’s shared with me about the things we’ve got ahead of us — recruiting and all those types of things,” Smith told the Columbus Dispatch. “Right now I don’t see a change coming. I’m comfortable where he is. If something changes down the road, it changes. But right now, he seems very comfortable with the management plan he’s put in place.”