What is an arachnoid brain cyst? Urban Meyer to retire at Ohio State

Ohio State University football coach Urban Meyer is planning to retire in January, capping a season of health issues and scandal.

Meyer, 54, has reportedly suffered severe headaches from an arachnoid brain cyst he has. Meyer previously underwent brain surgery to relieve pressure from the cyst.

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Meyer was also suspended from Ohio State for three games earlier this year after an investigation found he mishandled accusations of domestic abuse against former assistant coach Zach Smith. Smith was fired from Ohio State in July.

An arachnoid cyst is a fluid-filled sac that occurs on a membrane that covers the brain and spinal cord, according to the National Organization for Rare Disorders. Symptoms do not always occur but common ones include headaches, seizures and the build-up of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain, according to the NORD.

In most cases, according to NORD, brain cysts are present at birth but usually don’t cause any symptoms. Arachnoid cysts though can also be caused by a head injury, a brain tumor or infection or brain surgery.

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“I’ve been dealing with that cyst for many years and we had that surgery several years ago,” Meyer said, referring to a 2014 procedure to remove fluid from a cyst that had been causing him headaches.

Meyer’s cyst has been known about for quite some time but he reportedly affected him during the team’s game against Indiana University in early October.

He disclosed it to Sports Illustrated when he was still coach at Florida in 2010, at which time the Palm Beach Post reported, “fortunately for University of Florida football coach Urban Meyer and for the millions of others who have arachnoid cysts, the condition is not life-threatening.”


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