On Saturday morning, the president of the University of Florida thought it would be a good idea to try out an April Fool’s Day joke. Steve Spurrier did not think it was all that funny, even if he did participate in the gag.
W. Kent Fuchs, Florida’s president, released a video on Saturday morning that stated he signed an executive order that “effective immediately” dropped Florida’s mascot as the Gators and was going to begin disaffiliating any connections to “The Swamp” as well.
— FLORIDA (@UF) April 1, 2017
A few hours later, Spurrier released a video of his own, blasting the idea and calling Fuchs’ suggestion, “the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard of.” The former football coach donated over $100,000 to Florida athletics earlier this week.
— Coach Steve Spurrier (@SteveSpurrierUF) April 1, 2017
It’s not a coincidence that all this came down on April Fool’s Day either. In terms of shock quality, Fuchs’ joke ranks up there. If he had suggested another nickname or hinted at fans voting on a new mascot, maybe it would be more believable. It’s also pretty clear that Spurrier is in on the joke as well and just trying to further an April Fool’s joke.
But Spurrier’s reaction says it all. Florida will always be about the Gators.