UF accepts apology over FGCU's chant

From left, Kristian Avellanet, Nick Schilson, Azul the Florida Gulf Coast University Eagle mascot, Nick Mucerino and Dario Nachef celebrate the Eagle's trip to the Sweet 16 during a pep rally Monday for the men's basketball team at Alico Arena in Fort Myers.

Published: Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at 12:37 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at 3:04 p.m.

Members of the Gator Nation haven't always shown the best manners when trash-talking rivals.

Mindful of that, University of Florida officials are taking a forgiving view of the expletives inserted at a recent pep rally that Florida Gulf Coast University sponsored for its basketball team.

"We certainly understand when students get excited and enthusiastic, but they've apologized, and as far as we're concerned, it's over," Steve Orlando, senior director of media relations at UF, said Wednesday. "We're just looking forward to a great game in Arlington (Texas) on Friday."

The third-seeded Gators will face off against the 15th-seeded Eagles, who rode to stunning victories over second-seeded Georgetown and seventh-seeded San Diego State to get a shot at the Gators in the Sweet 16.

At Tuesday's pep rally in Fort Myers, students chanted "(Expletive) the Gators." ESPN happened to catch the chant and broadcast it live.

The FGCU student body on Wednesday issued the following apology for the "negative reaction yesterday during our pep rally":

"In no manner do the words that were passed yesterday reflect upon this institution of higher education. Oftentimes, excitement and a new experience can cause rash and hasty decisions to be made. In this moment of excitement for our young school, we hope that you will accept our expression of regret. With that being said, we are definitely looking forward to some healthy competition in Arlington, this Friday."

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