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UF Spends $9,000 on April Fool’s Prank

Inside University of Florida President Kent Fuchs’ office, a UF and Florida State plaque shared a spot on the wall Friday afternoon.

On April Fool’s Day, rivals UF and FSU announced a fake merger in one of five videos starring Fuchs, and FSU President John Thrasher.

In total, UF spent about $9,000 in private funds to put together the videos, one of which demonstrates how to combine the Gator chomp and the Seminole chop.

A team of about 40 to 60 people from both institutions worked to help make the prank a reality, Fuchs said.

“It’s a marvelous investment just in terms of the visibility of the two institutions,” Fuchs said.

The videos have a combined more than 400,000 views on Facebook.

In the video, the two announce the new institution will be called UFFSU – or FSUUF depending on which president you ask – and will be constructed in Perry, Florida, a rural city of about 7,000 residents.

Perry lies smack-dab between Gainesville and Tallahassee – and it’s known for its pine trees and fish fries, Mayor Mike Deming said in the video.

Fuchs said the idea to merge the universities came to him last year, and that he approached Thrasher about two months ago during a Board of Governor’s meeting in Tallahassee.

The two filmed their portion of the initial video in just one take, while the other interviews – with students and Perry officials – took longer.

Last April, Fuchs coordinated his first prank as president, switching roles with Gators Football coach Jim McElwain in a similar video, which ESPN would eventually air.

He would not elaborate on what he has planned for next year.

“It’s gonna be hard to top these two but we’re gonna do our very best,” Fuchs said. “But please, everybody has to forget, OK? – we want to surprise them for next year, we don’t want them expecting anything.”

Martin is a reporter who can be contacted by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing