Minutes after Florida Chief Financial Officer and gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink mistakenly referred to UCF graduates as being from USF — the Knights’ arch-rivals — a KnightNews.com reader texted the mistake to our tip line and we broke the news on our Facebook page.
Within an hour or so, the Orlando Sentinel and other local media picked up the CFO’s flub, and the Associated Press ran with it, making headlines across the state. WESH 2 News Anchor Martha Sugalski even tweeted about it, “Maybe she should havent written on her hand – its UCF Alex Sink NOT USF…” apparently in reference to Sarah Palin’s embarrassing gaffe of writing notes in ink on her hand.
Since KnightNews.com broke the news, we’ve interviewed UCF Knights who were at graduation that day and experienced the uproar firsthand.
Students told us graduation candidates started screaming, “U-C-F!” over and over like they were at a football game.
“Learn how to read Democrat,” and “Get off the stage!” were among the other insults tipsters told us they heard shouted in the middle of the commencement ceremony. The graduating tipsters asked KnightNews.com withhold their name in order to avoid controversial Google results tied to their names during job hunts.
“I don’t think anyone thought it was very funny,” one graduate told KnightNews.com, who added that students who forgave Sink the first time lost patience on the second and third flub.
Following graduation, one local television station tracked Sink down at another event and confronted her about making the mistake three different times.
“I didn’t… I don’t… I didn’t take a count of what happened,” Sink said, after stuttering through the interview with WFTV Channel 9 Eyewitness News. Sink’s mistake was the station’s lead story at 11 p.m. Friday.
Sink told the station she was reading from prepared notes and insisted she knew she was actually at UCF.
“I knew very well I was at UCF. I had a little slip of the tongue and I called myself and we laughed about it and I congratulated the class,” Sink said.
Click here to watch Sink’s interview with WFTV.
KnightNews.com continues to uncover and break big stories affecting the UCF area, including the mold infestation in February and the Mu Sigma Upsilon hazing allegations in late April. We appreciate our visitors’ help in finding these big stories. If you see news happening or have a story idea we should investigate, e-mail us at email@example.com, text our tipline at 407-5-tip-ucf, or click here to send us an anonymous tip.