LSU basketball players Garrett Green, Justin Hamilton, Matt Derenbecker, Andrew Del Piero and Eddie Ludwig had a chance encounter with cast members of the MTV reality show Jersey Shore last week in Florence, Italy. (The LSU hoops squad is midway through an 11-day tour of Italy while Jersey Shore is shooting its third season in the country.)
Paparazzi spotted the quintet of SEC ballers touring the ancient Italian city and encouraged them to go into a restaurant where Jersey Shore cast members Jenni “JWoWW” Farley and Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi were having lunch. The LSU hoops players entered the establishment with the group soon moving outside for an obligatory photo-op.
Good thing that chance encounter didn’t involve student-athletes from a certain other SEC school - before May 19.
Last Thursday TMZ.com reported the University of Florida had previously threatened UF students studying in Italy with expulsion from the school-sponsored abroad studies program if they were seen on video with cast members of the same MTV reality show.
An email sent to applicable UF students stated that if those students, “agree to participate in the filming of the show, or who signs a waiver or legal agreement of any sort with MTV, will be dismissed from the program immediately.”
Apparently embarrassed by the TMZ report, UF officials subsequently backed down from their threat, with a school spokeswoman later telling the website, “Generally speaking, students may participate in activities outside their Study Abroad program as long as they meet the academic and living requirements of that program. This is a reversal of the UF administrator’s position.”