Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
We inform. You decide.
Wednesday, April 24, 2024

A former NFL player came to UF on Thursday and invited more than 250 students to lunch.

Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson, who played for the Cincinnati Bengals football team, was a guest speaker in UF journalism professor Ted Spiker’s Sports Media and Society class. It was the fifth year Johnson was a speaker and the second in a row he invited students to lunch. About 100 of them joined Johnson at The Swamp Restaurant, Spiker said.

“He doesn’t need to do that, but he decides to share a little bit of his life,” Spiker said.

In 2012, Spiker had his class bombard Johnson on Twitter, asking him to video chat with them. He did.

Spiker said he invited Johnson back because he was one of the first athletes to embrace social media. This year, Johnson spoke about his domestic violence incident in 2012, which received a lot of media attention. The story shows students that actions have consequences, Spiker said.

“He doesn’t care what you think about what he says, and I think that’s a very important lesson for students — to be true to who you are,” Spiker said.

Jovani Pastrana, a UF finance freshman, stood up and challenged Johnson during his visit Thursday to a FIFA video-game match after Johnson claimed he was a “FIFA king.”

The two ended up playing at an off-campus Pi Lambda Phi Fraternity house for four hours, Pastrana said.

“He takes time out of his day to make other people’s days,” the 18-year-old said. “He’s very giving.”

Enjoy what you're reading? Get content from The Alligator delivered to your inbox
Support your local paper
Donate Today
The Independent Florida Alligator has been independent of the university since 1971, your donation today could help #SaveStudentNewsrooms. Please consider giving today.

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2024 The Independent Florida Alligator and Campus Communications, Inc.