As Chuck Shriner crossed the stage on Saturday during Bishop Verot's graduation ceremony, he suddenly paused, dropped to one knee, and Tebow-ed his principal.
Tebowing, the practice of publicly taking a knee in prayer, made famous by former University of Florida Gator, and now New York Jets backup quarterback Tim Tebow, is sweeping the country one YouTube video and Instagram photo at a time.
Shriner, 17, a football player at the private Fort Myers Catholic school, didn't expect his trendy moment on stage to end in punishment and without his diploma in hand. But it did.
"I just thought it was fun," Shriner said. "I was just doing it to make graduation memorable."
While the audience — parents and students alike — erupted into laughter, administration was quick to reprimand. Not with rulers, or a dunce cap, however.
The Fort Myers teen, who will be attending University of Central Florida in the fall to study mechanical engineering, was told he wouldn't be receiving his diploma because of his antics.
"They said what I did would give underclassmen inspiration to do something else, that it might lead to something else," Shriner said about the administration's reaction. "So they were trying to set an example."
After some parents shook his hand and friends celebrated his act, he was told he would be cleaning the school's gym, where graduation was held, and administration would discuss the possibility of giving him his diploma.
"Moment in my life I'll never forget, getting my diploma taken away for doing the Tebow on stage in front of (Principal John) Cavell. So worth it," Shriner posted on his Facebook page that day.
Attempts to reach Cavell on Monday were unsuccessful.
By Monday evening, Shriner's Facebook post received 45 likes and 14 comments — all laughing. One friend wrote "OMG (you're) crazy but very funny!!!"
Shriner later admitted his friends put him up to it with a tempting $5 bill.
"Yeah they dared me," Shriner said. "But I would have done it for free."
After Shriner cleaned up the gym on Monday, he found out his mom was behind the punishment all along. His mother didn't want to comment on Monday. Billy Atwell, a spokesman for the school, said it would be in appropriate for the school to comment because it is a family matter.
"She's a math teacher there," Atwell said about Shriner's mom. "It was all her idea."
Rather than Shriner getting his diploma on Saturday, his mother picked it up. When Shriner was told he wouldn't get his diploma, he said it was "to teach him a lesson."
"We were told not to mess around during it," he said.
When Shriner cleaned the gym on Monday and spoke to his mom after school, she told him everything.
"She was really mad," Shriner said. "But I think it was worth it."
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