The news came from half a world away, too juicy to ignore.
The situation: A University of Florida journalism student studying abroad was spotted partying with the raucous cast of MTV's Jersey Shore in Italy. On camera.
Students swapped rumors about it on campus, discussed it in their classes and joked about it on Facebook and Twitter.
Bet UF didn't see this one coming.
Way to stay classy UF!
I love my alma mater #UF for getting their name out there alongside The Jersey Shore. We take academics seriously. No, for real. I promise.
Details about what exactly happened remain a mystery.
The gossip website TMZ first reported the story, with excerpts from an e-mail a UF professor overseeing that study-abroad program sent to the students on the trip. It said, "any student who does 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."
But UF quickly backed off that threat.
"We realized this professor is trying to do the right thing for the university," said university spokeswoman Janine Sikes. "However … signing a contract as described by TMZ would not violate UF student conduct code, and students would not be subject to any discipline."
Students on study-abroad trips are allowed to partake in any outside activities they want, provided they follow rules related to academic requirements or housing arrangements.
Daniel Snook, a UF psychology junior, said the reaction on campus was mixed.
"Some people just dislike Jersey Shore so much, they're like 'Well good. They should ban people from hanging out with them,' " he said.
Others say, " 'Yeah, they're kind of ridiculous people, but they'd still probably be a lot of fun to hang out with.' "
Snook sides with the latter.
"I would definitely want to take that opportunity to party and hang out with them," he said. "But I'm not sure I'd want everybody to know about it."
Kim Wilmath can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 813-226-3337.