Chuck Shriner punished for Tebowing

Updated: May 24, 2012, 8:01 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

A graduating senior at a Fort Myers, Fla., high school was punished for "Tebowing" on stage Saturday prior to receiving his diploma.

They said what I did would give underclassmen inspiration to do something else, that it might lead to something else. So they were trying to set an example.

-- Chuck Shriner

Chuck Shriner, who said he was acting on a $5 bet with a classmate, took a knee and bowed his head in the prayer pose of New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow during Bishop Verot Catholic High's graduation ceremony.

"I just thought it was fun. I was just doing it to make graduation memorable," Shriner said, according to NBC affiliate WPTV.

Neither Bishop Verot principal John Cavell nor Shriner's mother, a math teacher at the school, found humor in it. According to WPTV, Cavell withheld the diploma at the urging of Shriner's mother.

As punishment, Shriner had to clean up the gymnasium, where the graduation ceremony was held, before receiving the diploma.

A spokesman for the school said the punishment was the idea of Shriner's mother.

"They said what I did would give underclassmen inspiration to do something else, that it might lead to something else," Shriner told WPTV. "So they were trying to set an example."

"She was really mad," Shriner said, referring to his mother, "but I think it was worth it."

Shriner, from Fort Myers, will attend the University of Central Florida in the fall, according to WPTV.

Tebow, the creator of the pose, backed Shriner on Thursday.

"I don't think his diploma should be withheld," he said. "I think it was probably something a lot of people laughed at. I don't know that it was necessarily appropriate, but I definitely think he should be able to graduate. Let him graduate."

Information from ESPNNewYork.com's Rich Cimini was used in this report.

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