FAU, Miami Final Four appearances create divided house

Published: Mar. 30, 2023 at 6:16 PM EDT
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This weekend’s Final Four is historic for South Florida with two teams representing our slice of the Sunshine State.

Florida Atlantic University and the University of Miami are both making their first-ever Final Four appearances and could play each other for the national title if they win their respective games Saturday night.

With so much South Florida spirit, some families are bound to be in a "house divided."

One of those families is the Weiner family in western Boynton Beach.

Jeff Weiner is a diehard University of Miami fan who bleeds orange and green. So much so, he proposed to his wife on the field at the Orange Bowl.

"I was a Hurricane from a very young age growing up in South Florida in Pembroke Pines, going to Hurricane events with my family," he said.

He played in the band and has Hurricane fight songs coursing through his veins. The famous Ibis mascot was even on hand when Jeff and his wife, Pam, brought their son Jacob home.

"From that moment on, I think he kind of knew that was gonna be his future," Jeff said.

"It was always around, no matter if I wanted it or not," his son Jacob said.

But now there is another bird flying high in the house.

Jacob is officially an FAU Owl, starting classes this fall.

"It's actually really fun now to be able to go there," Jacob said. "I knew it was something that would come full circle eventually."

He is a runner and senior at Olympic Heights High School and has been running and training at the FAU track for years.

He hopes to walk on to the FAU track team. FAU was always a top choice for Jacob, but watching the team soar to new heights on the basketball court makes it even better.

"It definitely made it sweeter, that was the cherry on top of the ice cream," Jacob said. "I've been to a few sporting events there, but they've never been this good."

The family has always supported both schools.

Jeff does a lot of work at FAU, speaking to students and recruiting for his business. He never saw the two schools as rivals until now when father and son could go head to head.

"If FAU plays UM, I gotta go to my roots, I mean too many great experiences and Miami has never been there," Jeff said. "FAU has plenty of time, I'm sure they'll be back every year."

His wife Pam said she's cheering for FAU, especially after her husband's Hurricanes beat her Indiana Hoosiers. But Jacob is rooting for the home team — the Owls.

"I might get kicked out of the house," he said.

No matter who wins, it's all fun in the Weiner house.

"If they both get through, it's gonna be interesting, but if one can get through it would be unbelievable," Jeff said.

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