Origins & Early History:
Jeremy Foley founded the Sports Information Department, essentially the public relations office of the University Athletic Association, in 1992. This was one of the first things he did as athletic director. The Sports Information Department's main jobs include handling media relations, distributing media guides, maintaining the Web site and keeping all historical records on staff and athletes (Hotchkiss interview).
"Even though we are still part of the University of Florida, we are similar to an individual business," said Greg Hotchkiss, assistant director for the Sports Information Department. "We primarily work off funds that are donated to the University Athletic Association from outside sources such as alumni and 'friends of Florida.' The University Athletic Association utilizes little funding from The University of Florida and even less from state or federal sources." The University Athletic Association has even donated more than $19 million back to The University of Florida to fund academic endeavors (Foley Bio).
As with any athletic program, The University Athletic Association's key publics range on a broad scale from the media to fans. Other key publics include alumni, former and present athletes and "friends of The University of Florida." The fans of opposing teams, who hate the University of Florida, are one of the key publics pointed out by Greg Hotchkiss although others often overlook them.
The University Athletic Association operates in any place there is someone interested in sports at The University of Florida. "We have fans all over the world," Hotchkiss said. "There are many people who view our Web site from places around the globe." However, the offices are in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Gainesville, where the majority of the University Athletic Association representatives work, is also the distribution base for publications.