Posted February 18, 2014

Student Who Made Half-Court Shot May Lose $10K Prize on Technicality

News, Video


West Chester University freshman Jack Lavery’s half-court shot (above) has gone viral. In the video, he must make a layup, foul shot, three-pointer, and half-court shot — all in 25 seconds — to win $10,000. After Lavery misses his first attempt at the half-court shot, it appears all is lost. But he hustles back to half court, and chucks a miracle one-handed fade-away as the buzzer sounds.

And yet, despite all the on-court celebrating, West Chester University says Lavery won’t get the $10,000 because he didn’t make the shots each on the first try, as specified by the contract he signed beforehand:

A West Chester University freshman made the shot of his life during a halftime basketball contest yesterday. But, the half court shot he made was a second chance shot, and the athletic director says he won’t be able to collect the $10,000 contest prize.

“This is really tough for me honestly. After all that celebration, they told me I’m not going to get it. I feel a little hurt,” said finance major Jack Lavery, 18. “No one from West Chester has even reached out to me yet.”

To add insult to injury, his parents promised to match the $10,000 if he won. In a way, this is all just a more painful version of this prank.

[NBC Philadelphia via Lost Letterman]

UPDATE:

According to Pizza Hut, Jack accepted the offer of $10,000 and free pizza for a year (obviously) and plans to donate a portion of the money to a local charity that helps families experiencing life threatening illnesses.

58 comments
SPJ5150
SPJ5150

if you watch the video again the clock gets stuck on "1" for a bit before it goes to "0".

GlennIverson
GlennIverson

One other person already made the point I was getting ready to make, but it bears repeating:  If the announcer -- who is employed by the school -- encouraged the student to keep going because the time wasn't up yet, he has orally altered the contract on the school's behalf in favor of paying the reward.  Should the school choose not to honor that change, the bad publicity will probably cost them more than $10,000 in lost tuition from future students who choose not to attend that particular university.  

carjax1202
carjax1202

After watching the video...and listening to the announcer get the kid all excited to get back and throw up the heave after he missed the first attempt from half court, it just proves that the kid deserves the money.  The announcer should of said...that's it, after he missed the first attempt.

carjax1202
carjax1202

Then why put a timer on the shots??  Take the clock away, cause it has no bearing on the outcome.

MartyJenkins
MartyJenkins

Also, this a terrible contest.... only win if you make them "in sequence" or on "one attempt?"  True he didn't meet the conditions, but they were lame and/or ridiculous conditions to start with.  All this does is make the university look cheap, even if they do indeed keep to the letter of the law


still.... amazing shooting

MartyJenkins
MartyJenkins

How is there hate for this kid?  All he did was say he was deflated for them not counting the miracle shot that got him so excited...


amazing how sad and cynical some of the people on this board are

The_truth_hurts
The_truth_hurts

Play by the rules. Kid doesn't deserve the money. Get a job.

clt0002
clt0002

This is a pretty awful move by the sponsoring company and the school. it's going to be hard for the kid to get his money bc the company that insures this sure as heck won't pay up. 

nygiants56
nygiants56

This kid is delusional. I'm guessing his parents something to do with him feeling he should get what he wants all the time, even though he didn't do what it took to actually win. Why should they stop now - they should give him the 10 grand and a kiss on the cheek

SandersonKramer
SandersonKramer

Whats the problem? The contract clearly said first shots only. Where is the story?

lumbergh
lumbergh

He never earned the prize in the first place.  This is irresponsible journalism at best.

MorphySmith
MorphySmith

he signed a CONTRACT and didn't meet the conditions...end of story

Jim P
Jim P

What a shame.  I feel bad for the kid.

Bankerdanny
Bankerdanny

It is not a technicality if the rules specifically say each shot has to be made on the first attempt. Good try kid, but not good enough. Enjoy your 15 minutes, that's all you earned.

JimSmith4
JimSmith4

Why do people feel that they don't have to follow the rules?  Its all about the entitlement mentality.  Don't pay him.  He learned a great life lesson about knowing the rules and living by what you signed in a contractual agreement.

donald5
donald5

There is probably an insurance company that backed this contest.  The insurance company set a rate based on the payout and a specified criteria that the contestant has to follow.  They calculated the odds of the contestant being able to follow the specific criteria.  If the insurance company was told he had to do X, Y and Z, he has to do X, Y and Z.  If they are changing it, in retrospect, to only X and Y and no longer Z, the insurance company is going to be pretty pissed that they did not follow the terms of the contract.  They are going to tell the school and the kid to stuff it.  Insurance companies are not going to pay up because some mid level athletic department employee failed to explain the rules of the contest in detail (assuming they did not explain it to the kid)  Now the school is on the hook because some announcer was saying he has another shot and people think it would feel good.


This is all assuming the contract spells it out that he had to make them all without missing them.  The lawyers will figure it out.  A contract like that can't be too hard to read.  Certainly shouldn't take 2 weeks  

BestTampaSportsFan
BestTampaSportsFan

If West Chester pays the kid all they have to do is raise the price per credit hour and its a win win

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

The right thing to do is to pay him. Even if the school has 'the right' to withhold payment the RIGHT THING TO DO is to pay him. This is a b.s. technicality where none is needed. Pay him the money.

The_Sports_Dude
The_Sports_Dude

If he thinks his school is screwing him out of $10,000, just wait until he realizes he paid $80,000+ in tuition for a liberal arts degree.

ApolloOne
ApolloOne

A lot of the comments here seem to have no basis in fact. Searching for the actual contract, I found this on 6abc.com:

'In the contract signed by Lavery obtained by Action News, the rules state, "I shall have as many opportunities as necessary at each of the first three (3) locations to make a shot; however, no more than ONE (1) attempt may be made at the HALF COURT shot, provided that there is still time left on the shot clock."'

So according to the contract, he's not entitled to the money. I know that's hard, but that's life.

MrArlington
MrArlington

@GlennIverson "orally altered the contract"? What world do you live on? It is clear that the MC doesn't know the rules but this doesn't negate the signed contract.

donald5
donald5

@carjax1202  The contract specifically says ONE SHOT at half court.  Please show me the legal precedent where the exuberant stupidity of someone unrelated to a contract can invalidate the terms that were printed in BOLD print on a contract.

ApolloOne
ApolloOne

@carjax1202  

Just a shot in the dark here, but since there are other things to get to—including the game—maybe they don't want this thing going on indefinitely.

Rem
Rem

@MartyJenkins  Probably because of insurance.  Most of the time, these contests are held with an insurance company promising to pick up the tab in the unlikely event someone does it (with the college paying like $50-100 per try or something).  College went to the insurance company, and they told the college he didn't do it according to the contract, so we're not paying.

So now, the college has to eat $10k loss or look bad.

carjax1202
carjax1202

@The_truth_hurts  He's in college....I'm sure he'll have a better paying job than you my friend once he graduates.

DSmithy3211
DSmithy3211

@MorphySmith  Except for the part where the announcer encouraged Jack to keep shooting despite the miss. If the announcer is an agent of the school, the school orally revised the contract.  It's not as clear cut as y'all make it out to be.

SandersonKramer
SandersonKramer

@Jim P  Why feel sorry. He knew he would get one shot and he missed the shot. End of story.

BestTampaSportsFan
BestTampaSportsFan

@JimSmith4  They could start a " I didn't read the rules " fund and help this kid.

Anyway rules were meant to be broken or bent. For instance the sign on the Ladies door doesn't say "Women Only" but somehow when a male walks in there , he realizes he misread the Contract

SandersonKramer
SandersonKramer

@Rickapolis  No it is not the right thing to do. He should have known he got one shot only. If he didn't bother to find out, that's his fault.

DougSchulze
DougSchulze

@Rickapolis, are you another entitled 20-something? I bet you think he should have been paid if he just hit the rim on the first shot! The headline of the article is the only b.s. here because a rule or term of a contract isn't a "technicality".

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

@Rickapolis Always easy to spend the money when it is not yours, isn't it?   He did not do what he needed in order to win so he doesn't get paid.  Pretty simple concept. 

rodp236
rodp236

@Rickapolis Bet your fun after you sign a contract................you're supposed to read 'em.

Ryan19
Ryan19

@The_Sports_Dude  "said finance major Jack Lavery, 18."  I didn't realize that Finance was now considered liberal arts.  

lavudyar
lavudyar

@ApolloOne  Got a link to that story? All I can find is the video, which doesn't talk about the actual contract.

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

@parkbrav If you are in favor of him getting paid, why don't you write a check instead of telling someone else how they should spend their money.

carjax1202
carjax1202

@ApolloOne @carjax1202 Let me explain something to you.  He only has one attempt at each shot...so, if he misses the free throw...it's over right?  It's not like the kid is going to sit there and stare down a shot for longer than 15 mins to an hour...he made the first three and missed the half court shot...it should of been over.  No need for a clock.  If it depends on the clock, then yes..he can keep shooting til it runs out.  That's the way these things usually work.

ApolloOne
ApolloOne

@DougSchulze  

Indeed, it does seem like the definition of a "technicality" is the part of a contract we don't like.

donald5
donald5

@carjax1202 @ApolloOne  Read the contract Boston boy... it says he can have as many shots on all of them EXCEPT the half court shot.  The contract is out there for you to read.  It has bold letters for you in case you miss it the first time.  Nowhere in the contract did it say "All stipulations in the contract can be revised by the totally ignorant mid level athletic department announcer of the contest"

MrArlington
MrArlington

@carjax1202 @ApolloOneHe has 25 seconds to make the four shots in a row. If he missed the layup he could take another layup attempt and attempt to make the four in a row. The timer DOES have relevance to this story.