West Chester (Penn.) University freshman Jack Lavery was randomly selected to shoot for $10,000 at halftime of Saturday's game. He had 25 seconds to complete a layup, a free throw, a three-pointer, and a half-court shot. He made them all. He will not get the money. There is fine print.
The sequence was amazing—after hitting the first three, the 18-year-old Lavery missed on his half-court shot. But with time expiring, he sprinted back to mid-court and hurled a one-handed miracle off the glass.
As the crowd went wild, officials told Lavery that he did not win the competition, that students are required to make all four shots in a row without missing. When Lavery missed his first half-court attempt, the school's AD says, he was done—even though the announcer encouraged him to keep going while counting down the time remaining.
If the contract Lavery signed says he needed to hit all four shots without missing, then he's probably boned. Assuming West Chester's promotion is insured, that insurer's not going to pay out if the contract language says it doesn't have to. But if that's the case, why have a shot clock at all? Why does the announcer tell the crowd about the 25-second limit, but not about the no-missing requirement? Lavery has every right to feel screwed, and it's hard not to hope that WCU decides to throw him a bone.