Banning Chest Passes: Dr Pepper’s New Rule for Tuition Contest

Gerrit Cole doesn’t throw bounce passes from the mound. LeBron James has never tossed an off-speed slider on a backdoor cut. So then, why do we have to watch college students throw footballs like basketball-chest passes to win scholarship money?

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This is so America.

Dr Pepper, it’s time to change the rules.

During this past weekend’s Big 12 Championship Game between Texas and Oklahoma State, the soft drink’s annual Tuition Giveaway contest took place. The winner gets $100k while the loser only gets $20K, in what often feels like a probable tax write-off wrapped in cheap halftime entertainment.

However, things got tricky after Dr Pepper announced that both contestants would be getting the $100,000 scholarship money after a scoring error gave the win to the wrong contestant. “In a dramatic double OT Dr Pepper Tuition Giveaway during the Big 12 Conference championship game, an on-field technical error resulted in an inaccurate accounting of the double tie break. As such, Dr Pepper will recognize both finalists as grand prize winners with both receiving the 100k award in tuition,” the company wrote in a statement.

Shout out to Dr Pepper for doing the right thing and letting both kids have the money. But the company wouldn’t be in this position if they had outlawed the chest pass a long time ago.

This is football, not basketball.

“Anything but the chest pass… I’m not a big fan of that,” said Kirk Herbstreit.

“No chest pass, though,” Kevin Negandhi added.

To beclear, this isn’t on the students. You can’t dangle that kind of money in front of broke college kids and take issue when one of them is smart enough to realize that a basketball pass with a football is an easier way to win this game than it is by actually trying to throw a spiral. But as soon as every contestant decided that throwing a football the way that footballs are meant to be thrown was a bad business decision, Dr Pepper should have stepped in and changed the rules.

Spirals, or those wobbly ducks that Peyton Manning threw in his final seasons, only.

And since you should never complain about an issue unless you have a probable solution, let’s discuss what could be done to change things:

• Change the contest to something where the students have to run back and forth between the ball pit and the inflated can. The person with the most balls wins, but move it back to 10 yards instead of five.

• Have them actually throw it like a quarterback.

• Move this contest to the Final Four and allow contestants to throw basketballs into the inflated can with . . . basketball-like chest passes.

Since Dr Pepper started doing their Tuition Giveaway program in 2008, more than $13 million in tuition money has been awarded to students. The idea around a game that gives college kids the chance to win some life-changing money is cool. The fact that Dr Pepper allows them to play basketball with footballs isn’t. Just change the rules and make them throw ducks.