The University of Northern Iowa and a sponsor seed company have agreed to award $10,000 to a student after denying that he had officially won a halftime shooting contest earlier in the week.
As reported by the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Dalton Hinsch, a UNI sophomore from Mankato, Minn., scrambled on Feb. 12 to make a layup, a free throw, a three-point shot and a half-court shot with no rebounding assistance — and the crowd went wild. However, controversy ensued when contest organizers declared Hinsch hadn't run the shot-making gauntlet within the required 24 seconds, even though a shot clock wasn't provided to allow Hinsch to pace himself. Upon completion, Hinsch was informed his feat of accuracy had taken closer to 27 seconds.
As a compromise, the school and the contest sponsor first decided to award him $2,000 and tickets to the Missouri Valley Conference postseason tournament in St. Louis. But amid backlash, the university and the seed company decided on Friday to give Hinsch the full prize.
Northern Iowa athletic director David Harris told the Des Moines Register: “It’s just been fielding feedback from fans and people who were at the game and seeing the stories and having some conversations about, 'OK, we’re in a position where we feel like we want to resolve it in the best way possible.' And so having conversations, we arrived at a conclusion we felt comfortable with and we felt was the right thing to do."
The school has two more games, and the contest will be held. The school is considering installing a portable shot clock — the actual one can’t be used during the game — so that a situation like this won’t occur again.