No Pizza Hut Invitational winnings for Helen Terry and PJ Hairston

Posted by Andy Durham on January 7, 2009 at 2:46 pm under Amateur, High School | 14 Comments to Read

PIZZA HUT INVTATIONAL HALFTIME SHOOTOUT WINNERS CANNOT ACCEPT PRIZES;

Shootout Rules will Change Next Year

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Some Pizza Hut Invitational halftime shootout winners are unable to accept their prizes due to North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) rules, it was announced today.

The Pizza Hut Invitational offers a halftime shootout during the first 22 games of the 24-game high school basketball tournament. One winner from each game advances to the semifinal round which is conducted during halftime of the women’s championship game. The top-four semifinal finishers advance to the final round at halftime of the men’s championship game. Each competitor pays $1 per shot in the first 22 halftime competitions; there is no charge to shoot during the semifinals and finals.

Winners receive $1,000 in gift cards donated by The Shops at Friendly Center. First place wins a $500 gift card, second wins $300 while third and fourth each win $100. Proceeds from the halftime shootout program are contributed to the tournament’s participating schools.

Helen Terry, a women’s varsity basketball player at Dudley High School won the shootout; P.J. Hairston, a men’s varsity basketball player at Dudley, finished second. Wavey Boyd, another Dudley High School student, finished third. When the shootout ended Saturday night, tournament organizers held the winnings of the top-three competitors until NCHSAA rules could be confirmed. Fourth-place finisher Carter Stanley, a student at Mendenhall Elementary School, was awarded his $100 gift card.

The Greensboro Sports Council contacted Dudley High School director of athletics Joe Godette to confirm that the winners were Dudley student athletes. Terry and Hairston were confirmed as varsity basketball players, but Boyd does not play on the basketball team.

The Greensboro Sports Council then contacted the NCHSAA to find out if the student athletes were able to accept the prizes. Que Tucker, NCHSAA deputy executive director, said that pursuant to the “Amateur Rule,” student athletes cannot accept monetary prizes. Because the two winners used their athletic talents to benefit, potentially monetarily, accepting the prizes would be a violation of NCHSAA rules. The “amateur rule” is item No. 11, found on page No. 115 of the NCHSAA handbook. Had the competition been complete chance with no specific athletic skills required, or if the prizes had not been monetary, the student athletes would have been able to accept their prizes.

Therefore, Terry and Hairston cannot accept the Friendly Center gift cards, but third-place finisher Boyd can. So Boyd and fourth-place finisher Stanley will each receive $500 in gift cards. Since Stanley received his $100 gift card Saturday night, he will receive an additional $400.

“This situation has never happened before in our tournament,” Greensboro Sports Council president Brett Schulman said. “As the shootout was ending, we were trying to find out if it was acceptable for the winners to accept the prizes, and when we could not find out, we decided to hold the winnings until we could check NCHSAA rules. It’s a good thing we did; the last thing we want is for a student athlete to get into trouble with the NCHSAA for winning a Pizza Hut Invitational contest.

“Next year, the halftime shootout will have different rules. Participants who are members of a high school or college basketball team and other amateur athletes will not be allowed to participate in order to prevent a situation like this from happening again.”

The 33rd annual Pizza Hut Invitational concluded Saturday night at the Greensboro Coliseum Special Events Center. Ragsdale High School won the women’s tournament; Greensboro Day School captured its fourth consecutive men’s championship. All tournament proceeds are donated to the participating schools each year.

*****from Rob Goodman 3G Sports*****


  • chuckyd said,

    maybe you can win it next year andy-i heard u are a pretty good free throw shooter – why dont they just give them gift certifactes to pizza hut? didnt they sponsor this event?

  • Andy said,

    I defeated Jan Pritchett in basketball last Sunday but that doesn’t make me a star…

    Pizza Hut did a great job with the Tournament. They have done their part over 10 x’s 10 and more.

    This is an issue with the State High School Athletic Association and they will have the final say and ruling.

  • chuckyd said,

    doesnt jan play for the girls team at dudley?

  • Andy said,

    He couldn’t keep up with those girls.

  • Basketball Fan said,

    I’m confused…so how was helen allowed to win it last year?

  • Andy said,

    Good question. It was posted here back on Sunday that Helen was last year’s winner…

    There may be some more questions to be answered, and we will all stay tuned.

  • #1 Fan said,

    I think that it is a shame the way this is happening to these 2 students. I’ve been attending the little 4 since it’s been around. The event is a HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL tournament with high school basketbal players attending it and participating in the free throw contest. Players from ALL the schools in this area attend this event and participate in the free throw shooting contest. Now at this point and time there’s a problem with it when top 2 top Dudley players win the contest. Yes it’s true that Helen Terry won it last year. But if she or any other player would have known that it was against any rule they wouldn’t have entered. Because their names are so well known now there’s a problem. Why would an organization thats attracting basketball players and holding free shooting contest not research it first before holding such an event??? Then after awarding a player the previous year decide to research the matter???? And does this mean if you play AAU Basketball that you can’t participate either???? It’s very unfair to the kids at this point because they are innocent victims for something they had no knowledge of. My son asked his coach before entering the contest and his coach advised him that it was o.k. And believe me his coach definitely knows basketball! But I’m pretty sure he wasn’t aware of this little gem written on page 115 item #11.

  • Concerned said,

    I heard that Carter Stanley walked up and said he was a finalist meaning he won a half time shot out contest. Somone heard Carter say that he did not qualify. My son won one of the half time shot outs and was given a letter that has to be mailed in to receive Women’s ACC game tickets and a tee shirt. Did Carter Stanley produce that letter? Did anyone even check the names of the finalist to see if they really won the half time shot out. My son paid at least $15 trying to win one of the half time contest. It took a lot of time, talent and effort. No one asked he to prove he qualified. He was eliminated in the finals. The contest should be eliminated. It is not fair that you take away PJ and Helen’s gift certificate and give it to someone who may have cheated.

  • chuckyd said,

    this contest has proven that if you are a superior athlete the rules will be changed so you cannot win-Helen Terry should take this to court and sue them until it hurts

  • spooky T said,

    It was a great event and created a nice side show for the fans by having the free throw event. Lets not forget that it also raised additional funds for what ever the purpose might be. What folks should be talking about is the ridiculous prices that they charge for hot dogs, popcorn, pretzels, sodas etc… Hard economic times? I don’t think so based on those prices especially since the price of gas has fallen to $1.50 versus over $4 not so long ago. So they cannot use the excuse about high fuel cost cause the rising of concession stand prices. Nah! That dog don’t hunt. Concerning the Dudley stars who won fair and squarely by converting their chances more often that anyone else in this fair and just society; I wonder if Dudley recent success by winning back to back football Championship and Roy Williams attending games has created some sort of jealousy by the opposition? After all isn’t Dudley the big time draw for this event for many years? Please let us not ever get things a little confused? Let the winners enjoy their success and let the others work harder the next time.

  • CM said,

    Since the prizes could be accepted if not monetary then why didnt the Sports Council buy something to give them like an ipod or something?

  • Wanda said,

    There’s no way Jan Pritchett could keep up with the Dudley girls.

  • Unknown said,

    I believe Wavey Boyd is better then Pj Hariston he just need to change schools so he can get the playin time he deserves wait to next year

  • untrue said,

    sorry about your son but carter did not fake it i am a good friend of his and cheered him on while he won twice in the first games and the won the womens he did not podst a fake letter either he is a good player and rumors should not be created or posted like this