Dr. Pepper Makes Things Right After SEC Championship Tuition Giveaway Ends In Controversial Tie

College football fans were NOT happy with the outcome of the Dr. Pepper Tuition Giveaway at the SEC Championship Game. It ended in a tie, but a winner was declared based on results from a previous competition.

(UPDATE: Following the controversy in Atlanta on Saturday, Dr. Pepper has decided to award both contestants with the $100,000 grand prize!)

For those who have been living under a rock, the Dr. Pepper Tuition Challenge is a halftime event that takes place during conference championship games. The concept is simple.

Two students compete against each other to try and throw as many footballs as possible through a small opening from five yards away within 30 seconds. The winner gets $100,000 in tuition money.

If that doesn’t sound serious enough, all five referees involved are real officials. They aren’t actors. They aren’t people grabbed out of the stands. All five officials are flown in by Dr. Pepper to ensure the competition is executed properly.

On Saturday in Atlanta, Baylor student Reagan Whitaker was crowned the Dr. Pepper Tuition Giveaway champion… even though she didn’t win outright.

Through the first 30 seconds, it was a dead heat. Whitaker and her opponent, Kayla Gibson of the University of St. Augustine, tied at 11.

As a result, the competition went to overtime. 15 seconds were put on the clock and the scores were set back to zero.

Once the whistle blew, it was neck-and-neck. Both competitors were trading completions back and forth until the overtime period came to a close with the score tied at eight.

Nobody won outright, but Whitaker exploded in jubilation. She was the winner by tiebreaker.

According to the official Dr. Pepper Tuition Challenge rules, the final tie-breaker “will be determined based upon the results of the Preliminary Tie-Breaker conducted during the Preliminary Competition.”

So what does that mean?

On the day before the halftime competition, five contestants compete for a chance to make the final two in a ‘Preliminary Competition.’ Because Whitaker out-scored Gibson during the preliminary round, she was declared the winner of the final.

As soon as the result was announced on the field at the SEC Championship, boos rained down over the decision. And rightfully so!

Friday’s Preliminary Competition was on Friday. The Dr. Pepper Tuition Giveaway was on Saturday.

Why should the results from Friday determine a winner on Saturday? Put 15 seconds back on the clock and run it back over and over and over again until someone earns a win. Boooooooo Dr. Pepper, booo!

UPDATE: Fortunately, Dr. Pepper ended up doing the right thing.

Both Whitaker and Gibson will be granted $100,000 in tuition money.

Written by Grayson Weir

Grayson doesn't drink coffee. He wakes up Jacked.


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