Instant embarrassment

With the men’s basketball team’s dismal record of 3-5 at home, the biggest home shot of the season – or at the least the most rewarding – has been from sophomore Jason Deck.

He isn’t on the Bulls’ roster, but he did sink a half-court shot during the game against St. John’s at the Sun Dome on Saturday. Deck was chosen randomly before the game to take part in a promotion the Athletic Department offers at USF home games.

“I was sitting in the front row and one of the people who run it came up to me and asked me if I wanted to make some money,” Deck said.

However, Deck was nearly robbed of the money prize given to the students if they make the shot. After making the near-impossible basket, Assistant Director of Athletics for Marketing and Event Management Kosha Irby said the shot was not good.

Apparently, Deck stepped on the half-court line.

So what’s the big deal?

If the shot had been made by one of the men’s players, it would’ve made SportsCenter’s Top 10.

Well, I guess the multi-million dollar screens finally came into use. Along with Irby, Associate Athletic Director Tom Veit reviewed the shot on the new screens.

“We kind of looked at it like an NFL call,” Veit said.

The NFL? Was that a joke?

In no way should it be compared to an NFL call. Maybe if James Holmes had shot a last-second three pointer to win the game and stepped on the line it could be compared to the NFL.

After all that, the Athletic Department said it would give Deck the money anyway. So maybe it can be compared to an NFL call.

The next day in the AFC playoff game, Steelers safety Troy Polamalu clearly picked off a pass from Colts quarterback Peyton Manning. However, as was nearly the case with Deck, Polamalu and the Steelers were robbed when the officials overturned the call. The NFL later said it made a mistake overturning the call.

If the Athletic Department would have cheated Deck of the money, it would have to re-evaluate the way it treats women when they participate in the promotion.

Earlier in the season, a female student shot two air balls from half court and was able to move up for her third try.

If the most excitement a fan will get at a men’s basketball game this season is seeing a fellow student make a half-court shot for $500, then the Athletic Department shouldn’t worry if the shooter’s toe crossed the line.

If Deck had been denied the money, there still would have been a consolation prize. Saturday night, Deck had a better shooting percentage and finished with more points than starting point guard Chris Capko, who, after playing 28 minutes, shot one for six from the field and scored just two points.

That alone is reason enough to give him $500.