SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) – The crowd went wild Friday night when Charlie Caine made the half-time half-court shot for $5,000 at the University of Utah men’s basketball game. But after the cheers died down, Caine was told that he was ineligible for the prize money because he is 17. Caine took his case to Twitter.
I made the half court for $5,000 but got aced out of it because it was “against policy” that I was 17 even though they still let me shoot it. Still stoked I made the shot but I would appreciate some money. @MountainAmerica @UtahMBB @MUSSemeritus pic.twitter.com/qw6xAL0Pgt— Charlie Caine (@ctcaine9) November 25, 2017
Caine tagged Mountain America Credit Union believing that they were the sponsors of the half-time segment–but he was wrong. Mountain America does not sponsor any University of Utah athletics and did not sponsor the half-time shot Friday night.
Mountain America VP of Public Relations said, “I don’t know why he thought of us, we don’t have any signage in the arena. Maybe it was just on his mind, maybe he had driven past a branch, could just be a simple mistake.”
The social media firestorm surrounding Caine’s original tweet went national garnering attention from news outlets like NBC Sports and Yahoo Sports.
Utah Athletic Director Dr. Chris Hill responded to Caine’s plea Saturday and has confirmed that the University will be giving Caine his well-earned $5,000. The young fan has committed half of his earnings to a non-profit.
UPDATE: Utah AD Chris Hill called again to tell me they would send me the payment for the shot. Half of which I will donate to a non-profit I volunteer with, Maji United (https://t.co/ZU1cFrfPSa). Thanks, and go Utes! 🙌🏼 https://t.co/7c4Yexhcva— Charlie Caine (@ctcaine9) November 25, 2017