Scoring Discrepancy Changes Results of Sprite Step Off

Nedra Rhone, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, February 25, 2010

Five days after taking first place in the Sprite Step Off finals in Atlanta last weekend, the women of Zeta Tau Alpha’s Epsilon Chapter from the University of Arkansas learned they would be sharing the spotlight.

On Thursday, Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Company, which sponsors the college step dancing competition, announced that because of a scoring discrepancy in the sorority results, the second-place winners, the Tau Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc. from Indiana University, would be recognized as co-winners and awarded the same $100,000 prize as Zeta Tau Alpha.

The change was revealed in a Facebook statement. It did not offer insight into the exact problem with the scoring or how it was discovered. {snip}

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The announcement came after four days of blog posts and YouTube comments alternating between support for Zeta Tau Alpha’s win and those doubting the competition results.

Zeta Tau Alpha is a predominantly white organization, which took first place in a tradition that has historically been dominated by African-American fraternities and sororities. Its winning eight-minute Matrix themed production got more than 200,000 views on YouTube, more than twice as many as the second- or third-place winners.

Anthony Antoine, 40, of Atlanta, who posted the popular YouTube video, said he was shocked when he received more than 1,000 comments on the post–many focused on race.

“The bottom line was they didn’t care if the girls were better or not, the people that were upset were saying white girls should not have won, period,” Antoine said. “I think this is bigger than a step competition. Race relations in America still needs a lot of work,” he said.

{snip}

After learning they would be co-winners in the competition, Kosmitis said the nine-member step team remained grateful. “We are just keeping a positive attitude about it,” she said. “We are excited to still have $100,000 for our scholarships and we are excited that someone else can have some money to help them out as well.”

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