The team from the UA Zeta Tau Alpha sorority that made history by being the first white group to win the Sprite Stepoff, a dance competition historically rooted in black Greek organizations, will have to share the top honor with a black sorority.
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. Coke representatives said in an e-mailed response to questions from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "Due to the extremely narrow margin between the first and second place winning sororities, we conducted a further post-competition review and discovered a scoring discrepancy. There is no conclusive interpretation, nor definitive resolution for the discrepancy."
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.
Good interview in the Atlanta paper with ZTA team member on the sorority's long participation in the competition at Fayetteville and its hours of work to prepare for the national competition. Said Alexandra Kosmitis:
“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."