The University of North Carolina Athletic Department announced Thursday that it would be implementing the Book It! program to help fill seats at Kenan Memorial Stadium for football season.
UNC Athletic Director Bubba Cunningham explained that there would one modification to the program, however.
“It used to be if you read a certain number of books then you would get a free personal pan pizza from Pizza Hut,” Cunningham said. “But now instead of pizza we’re going to use UNC football tickets.”
“It’s a double-whammy, because we’re encouraging kids to read while getting butts in the seats.”
UNC Head Football Coach Mack Brown told reporters that their version of Book It! would also help cut down on the childhood obesity rate.
“I feel better about giving kids football tickets as a reward for reading instead of pizza,” Brown said. “There are enough chubby bunnies in our society as it is.”
“Out with the pizza and in with the football.”
Several local children were excited to hear about the program.
“You mean I can get a free ticket to a Tar Heels football game if I read books?” Wilfred Taggart, a Chapel Hill third-grader, asked. “How exciting.”
“I’m going to start with a big book, like Stuart Little. I heard even Tyler Hansbrough couldn’t read that one.”
Dee Dee Brunswick, a Chapel Hill fourth-grader, said she couldn’t wait to earn her free ticket.
“I can’t wait to earn my ticket to the UNC-Mercer game,” Brunswick said. “Coloring books count, right?”
Hansbrough, a former standout on the UNC basketball team, took exception to Taggart’s statements.
“Man, I could’ve finished Stuart Little if I wanted to,” Hansbrough replied. “I chose not to. There weren’t enough pictures to hold my attention.”