College Athlete Donates his Scholarship to his Teammate
Zack Conti is a senior offensive lineman for Eastern Michigan University. When he arrived on campus four years ago, he was a “walk-on,” which meant that he received no reduction in his fees to attend school. To pay for his tuition, he has always worked. He works a lot of construction jobs. He also has had to donate his plasma to pay bills. It’s been a long road.
Earlier this fall, Zack was considering the transfer portal. He thought that perhaps another school might put him on a scholarship. He shared this news with one of his teammates, Brian Dooley. Brian did not want this to happen. After all, Zack had become a starter. Brian knew how hard Zack had worked and knew he was a valuable component of the team. Moreover, to Brian, Zack was like a brother.
Since the coaches at EMU did not have another scholarship to offer Zack, Brian thought of another option. He talked it over with his family and then he talked it over with his coaches. Brian then made the decision to donate his full-ride scholarship to Zack. When he did so, Brian hugged Zack and said, “Love you brother.” Zack responded, “Love you back.”
Joe’s Perspective: This is an excellent example of what sports can teach. One teammate recognized the struggles of his friend and wanted to provide a kind gesture to alleviate some of these struggles. Brian appreciated all that Zack had contributed to the team and he wanted to pay him back. A one-year scholarship is worth over $40,000, which includes tuition, housing, food and money to pay living expenses. This is money that Brian’s family will have to pay this year so that Zack can attend school for free. In a recent interview, Brian said:
“Some people say, ‘why do it?’ It’s because I know Zack. I’d do it again for him. He’s a brother to me. I just couldn’t let him walk away from something that he built here.”
Your Turn: What are your thoughts after reading/hearing this story? Does it inspire you to do something positive for one of your teammates?