College Football Player Gives Teammate His Scholarship After Realizing He Has To Sell His Plasma To Afford School — 'I'd Do It Again In A Heartbeat'

He knew how much football meant to his teammate and wanted to help him continue playing without having to worry about money.

Zack Conti, Brian Dooley YouTube

A college football player is being praised after helping out one of his teammates who was struggling financially.

Brian Dooley, an offensive lineman at Eastern Michigan University, noticed that one of his teammates, Zack Conti, an offensive lineman, was working extra hard both on and off the field. To help him out, Dooley decided to gift Conti with the one thing that would take a lot of stress off of his plate.


Zack Conti was forced to donate his plasma and work odd jobs to afford tuition at his school and continue playing football.

Since 2019, Conti has worked multiple jobs to afford the tuition at Eastern Michigan and stay on the team to play a sport that he has loved for some time. After joining the team as a walk-on, Conti was unable to be given a scholarship.

RELATED: After A Homeless Man Entered A Starbucks Asking For A Cup Of Water, A Fellow Customer Decided To Make His Day

Tuition at Eastern Michigan, a public university, totals over $7,000 per semester, according to the university's website, and Conti had to think of solutions quickly where he'd be able to earn enough to afford the tuition.


"Football is something I really love, so ever since I got to school, I've had to do whatever it takes to stay here and stay in a good position with academics and football and everything," Conti, a senior at Eastern Michigan, said, according to ABC News.

"So I work a landscaping job and I rip out carpets and I demo tile floors whenever I'm not working or not doing football or going to school. It's been a grind my whole life but, I mean, when you really want something, it's like you do what you need to do to keep it going."

At one point, Conti was forced to start donating his plasma for money to make enough to pay his bills, according to Chris Creighton, Eastern Michigan's head football coach. 

RELATED: My One-Night Stand Discovered I Had A Tumor While We Were Hooking Up


Conti's teammate, Brian Dooley, noticed all of the extra measures and decided to give his scholarship to him.

Dooley, along with their other teammates, quickly realized all of the hard work and extra measures Conti was doing just to be able to stay and play football. 

"He does a lot more than just football... being a walk-on he’s got to make up a lot of money," Dooley said, per Good Morning America, adding, "Putting that kind of work in on and off the field pushed me harder."

As soon as Dooley, a graduate student in his final year of eligibility, learned that Conti was thinking about quitting football this season, he didn't take long before Dooley knew what he could do to help Conti stay.


Dooley explained that he worked with Creighton to give his full-ride scholarship to Conti, who will be now able to use it for the rest of his undergraduate as well as for graduate school.

RELATED: A Woman Donated An Organ To Her Boss & Got Fired Weeks Later — 'This Is Why You Don't Go Above & Beyond For Your Boss'

"The [offensive]-line brotherhood is something that is hard to break. We have each other's back. That's why I wanted to get Conti's back," Dooley remarked. "If Conti wasn't here, I'd give it to somebody else too. If somebody is working that hard and they deserve a scholarship, I want to give it to them."

Both Dooley and Creighton decided to surprise Conti with the news during the next team meeting, where Dooley stood up and handed the envelope to his teammate, while the rest of the players cheered and congratulated Conti.

"It just felt unbelievable, like I felt like my hard work has paid off," Conti said. "I can't really describe it. You work this hard for this long and you just hope a day like this comes where it's like you're finally rewarded. It was a great feeling."


By selflessly offering his hard-earned scholarship to Conti, Dooley showed the importance that empathy and compassion can have on someone's life. It's moments like this that can serve to remind us of the profound capacity that goodness can have while also inspiring us to extend a helping hand to those who need it most.

RELATED: Kind Customer Steps In After Finding Out Her Favorite Grocery Store Worker Hasn’t Had A Warm Shower In Months

Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.