Eastern Michigan player gives up scholarship to teammate selling plasma to pay bills

Aug 13, 2023, 8:15 PM | Updated: 8:21 pm

Eastern Michigan football offensive lineman Zack Conti had played four years at the school as a walk-on, until his teammate and captain Brian Dooley stepped in.

“Zack Conti has had to pay his way through school for four years,” head coach Chris Creighton said. “In the fall, the guy was selling his plasma to be able to pay the bills. We are at 85 scholarships. … I ask the NCAA if there was any way we could have 86. They said no.

“That was until Brian Dooley steps into my office and said, ‘Coach, that guy has earned it. I have talked it over with my family and if there is a way to make this happen, I am willing to give up my scholarship for Zack Conti.’ I have never heard or seen anything like that before.”

Dooley was able to stand up in the team meeting and had Conti his scholarship before the team erupted during its meetings.

The Eastern Michigan football coach has been in the position for 10 years and said the selfless act is a reminder of how close a football team can become.

“I did it because I’ve seen Conti grow over the years,” Dooley said.

“Seeing him walk away from something that he loves did not sit well with me. He works hard and gets extra work with me all the time. In my eyes he earned it 100%, giving up my scholarship so he can stay and play means everything. I’m proud of what he has become and cannot wait to see what he does on the field.”

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Eastern Michigan player gives up scholarship to teammate selling plasma to pay bills