Usually off-field headlines related to college football players are arrest this or drugs that. And although that gets most of the attention, the vast majority of college athletes are honest young adults with moral character who stay out of trouble.
This past weekend four freshman football players from William Patterson University, in New Jersey, entered a store they thought was open. Jelani Bruce, Anthony Biondi, Kell’E Gallimore, and Thomas James located what they needed and went to the counter to pay. When they couldn’t find an attendant they left the money on the counter and left.
The store was actually closed, but since the lights were on and the doors were unlocked it appeared open. The director of store operations got a call from the police stating that there was a break in. Her first thought was that the store was ransacked, however, when she watched the surveillance video she found that was hardly the case. The “intruders” paid for everything.
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“Our jaws kind of dropped,” she said. “We were like wow, you really can’t prejudge people.”
In return for their honesty the store gave each football player a $50 gift card.
As a sports journalist it’s always good to write these kind of stories because I know this type of display of moral character by college athletes is more the norm that than the exception. And although it is the media’s job to report unfavorable news, it should be just as much our job to report the positives as well.