‘I'd do it again in a heartbeat:' Eastern Michigan football player gives his scholarship to teammate

Thanks to the courtesy of his teammate, Zack Conti won't have to worry about his college tuition for a while.

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The Eastern Michigan Eagles' offensive line is stronger than ever thanks to a player's recent display of camaraderie.

In a YouTube video released by Eastern Michigan University Athletics last week, offensive lineman Brian Dooley gave his football scholarship to fellow teammate Zack Conti after finding out Conti might quit the team due to financial challenges.

"I have never heard... I have never seen anything like that before," said head football Coach Chris Creighton.

Conti joined the Eagles in 2019 as a walk-on player, which means he wasn't awarded a scholarship and has been working his way through school for as long as his teammates can remember. Since then, Conti has taken on landscaping jobs and sold his blood plasma to pay bills, Dooley shared at a press conference Wednesday.

Because of work, Conti occasionally missed out on team activities after practice, Dooley said.

And in addition to carrying the weight of balancing school, work and football, Conti's mother was diagnosed with a kidney disease and needs a transplant.

Creighton said he repeatedly asked the National Collegiate Athletics Association for an extra scholarship over the years, but the organization refused to budge on its cap of 85 — one shy of Conti's spot on the count.

But Dooley got it covered.

The graduate player said he has two classes left in his program while Conti needs a little more time.

"He’s got another year and a half — that scholarship is going to help him more than it will help me," said Dooley. "I feel like he deserves the spotlight, he's doing this for his family."

He continued, "I'd do it again in a heartbeat."

Dooley's good deed allows Conti a full-year scholarship for his last season with the team, which costs $7,600 per semester for the 2023-2024 school year.

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