Four college football players from William Paterson University are being praised for their honesty after a simple shopping trip could have turned bad.
This past Sunday afternoon, four athletes from Wayne, N.J. walked into a Buddy's Small Lots store to purchase a few items. Although nothing seemed out of the ordinary, the store was actually closed.
Security cameras show the men opening the door and walking in like anyone would. Then the cameras focus on the men going to the register to make a purchase, and pulling out money.
What these students did not know was the store was closed, and whoever shut down shop, did not properly lock the door and left a light on.
While this was a huge mistake for the store, the college students blindly walked into a potential situation that may have gotten them in a lot of trouble despite the innocence of trying to shop.
Instead of stealing the merchandise, they left the proper amount of money at the counter, waved to the cameras and left, thinking the store clerks had perhaps disappeared.
They bought sunglasses and bateries.
"They picked up a few items, and they left cash on the counter and waved to the cameras," store owner Marci Lederman told Yahoo News as she reveled in their honesty. "Who does that?"
"It doesn't surprise me that they did what they did," said Jerry Flora, the Pioneers' head coach to Yahoo!. "That's the kind of kids we try and recruit in here so we can obviously deal with a lot less headaches if you know what I mean."
The D-III's school team, the Pioneers, have not had a winning season in nearly 20 years, but their players maintain a winning attitude.
"They could have ransacked the store. They could have really done anything," Lederman explained, saying she was alerted to the store by police who told her an alarm had been tripped. "They were perfect gentlemen. They were looking to see if anyone was here. They looked in the back to make sure no one was lying on the floor dead."
The owner wanted to know who these men were so she contacted a local TV station to share the video in hopes of locating them, and it worked. Lederman gave the players $50 gift cards and wanted to personally thank them.
"They were just very thankful and grateful," she said. "They're nice kids."
"For me it's the total product," Flora added. "I'm looking for guys that will come in, be here for four years, learn, develop, graduate, become good alums, give back to the university, give back to the program and along the way hopefully have some fun and set a good example."