Let’s say you try and buy some goods at a local store where the doors were accidentally unlocked and had seen that the register was unattended.

Would your first impulse be to just walk out with the goods you intended to buy and not pay?

That wasn’t the case for 4 football players from my daughter’s alma mater William Paterson University, better known at “Willie P.”

Even though surveillance cameras showed them meandering about the store looking for someone to complete their purchase; police were summoned; but the video actually showed them leaving the money on the counter to pay for what they’d bought.

Four football players from William Paterson University are enjoying a brush with celebrity after surveillance video of them entering a local store accidentally left unlocked after closing and paying for their goods anyway has gone viral.

Thomas James, Kell'E Gallimore, Jelani Bruce and Anthony Biondi made an appearance on "The Today Show" Wednesday morning after they were caught on camera doing the right thing.

Here's what happened: A mechanical malfunction left doors unlocked after Buddy's Small Lots on Route 23 had closed Sunday. The young men, recent additions to Willy P's football team, were out looking for some stuff for their dorm room before practice, and told NJ.com that the store "looked open."

"We had to get to practice, because we were running a little late," Bruce said on Tuesday. The guys picked up what they needed, just a few dollars worth of merchandise, but couldn't find a store clerk.

"So we decided to put the money on the counter instead of stealing it, because that's just not right," he said.

Police later alerted the store's management that there may have been a break-in, but the surveillance footage showed the men wandering around the store looking for employees before paying in full.

The store hunted down the players to offer them a reward — $50 of stuff for their new dorm rooms — and school officials tell NJ.com they're pretty proud.

Biondi said on "The Today Show" this morning that he was "ecstatic knowing that one good deed blew up nationwide and now everyone’s hearing about it.’’

And on nationwide TV no less.


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Here’s the sad part, in a way.

Something like this shouldn’t be out of the ordinary but commonplace.

Yet it’s refreshing to hear a story of how our cynicism is refuted by 4 young guys doing the right thing.

Today’s Ray of Hope – the Willie P 4!