Coach pranks UMass football players

October 24, 2012

Normally, when campus security officers show up in an athletic team's locker room, they don't bring good news. That's what UMass football players Daniel Maynes and Rob O'Connor assumed when, midway through a team meeting, a pair of uniformed school cops arrived and handed them ominous-looking envelopes.

To the shock of almost everyone else in the room, these envelopes contained scholarships for college that would cover their expenses for studies. Hooting and hollering among their teammates ensued.

Not only did the defensive lineman and the linebacker receive a substantial amount of financial aid for college, but the bait-and-switch was filmed with a digital camera and posted to YouTube, where it's been viewed by almost 78,000 people during the week it's been online.

"You two guys have worked really hard, bust your ass, do well on the field and in the classroom and the weight room, we could not find one bad thing to not give you two a scholarship," said Coach Charley Molnar at the video's conclusion. "You two are going to be bright up-and-comers on the football team."

In an interview with CBS, Molnar said the move was a way to boost morale before the beginning of the season. His theory was that awarding players who had already worked hard and proved themselves would encourage optimism among his charges more than giving a full scholarship to a high school player who had never played for UMass.

"We needed something to juice the guys up," said Molnar in an interview with the radio station 98.5 The Sports Hub, quoted by ABC. "I got the university police to work with us, and my gosh, I really did do a great job staying serious and surprised when those guys came in."

Could a talent for fantasy football lead to financial aid for school?
Students lacking the type of expertise required for an athletic scholarship may have another means of acquiring help with their financial planning for college through football-related competition. Although, it should be noted that the $10,000 scholarship awarded to the grand prize winner of the 2012 NFLRush fantasy football tournament is presented via check.

The NFLRush will announce its $10,000 scholarship winner on Feb. 11, 2013.

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