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Athletes can do the right thing

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It's probably every business owner's worst nightmare: A malfunctioning lock leaves the store doors unlatched long after it has closed for the evening, prompting four teenagers take notice and step inside.

This was the dilemma recently faced by a business proprietor in Wayne, N.J. -- but, luckily, he learned that not every break-in has to be rooted in mischief.

According to tri-state affiliate News 12 , four football players from William Paterson University recently paid a visit to Buddy's Small Lots on Route 23, just a few miles from the William Paterson campus.

When they got there, they found that the store was closed -- but the doors were not.

But rather than enter the store and ransack the place, which is what store operations manager Marci Lederman feared when she first saw the security footage, the men simply walked in, found what they needed -- some batteries and a speaker cable -- and then left the money for the items by the register.

"Not only did they leave money on the counter," Lederman told News 12, "they counted out the change."

As a reward for the players' honesty, Lederman gave the men a $50 gift card to spend at the store. (No word on whether that's an NCAA rules violation.) It was a small price to pay in exchange for honesty in a situation that could have played out very differently.

"All people are not thieves," Thomas James, one of the men in the security footage, told News 12. "You can't judge people by the way they look."

Now, for some links:

• Justin Verlander committed $1 million to an initiative supporting the mental health of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.

• If the game of baseball was created today, how popular would it be ?

• This isn't a good look, NCAA:

Texas A&M was selling photos of Johnny Manziel on the page announcing his suspension. Of course: pic.twitter.com/U1MzdNzgPA

-- Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) August 28, 2013 • Randy Kaplan isn't your typical autograph collector -- his passion is getting signatures from world leaders.

• Bryce Harper to DC-area fans: don't forget about us just because it's football season.

• Via Business Insider, this U.S. Open fan is PUMPED:

• Nike unveiled the LeBron 11 shoe:

• The New England Patriots had their facility treated for MRSA after sharing it with the Bucs.

• Chris Christie is not backing down after calling a New York Daily News sportswriter a dope.

• The University of Tennessee unveiled this crazy new billboard:

• Dan Carpenter is racking up frequent flier miles this preseason.

• Jarome Iginla is happy to be wearing a Boston Bruins sweater.

• Wednesday, like most days, was a tough day for the Marlins:

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• Olympic swimming star Missy Franklin feels right at home as a freshman at Cal.

• Michael Phelps and his girlfriend attended a practice with the Baltimore Ravens.

• Brandon Phillips said some unkind things about a reporter:

• Jerry Jones says he has the brain of a 40-year-old , which is cool, I guess.

• Keegan Bradley stamped "Baba Booey" on his wedge .

• New helmets for Mississippi State:

Helmet for Saturday. See you in Houston Bulldog fans. #HailState pic.twitter.com/l8LsOWCLUR

-- Dan Mullen (@CoachDanMullen) August 28, 2013 • The alleged victim in the Navy sexual assault trial testified on Wednesday .

• Roger Goodell was in Connecticut spreading the word about player safety.

• Sometimes, you've just got to sign a baby:

Ian Desmond signing a baby pre-game. @JWerthsBeard @dcsportsbog @NatsEnquirer pic.twitter.com/qKOVYkdgkk

-- Dustin M. Smith (@Prop4Curiosity) August 29, 2013 • Knicks owner James Dolan reportedly complained to the NBA because Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov was being mean.

• Sue Falsone breaks the mold as a female trainer for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

• Does Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s father have a mole feeding him info from inside Canelo Alvarez's camp?

• Former MLBer Nook Logan -- he of two career home runs -- has Aaron Hernandez's back:

I will bet my last dollar that Aaron Hernandez didn't murder Odin Lloyd. Nobody especially with money is that dumb to do it the way it looks

-- Nook Logan (@nookabeast) August 28, 2013 • Andy Lee of the San Francisco 49ers is working on a "knuckle-punt" this season :