Four players were called out by the officers, who told them they had "some papers (an officer) has to serve on you guys,"
As A.J. Mistler, Dylan Burns, Will Haag and Prince Klutsey opened the paperwork in front of their teammates, the officers let the cat out of the bag, saying: "You guys have just earned scholarships."
What seemed ominous turned joyous as teammates cheered, the Staten Island Advance reported.
The moment was caught in a video on the University of Albany Athletics Facebook page,
"It's one of the fun things we get to do as coaches," Gattuso told the Advance. "There are so many different ways to do it. I'm a former policeman and I love the police and this was a perfect way to do it ... I thought it would really shock them."
The two police officers who were in on the joke are former football players, and one played for Gattuso at Albany, the newspaper reported.