According to the Boston Globe, Judge Henry Bramwell, who set sentencing for January 8, 1982, told the jury, "I agree with your verdict." I didnt know what that was all about. I was focused in the moment. When he was implicated in the scandal, I was shocked.. Rick Kuhn, James Burke, Rocco and Anthony Perla, and Paul Mazzei now face up to thirty years in prison possibly to twenty It is quite a ride, so please, enjoy it. Kuhn was thus expected to keep the score below the six- to seven-point margin. But for many, there is a fierce bitterness that still lingers to this day. Kuhn, who ultimately served four years in prison for conspiracy and racketeering, hatched a plan with Hill associates Tony Perla, his brother Rocco Perla, and Being at Boston College, when I first got there, was so amazing, said Cobb. 30 Years After His Exoneration, Former BC Hoops Star Ernie Cobb Is Still Fighting to Clear His Name Pt. Sweeney has won several FIMBA tournaments as a player in the 50-plus division. I was back at home, visiting for the summer and about to return to Israel, Cobb said. The whole team is confused as Sweeney hides on the bench. After perhaps his greatest moment during the preseason, when he had that outstanding game against the Celtics right before the regular season tipped off, Cobb was relaxing in his hotel room when he heard a knock at the door. Thus, for example, if participating bookmakers determined Boston College to be an eight-point favorite in a particular game, Kuhn would be paid a bonus, usually $2,500, if they won by less than eight points. Hill turned state's evidence in exchange for avoiding prison and possible execution by Burke and the Lucchese family. Hill casually brings up and admits to fixing basketball games at Boston College. They contacted a local friend, Paul Mazzei, who was known to have influence within major New York gambling circles. Literature. (In some of the Boston College games cited, the Eagles were underdogs and lost by more than the point spread.). Jan. 18 (UPI) -- Boeing's sustainable flight demonstrator project won a $425 million award Wednesday from NASA, as the company aims to roll out green single-aisle airliners by the end of the decade. 5 Convicted in Boston College Betting Case By Bart Barnes November 24, 1981 A federal jury in Brooklyn yesterday convicted former Boston College basketball I had a relentless type of game.. The conspiracy unraveled in 1980 after Hill was arrested by New York State authorities on drug trafficking charges and was subsequently implicated in the Lufthansa heist, which occurred while the point-shaving scheme was underway. I never got to realize my dream of playing in the NBA, but Ive been all over the globe and have experienced so many different and beautiful cultures. Jim Sweeney is a happy guy. Kaskade, DJ Diesel (Aka Shaquille ONeal) Among The Headliners At This Years Indy 500 Snake Pit, Real Madrid Vs. Liverpool Is Already Make Or Break, The American Express Draws Flashy Field Despite Un-Elevated Status, Jake Paul And Tommy Fury Agree To Fight (Again) On Feb. 25. Who Is The NBA GOAT: Lebron James, Michael Jordan, Or Kareem? But conspiring to fix college basketball games got him 20 years. Bruce Pearl, a normal student in the class of 1982, is introduced and talks about the smart, diverse basketball players. When one of his links leads to a purchase of, say, a LeBron James Fathead, he gets a 15% commission. Sports. On October 7, Bowies reputation was immediately sullied and he subsequently lost his job playing pro ball in Europe when the story broke. According to Ernest Volkman, a crime journalist, Hill learned everything from Jimmy Burke and wanted to reward him with a lucrative scheme which became the BC scandal. Two Years Into A Six-Year Contract, The New York Yankees Hope For A Fully Healthy DJ LeMahieu, As Premier League Clubs Court Lindstrom, 22, He Wants To Make History For Club And Country, Paige Spiranac Expands Her Budding Social Media Empire. The final player involved in the fix, Rick Kuhn, is introduced. After the investigation was completed, Cobb was not named as a defendant in the initial trial, U.S. vs Burke, which opened to a circus of media attention on October 27th, 1981. Those later betters on St. John's lost money because they laid more than the eventual nine point margin of victory. Sweeney, starter and team captain, intentionally fouls himself out of the game. I was reading about the Boston College point-shaving scandal of the late 70s and I was wondering whatever became of Rick Kuhn in his later life. The government contended that Kuhn was paid $2,500 per game to manipulate the spread in six games and also was given cocaine and Quaaludes. Cobb's trial is scheduled to begin Oct. 31 before Judge Leonard Wexler. I dont know what went down because I wasnt involved. At the close of the two-week trial, Alswanger was the last character witness who took the stand in Cobbs behalf. Even with the not guilty verdict, he still lost all hope of going to the NBA. Burkes gang had just successfully pulled off the Lufthansa airport heist at New Yorks JFK airport, where theyd stolen an estimated $5 million in cash and $875,000 in jewels, the largest cash robbery in America at the time. The fixers changed the original plan and bet on Holy Cross, but the players were told this right before the game. The documentary, narrated by Ray Liotta (who portrayed Hill in the film), was set up so that the viewer needed to watch Goodfellas beforehand to understand many of the references in the story. Ernie Cobb played professional basketball in Israel for 17 years, where he learned to speak fluent Hebrew. Music. I dont know if the losses can ever be made upnot the losses me and my family and friends have suffered. Fake cannabis billionaire pleads guilty to securities fraud. Lawyers for the defendants said they will appeal the verdict. Said Hill, "He wanted me to fly up to Boston. He went against his lawyers advice and fought back and managed to win his case. They greet each other like old friends; there is no bitterness between them. This is where my focus has been for the last 10 years. A former Boston College basketball player and four other men were charged yesterday with conspiring to fix six basketball games during the 1978-79 season by shaving points. Perla and Kuhn had gone to high school together and were good friends. [ii] Holy Cross ultimately won by only two points, as Cobb scored eight points in the final minute to bring the Eagles close, and everyone involved lost a substantial amount of money. The conviction of former Boston College basketball player Richard Kuhn for his involvement in the point shaving scandal during the 1978-79 basketball season was Sweeney, who went on a year later to win the Naismith Award as college basketballs top player under six feet tall, says he was initially recruited into the fix by Kuhn without his knowledge and that he never intentionally threw an errant pass, missed a shot or did anything else to alter a game. like that until he got there. They reintroduced the original strategy, which proved successful for the February 3 Fordham game when Boston College, a ten-point favorite, won by seven points. He really set the tone in terms of being a strong, dynamic, willful player that wondrous talents like John Bagley, Michael Adams and Dana Barros, all of whom went on to play ball in the NBA after their careers at B.C., followed. They were aware that bookmakers generally accepted large bets on this game both because Boston College and Holy Cross were traditional rivals and because the game was being nationally televised. Kuhn tells Sweeney that the mobsters in New York and Pittsburgh want this win and that this will be the last fix. On August 12, 2008, an anonymous user edited the Wikipedia article on the scandal, naming former player Joe Streater as an accomplice in the point-shaving, recruited by Kuhn alongside Sweeney. "Boston College's tradition in athletics rests upon the accomplishments of many thousands of men and women. ESPN We werent really checking for B.C. Henry Hill avoided going to prison, and he went off into the sunset of the governments Witness Protection Program, said Alswanger. Mandan, ND 58554 opens in a new window call Rick Kuhn at (701) 663-6385 call Rick Kuhn at Call Me Email Me. The scheme continued to work successfully in the December 23 game against UCLA. When he first stepped on the hallowed parquet floor at the legendary Boston Garden, where B.C. (Joe Dennehy/The Boston Globe via Getty Images) Save PURCHASE A LICENSE Get personalized pricing by telling us when, where, and how you want to use this asset. I was like, Yeah, whatever. Sure enough, a few weeks later, he hands my girlfriend an envelope. They need to get another player to help fix games. This is a BETA experience. The prosecution contended that the scheme was intended to enable the five men to win large sums of money by betting on the games and beating bookmakers' point spreads. Tell me what you did and what you didnt do. For the conspiracy to work, the men knew they would need the cooperation of other players on the team, according to the testimony of Henry Hill, a convicted felon and the key prosecution witness. Still, he feels lucky. Testifying for the defense, Boston College basketball Coach Tom Davis said at no point during the 1978-79 season did he notice any of his players giving anything less than a 100 percent effort. He quickly thrived and was recognized as one of the leagues best players. Kuhn's attorney, Gary Zimmerman, said his client recognized the seriousness of his crimes and that his stiff jail sentence 'was a stern warning to other college athletes.'. Ernie Cobb is also introduced, a senior, team captain, and Boston Colleges top scorer. It goes to show that crimes like these dont stay in the past, especially when they involve other peoples money. Alswanger, my high school coach inspired me to rise above my circumstances, he continued. Mazzeis connection to Kuhn was through fellow gangsters Rocco and Tony Pearla. Im not angry at the school. Thats the real strength of his story, that you pick yourself up and make something of yourself.. After narrowly missing the NBA - Cobb was among the last players cut by the New Jersey Nets in 1980 - he played professionally in Israel and later became a high school coach in Phoenix. Id led the pro league in scoring over there and signed a very nice contract. NEW YORK -- Former Boston College basketball player Rick Kuhn, jailed for his 1981 conviction in a point-shaving scandal, has asked for a reduction of his 10-year It had to cost around $200,000 at the time to defend me.. Kuhn grew up to be 6-foot-8, and signed a minor league contract with the Cincinnati Reds right after finishing high school. Hes made a prosperous living in the computer and electronics business - his small independent brokerage that sold parts and accessories to manufacturers did over $50 million in annual revenue at its peak - all while playing competitive basketball around the world into his 50s. She knew the terrain in terms of what I needed to be doing, said Cobb. Web197879 Boston College Eagles men's basketball team. When the story first broke, it said that Michael Bowie and I were the ones implicated, said Cobb. Hes now happily at work on his latest project, a sports cartoon character named Mike (as in microphone) that appears on his daily sports blog and in 35 comic books downloadable on Amazon. After Cobb was not charged, he thought he was finally past the sordid affair. We have decided to cover the most scandalous of all 30-for-30s, Playing for the Mob. Were you shaving points for the mob?. He worked hard in class. Coupled with the narration being done by Ray Liotta, the actor that played Henry Hill in the movie, adding to the films overall gangster aesthetic. And as black kids who loved ball in Boston, he represented something for us, giving the younger generation something to aspire toin terms of their basketball skillsbecause he was putting in some serious work.. The Providence game was played on December 6, 1978, and Boston College was favored to win by six to seven points. Kuhn was thus expected to keep the score below the six- to seven-point margin. The test run for the scheme proved unsuccessful when Boston College's team established an early lead and ultimately won the game by nineteen points. Rocco comes up to me and says, Hey, sometimes I bet on games and I wanna know how you think you guys are gonna do against Stonehill and Bentley? said Cobb. Rick Kuhn was an older player who was friends with Sweeney and a tough, street smart kid with a different upbringing than Sweeney. He just kept swishing them in, 30 or 35 points, I dont remember., Hill went on to say, And they (Kuhn and Sweeney) were still saying, We got to have Cobb. I realized that and so I passed the word through Tony (Perla), At all costs, talk to him. Next thing I heard Cobb was all set, but it was going to take another $2,500 for his share. The abbreviated version of events reads like this:the Perlas brought in a Pittsburgh hood named Paul Mazzei, who contacted his friend Henry Hill, an associate of New Yorks Lucchese crime family that had befriended him during a stretch in federal prison. I feel like if I can change one life, like he changed mine, man, it makes everything Ive been through worthwhile., Copyright 2009-2021, All Rights Reserved | The Shadow League. Suspenseful music plays and the trial begins. now all well past their primes after serving their time, including the gangster Ray But by his sophomore year, when he was inserted into the starting lineup, it was apparent that the 5-foot-11 scorer brought a dimension to the Boston College squad that it sorely needed when he averaged 17.4 points per game. As a backup center with limited effect on a games outcome, he won over the mobsters by bringing Ernie Cobb, the teams leading scorer, and Sweeney, the point guard who controlled the ball for much of the game, into the fold. Rick Kuhn, 10 years, Rocco Perla (fixer) four years and a $30,000 fine. They all have different versions of the story, but regardless games are going to start being fixed. Des., University of Florida; MArch, Harvard GSD Professional interests: My passion lies in all things design but specifically in higher education, cultural and civic projects. It creates suspense as Hill is a mess on the stand and can barely speak under the pressure of snitching on his friends. Sweeney says that he and Maura have almost recouped their costs in launching the character. But I never agreed to fix any games or shave any points. It is unclear how much money the players involved in the point-shaving scheme were paid. Theyd taken my passport and I had to stay here and face these charges, said Cobb. After he interviewed him, he fell in love with him and told me, Hes innocent. It was a tragedy that he never got another chance to play in the NBA., Kevin Loughery never gave me a firm reason why the Nets were letting me go, said Cobb. I was forthright and honest with them. In this case, while the spread was as high as 5, the syndicate was able to lay just 2 points, and therefore pushed when Holy Cross won by 2. If you missed Part I, you can read it here. Sweeney describes his side of the story, claiming he is invited to dinner with Kuhn and Tony, where he meets Henry Hill who threatens to kill him if he doesnt begin fixing games with Kuhn.  Kuhn was sentenced to ten years' imprisonment, later reduced to 28 months. "It really could be far more serious and more of an annual situation than anyone suspects," said Ralph Miller, basketball coach at Oregon State University. Sweeney had enough of that over a few months 35 years ago to last a lifetime. After the four-week trial in 1981, Jimmy Burke was sentenced to 20 years in prison, while Paul Mazzei and Tony Perla were sentenced to ten. I told him, I think were gonna blow them out, we look really good. Of course, of course I was upset, but what could I do? Contact Me. 197879 Boston College Eagles basketball season, Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, "Key figures in the BC point shaving scandal", "James (Jimmy the Gent) Burke, Gangster, 64, of 'Wiseguy' Fame", "Kuhn Gets 10-Year Sentence In BC Point-Shaving Case", "Guilt by Wikipedia: How Joe Streater Became Falsely Attached To The Boston College Point Shaving Scandal", 1946 NFL Championship Game bribery scandal, 2009 Melbourne Football Club tanking scandal, 2012 Olympics women's doubles disqualifications, 2002 Winter Olympics figure skating scandal, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=197879_Boston_College_basketball_point-shaving_scandal&oldid=1112461833, 197879 NCAA Division I men's basketball season, College basketball controversies in the United States, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License 3.0, This page was last edited on 26 September 2022, at 12:41. He was determined to prove that he could do the work, which would enable him to further chase his athletic dreams. Sweeney agreed to cooperate claiming he was forced to help with the fix, Kuhn came clean about the whole operation, and Cobb was cut from the Nets after the FBI visited him despite him not having any real information. With Roccos high school buddy Rick Kuhn entering his senior year at Boston College, where he was expected to be a contributor to the schools basketball team, the brothers figured they could make a ton of money. All Kuhn had to do was ensure that the Eagles fell short of the point spread in the games that they bet on. "He said he had a betting thing set up in a way to make money during the season so that we could be taken care of," said Reed, now a nurse in Syracuse, N.Y. Reed also testified that Kuhn threatened to kill her if she ever told of the scheme. won by only two points and I had a lot of losing money down on this game. In 1978, Rick Kuhn was in his final season at Boston College,amarginal player with little going for him. I saw Ernie score 28 points against the Celtics in one of the final pre-season games when he was with the Nets, said Alswanger, Cobbs former high school coach. All of Henry Hills and the Perla brothers information was coming from Rick Kuhn, and who knows what he was saying to them to cover his own skin., (Jim Sweeney, Photo Credit: tampabay.com), Kuhn and Sweeney got in over their heads, Cobb continued. Rocco and Tony Perla were giving money to Rick Kuhn. Rick Kuhn during Boston College men's basketball's 1977-1978 season. He wasnt a trial lawyer, so he brought in his colleague, David Golub. Mazzei and the Perlas were particularly hopeful that Hill would enlist the support of his associate, James Burke, to finance the payments to the players and to set up a network of bookmakers who were in on the scheme. The other two kids made whatever choices they made, but look what was done to Ernie. Jan. 18 (UPI) -- The Justice Department Wednesday filed a complaint against a sheriff's department in Cumberland County, Tenn., alleging it violated the Americans with Disabilities Act when firing an officer with an opioid use disorder. Rocco Perla was sentenced to four years' imprisonment. Several college coaches, contacted at the time that news of the investigation broke, said point shaving -- when the favored team tries to win by less than the point spread -- in basketball is almost impossible to detect and that there is no way of telling how much, if any, point shaving goes undetected. Kuhn agreed to participate, and brought in his teammate Jim Sweeney.. Murder by Contract orThe Logical Lethality of The American Dream. Jan. 18 (UPI) -- Walgreens agreed to pay $83 million to settle a lawsuit in West Virginia related to its role in the opioid crisis and its effect on the state, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced Wednesday. I think you could poll a lot of people in the business and the Boston College scandal is off their radar. The headlines in Boston, and around the country, said that Cobb and fellow senior Michael Bowie, the teams two African-American stars, were the players that were implicated. It was a sweet victory for prosecutors against Burke, for whom they failed to even build a charge against for his biggest crime, the famous $6 million Lufthansa heist. Justice Department files complaint after officer fired for opioid use disorder. Enraged by their gambling loss, the Perla brothers, along with Mazzei, Burke, and Hill, decided to recruit additional Eagles players to enhance their control over the outcome of the games. After his junior campaign, where he converted 52% of his shots, an inordinate number for a small perimeter shooter, and averaged 22.8 points per game, he was recognized as one of the most lethal scorers in the country. In the time of COVID-19, sports fans everywhere are trying to find ways to pass the time. And now, here I was on that same floor, pumped sky high, giving my defender buckets! In addition, they were given the opportunity to bet the money they were paid and double their winnings. and I were the victims of the same circumstances that were beyond our control. But I found out that I wouldnt be allowed to leave the United States because the government was going to bring me to trial.. He talks about the fix and how Jimmy Burke participated even though he wasnt the ringleader. At this point in the film, we stray away from the actual point-shaving and more into the consequences and investigation after the fact. He gave me every opportunity to tell my story, says Sweeney of Lavine. A federal jury in Brooklyn yesterday convicted former Boston College basketball player Rick Kuhn and four codefendants of conspiring to manipulate the scores of Boston College games during the 1978-79 season. This has gone on for four years. Mazzei in turn contacted Henry Hill, a Lucchese crime family associate from New York who had befriended Mazzei while both men were serving sentences in a federal prison. The story read, in part, as follows: Ernie Cobb tossed in 1,760 points in a stellar basketball career at Boston College and only two other Eagles scored more. The FBI agent is shocked and doesnt believe him, but begins to ask questions. ESPN Looks Back On Boston College Point Shaving Scandal And A Player Speaks Out. Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 1 Oct. 2014, www.forbes.com/sites/tomvanriper/2014/10/01/espn-looks-back-on-boston-college-point-shaving-scandal-and-a-player-speaks-out/#3f03989d26b8. Im going off on the basketball court, scoring like crazy, the gamblers are losing their shirts, and they start talking about, We have to have Cobb. Anybody thats ever seen me play knows that I was only stuck in one gear, and that was super-charged-turbo! Snitching is seen as one of the worst things you can do to a business partner, but to these people, it is just water under the bridge. His testimony essentially corroborated that of Hill, who went into witness protection. Thats why I got into education and coaching. Playing for the Mob: The Story of College Kids Breaking Bad Cobb was drafted by the Utah Jazz in the 6th Round and cut during training camp. But I dont feel any bitterness toward the prosecution. Barbara Reed, 25, Kuhn's former girlfriend who was living with him at the time, testified that Kuhn uncharacteristically began buying her presents -- a stereo set, a television set and jewelry -- during the winter of 1978-79. Do you recognize him? And my answer every time was, No! I didnt recognize any of those mobsters because I had never met them. With his name swirling down the vortex of the mob cesspool from the moment the story broke, Ernie Cobb found it difficult to make a living. This is an important part of the documentary because it shows the respect they have for one another regardless of the past. With Roccos high school buddy Rick Kuhn entering his senior year at Boston College, where he was expected to be a contributor to the schools basketball team, the brothers figured they could make a ton of money. He told me to keep playing and working hard and that one day I might get another chance., When the story first broke in January of 1981, Cobb was in shock. Rocco Perla received a four-year sentence and Rick Kuhn was sentenced to a ten-year bid as well, which was later reduced to 28 months. Sweeney claims that hes heard network execs at a sports business conference in Florida express a desire for such a character to pop up with occasional humorous commentary. Ultimately, nothing happened. We get footage of the games and the scheme continued, but no one knew just how much the fixers made. Confident from their recent success, the conspirators viewed the February 10 game against Holy Cross as an opportunity to reap the full benefits of their scheme. I was shining at the camp. The fixing begins to wear into Sweeney, who confides in his roommates but never seeks out the proper authority. It is heartening, by contrast, that the integrity of our coaching and athletic staff, as well as that of our current team, was never in question. I said, If this dude has cash like that to burn and wants to give me $1,000 because I told him wed destroy Stonehill, sure, Ill take it. Maybe he was trying to cultivate a relationship with me and soften me up for something down the road. Dubbed Playing for the Mob, it documents the twists and turns that brought Sweeney and two other BC players into the throes of New York mobster Henry Hill, whose name later became famous when he was portrayed by Ray Liotta in the 1990 hit movie Goodfellas. Hill and Burke were brought into the scheme, after receiving approval from Lucchese family capo Paul Vario. The five men could each receive a maximum sentence of 30 years in jail and $45,000 in fines. At one point, he said accepted $500 from Kuhn, but only to give the illusion of cooperating in the scheme. The scheme was hit or miss early on. However, as noted below, the scheme also worked in games where the Eagles were expected to lose anyway, with them shaving points so that the syndicate could bet on the other team winning by more than the point spread. The movie begins by introducing the key Boston College basketball players and the Pittsburgh mobsters. According to Hill's testimony, he met with Kuhn and cocaptain Jim Sweeney in a hotel room near Boston's Logan Airport in November of 1978 to cement the deal. This is Part II of The Shadow League's feature story on former Boston College basketball player Ernie Cobb. After discussing their strategy with Kuhn and Sweeney, it was agreed that an upcoming game against Providence would be an appropriate test for their scheme. It was like a paradise to me, coming from where I came from. Can anyone shed some He is a participant in the Federal Witness Protection Program and is receiving government protection in exchange for his testimony. They showed me these pictures of these mafia guys and were asking me, Do you know him? They left, and that was that. And that kept him in Hills clutches. As he walked across the scenic campus, marveled at the schools architectural splendor or ate until his hearts content in the dining hall, hed often pause to quietly give thanks for his fortunate circumstances. With Roccos high school buddy Rick Kuhn entering his senior year at Boston College, where he was expected to be a contributor to the schools basketball team, the won the gangsters some serious money by falling short of the spread. This is important because it shows how it was a poorly run operation. The December 16 game against Harvard was chosen as the second test for the scheme. Boston College confirmed the investigation on Friday. The distinguished paper later retracted the story. Everybody testified against him. Netflix hiring flight attendant for private jet with compensation up to $385,000. He graduated from Woodworth Public School in 1985 and earned a bachelors degree from University of Sioux Falls. Bets in this column are given in the format ", Winner is given as either Opp or BC and the margin of victory. Hill brought in his mentor, Jimmy Burke, to finance the operation and set up a network of bookies who could advance the financial potential of the scheme. Supreme Court mulls questions about students' accessibility rights. Needing an inside man, the brothers wanted to recruit Rick Kuhn, a high school friend of Rocco who was entering his senior year at Boston College and was expected to be a key member of the 19787 Jim Sweeney was not charged. Joe Beaulieu, the starting center on the 1978-79 Boston College team, also testified he was approached by Kuhn to participate in the plan, but he said he rejected the proposal. I was this poor kid with no financial resources, going on trial with a member of the mob. I was so thankful, and was willing to work as hard as I possibly could, both in my studies, and in basketball, to be able to get the most I could out of the experience.. As a freshman, he played sparingly and averaged 4.5 points per game while the Eagles finished with a disappointing 9-17 overall record. With the focus limited to the specific players involved, BCs basketball program didnt suffer at all. In a formal statement issued by its communications office, Boston College said the school's community "is saddened by the fact that one of our former student basketball players has been found guilty of the serious charges of which he was accused . Sweeney knows hell probably never completely escape the association to the scandal, something he learned to live with years ago. This offers a students perspective of how they never thought their team could have been fixing teams. The very next day, the Nets cut me., When the F.B.I. I got through it on my own, and I didnt get whacked, is how he sums it up. On Friday morning, March 23rd, the jury came back with a unanimous innocent verdict for Ernie Cobb, exonerating him of all charges. Rick Kuhn, 25, 6'5", 225-pound former high school star at Swissvale Area High southeast of Pittsburgh from 1970 to 1973. Staff. They treated me great. The February 6 game against St. John's was a "push" (winning back exact bets), as the syndicate neither won nor lost when St. John's prevailed 8576, the exact point spread (nine) the bookmakers had offered.[i]. View Rick Kuhns profile on LinkedIn, the worlds largest professional community. The Perla brothers were small-time gamblers who saw the upcoming 197879 Boston College Eagles basketball season as a perfect opportunity to earn a lot of money. The characters and events were later immortalized by the actors Ray Liotta and Robert DeNiro in the classic film, Goodfellas. It was a path that led them to Hills underworld higher-up, Jimmy Burke (the Robert DeNiro character in Goodfellas). I had my own place to live and all the food I wanted to eat. He hugged his tearful mother before walking out into the hallway for a few moments. Sweeney purposefully misses a free throw to help the fixers win even though he is the best free-throw shooter in the nation. But he did take money. We were looking good as a team and my goal was to be the best player I could possibly be. By my junior year, it was show-time, said Cobb. Although Cobb maintains that he received money from Rocco, he claims it was just for winning the game even though Rocco claims he knew for sure. It was all so positive.. Just by being there, Id already reached success beyond my wildest dreams. He says that Hill once referenced his girlfriend Maura (now his wife) in one of his threats, asking Sweeney how would your honey feel if she saw your --- hanging in a bracelet? He also says that other mob clichs like references to cement shoes are not just the stuff of Hollywood. Jan. 18 (UPI) -- Netflix wants to hire a flight attendant for one of its private jets, and says pay can reach $385,000, according to a job listing on the streaming service's website. The syndicate was very happy with this result, and Kuhn was given cash to distribute to the players for their efforts. Kuhn's sentence was the heaviest ever imposed on a college player convicted of point shaving. The test run for the scheme proved unsuccessful when Boston College's team established an early lead and ultimately won the game by nineteen points. Man, I would watch Jo Jo White, Dave Cowens and John Havlicek playing on television, on that same famous floor where Bill Russell and Bob Cousy and all of those great Celtics teams won all those championships, said Cobb. Fourteen hours later, I arrived in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.. His lifes dream of making it to the NBA, which was where he belonged, was taken away from him. In this game, UCLA was favored to win over the Eagles by a fifteen to eighteen-point spread, so the syndicate bet on them to win by a margin greater than the point spread. The goal for making some real money is to get the character a TV gig with ESPN, NBC Sports, or another major sports network. Jan. 18 (UPI) -- A class ring that went missing decades ago has been returned to its owner. Im stuck. Hill and Tony Perla claim that they were all doing cocaine and Kuhn and Sweeney begin marking games that they are favored in and talking about all the money they will make. When Henry Hill started threatening Kuhn and Sweeney, promising that they couldnt play with broken limbs, the players, according to Hill, claimed that they were doing their best, but the scheme would never work unless Ernie Cobb was in on the fix. We get home, I open it up, and theres $1,000 in there.. The campus was so beautiful. (Rick Kuhn, Photo Credit: bostonglobe.com). Greater Boston. The move on and they all thought the fixes were history. The scheme thus ended on an unsuccessful note. In practice, he was the lunatic who his teammates sucked their teeth and rolled their eyes at when he told the coaches that they needed to run more sprints after an exhausting practice. Hill reportedly cleared over $100,000 ($373,400 today) and bettors higher up the line were said to have made up to $250,000 ($933,400 today). Their strategy was effective Boston College, a five-point favorite, covered the spread with a 9080 win over Connecticut. They couldnt stop him. I have an incredible circle of supportive friends and have met some amazing people who have impacted my life in ways that I cant even begin to describe., Mr. They mentioned the $1,000 that Rocco Perla gave my girlfriend and I told them the truth. It wasnt an absolute disaster but it was a cousin. All of those guys walkedin his footsteps., He was the African-American guard in the modern era of B.C. For Cobb, the result was far worse. He stopped in my office with his bike with the flat tire and borrowed $20 to get it fixed and to get home. None of them know that this is only the beginning, as Henry Hill would talk to the FBI launching a massive investigation that would lead to the arrest of famous mobster Jimmy Burke. The 80-minute documentary tells how BC forward Rick Kuhn conspired with two of his hoodlum friends from Pittsburgh to bet against the Eagles. The Globe, quoting an unnamed source in New York, said the three games in which point-shaving was alleged were a Feb.3 game against Fordham, a Feb. 6 game against St. Johns and a March 1 game in the ECAC Regional Playoffs against Connecticut. We also see Liotta, as Hill, trying to impress Robert DeNiro, who portrayed the mobster Jimmy Burke. The police have Henry Hill as an informant in hopes that he will have information on his boss, Jimmy Burke and other mobsters involved in the Lufthansa robbery, where five million dollars was stolen in the heist. I walk in the bathroom, and who was in there but Peter Vario, the big-time mobster that was on trial with Ernie, said Alswanger. I hadnt seen Ernie for several years, Jack Hennessey, a psychologist at Boston College that had served as an informal academic advisor during Cobbs days as a student, told the New York Times in April of 1984. Sweeney hears Tony explain that this is the grand finale, Tony claims he never threatened him. It is similar to how they captured Al Capone on tax evasion, the smaller of his many crimes that would ultimately put him away. I took every single practice and every single game seriously, said Cobb. Visser became the NFLs first female beat writer in 1976, when she was assigned by the paper to cover the New England Patriots. The mobsters are done fixing games with the Boston College players and call them babies for barely getting the job done. When he finished with his testimony, he made a beeline straight for the restroom. would play a few games each year, Cobb was awash with emotions. It was national news that brought Cobb, Sweeney, and Kuhn under massive headlines. A crime story, about the mafia fixing a college basketball game, alleged innocent college basketball kids, and involves small time bookies in Pittsburgh, its really a story of betrayal and people turning on one another, and all being done in the name of greed. Director Joe Lavine. While Hill was being questioned, FBI agents inadvertently mentioned his frequent trips to Boston around the time of the Lufthansa heist. Danois, Alejandro. Apparently, someone called into the online editor the second to inform them of the "miss." I was like, You gotta be kidding me! Jim Sweeney and Rick Kuhns names werent mentioned anywhere. I opened up the door and it was these guys from the F.B.I., said Cobb. Convinced that Cobb was innocent after his mentee walked him through everything that had transpired, and certain that he was being used by the federal government to send more organized crime figures to prison, Alswanger began working the phones. Out of everything that happened, thats one thing that hurts me tremendously, Cobb said. All Kuhn had to do was ensure that the Eagles fell short of the point spread in the games that they bet on. So, in very basic terms, if B.C. was favored to win a game by ten points, Kuhn had to make sure, if the game was in play with the mobsters and the bookies, that they won by less than ten in order for the gamblers to make money. The FBI finds all the players and begins asking questions. Walgreens settles West Virginia opioid lawsuit for $83 million. When I think about my journey, it brings tears to my eyes. I was doing well academically and the dream of playing professional basketball was getting closer.. She helped tutor me, and encouraged me through some rough spots. I continue to feel like I have to defend myself, all these years later, even after the government tried their case against me and I was found innocent. BC basketball players Rick Kuhn, Joe Streater and Jim Sweeney were persuaded to fix nine Eagles games during the season. The government presented telephone records showing evidence of extensive communications between the conspirators during the 197879 season and records provided by Western Union and various hotels which further corroborated government testimony. Testifying for the government, Sweeney acknowledged meeting with Hill but said that although he agreed to participate in the scheme he never intended to go through with the deal. But what was I going to do, take it to court?It was here that they began telling Perla we would have to have Cobb. hoops that blazed a trail, Mills continued. I thought he might have been a student, because he was young and I saw him hanging around Rick Kuhn all the time. I was nervous because I didnt know what was going to happen. Hill revealed his involvement in the point-shaving scheme, offering to relate the full story if federal officials would guarantee him full immunity and would agree to intercede on his behalf to convince state officials to drop the drug charges pending in state court. I want to be disassociated from it as well. The FBI had all the evidence they needed and were going to try and swing that Jimmy Burke played a large role in the scandal in order to convict him. Its gonna be no contest. The Boston College case arose out of the Lufthansa investigation. His girlfriend, whom hed met during his first week on campus, was an upperclassman that knew how to navigate the schools academic landscape. At trial in 1981, the government's case consisted primarily of the testimony of Hill and three other witnesses: Sweeney and Joseph Beaulieu, both Boston College players, and Barbara Reed, a 23-year-old nurse who lived with Kuhn during the 197879 Eagles season. For over 30 years, hes been living in Clearwater, Florida, married to his college sweetheart. Loughery told me that I had the ability to play in the NBA. Hes also jumping on the scandals latest publicity wave to tout Mike, the SpongeBob-like sports cartoon character whose online life includes links to the NFL Shop, NBA Store and other merchandise outlets. Rocco says Sweeney told him he missed it to avoid a pair of cement shoes. But Kuhn was a player of limited ability, so he recruited his roommate and best friend, who also happened to be the most important player on the floor, the teams senior point guard, Jim Sweeney. And he also cultivated interest, in the area's black community, in terms of being engaged and intrigued bywhat was going on with Boston Colleges basketball program. Whats going on? Burke, through Hill, would front the money to pay the players, forwarding the money through Mazzei and the Perla brothers. Hes a good person. Result is the outcome of the syndicate's bets. The problem was Cobb. The Boston Globe story was initially investigated and written by a young Boston College alumnus named Leslie Visser, who would go on to become a very accomplished, groundbreaking journalist and role model for women who aspired to work in the field of sports media. He said he was brought in on the deal for his ability to maximize profits through his contacts in the gambling world. Teammate Rick Kuhn, a former minor league baseball player with connections to small-time Pittsburgh mobsters, conspired with the mobsters to initiate the point-shaving He killed people. After a four-week trial, each conspirator was convicted on charges of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) conspiracy, conspiracy to commit sports bribery, and interstate travel with the intent to commit bribery. They had Kuhn approach Ernie Cobb, the leading scorer on the team, but it has never been proven if Cobb agreed to cooperate. Ive had a grand life, is how he puts it. Seven schools and more than 30 players were implicated in the 1951 probe; more than 20 schools were involved in the 1961 incidents. I have suffered. Ernie, dont lie to me, Alswanger instructed him. We had a good old time. For added effect, ESPN landed Liotta, whose character served as a narrator in Goodfellas, to narrate its film. Intentional point shaving on the floor was never proven, and if Hill hadnt later confessed the scheme to prosecutors after getting busted for his other crimes, the whole ordeal might have passed without notice. And in that article in Sports Illustrated, Henry Hill says, The word came back that Cobb was enthusiastic. The key phrase there is The word came back. I dont know what Rick Kuhn was telling Henry Hill or the Perla brothers. And after they put my name out there, and after I admitted to taking that $1,000, they didnt have enough evidence to prosecute me. will air the latest installment of its acclaimed 30 For 30 series with a look back at the infamous Boston College basketball point shaving scandal from the 1978-79 season. Heading into his senior season in 1978-1979, as the team captain, Cobb was hoping that he could lead his team to the NCAA Tournament. All Kuhn had to do was ensure that the Eagles fell short of the point spread in the games that they bet on. He jumped in the air, as if soaring for a rebound, as cheers filled the courtroom. The court papers said Kuhn of Swissvale, Pa., has agreed to testify against former teammate Ernie Cobb, 27, a basketball player from Stamford, Conn. Cobb has pleaded innocent to a charge of conspiring to commit sports bribery,a charge stemming from the point-shaving scandal. Kuhn and two money men were Whats striking about the point shaving scandal from the perspective of 35 years is how different, i.e. You realize that you cant play if you dont do this. This is when the documentary transitions to the Pittsburgh mobsters and how they meet. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. Twice, in 1951 and 1961, the sport was rocked by scandal. Tennessee church holding prayer as FAA investigates plane crash that killed 4 members. BOSTON - NOVEMBER 17: Rick Kuhn (#35) during Boston College men's basketball's 1978-1979 season. He said Hill told him he was backed by powerful interests in New York, and he was afraid of what might happen to him if he refused to cooperate. Later, Mazzei hears that Kuhn is able to start fixing games. The jury of eight women and four men reached its verdict after three days of deliberations and a trial that lasted five weeks. While the line may have been as low as 13 at some point, the syndicate had to lay 15, and therefore lost their bet when Rhode Island won by only 13. I called my buddy Frank Melzer, who was an attorney, said Alswanger. The intense music, clues in the audience that this is where it all comes out. You may opt-out by. But Cobb denied receiving any money and he was not indicted. Other notable players selected in that draft included Sidney Moncrief, Bill Laimbeer, Bill Cartwright, Mark Eaton and Jim Paxson. Early on, before the season got underway, Cobb says that he was approached by a man from Pittsburgh named Rocco Perla, who hed seen hanging around campus with his teammate, senior forward Rick Kuhn. Other times, they didnt deliver as promised, which caused some very dangerous and ill-tempered men to lose large sums of cash. The syndicate was able to lay nine points when the game was first available to be bet, and therefore pushed. He continues to be involved in sports and is in an older mens basketball league that competes around the world. With Sweeney making it out with no sentence, the mystery still remains of how involved he really was. He graduated on time with a degree in sociology. Columbia University names Nemat Shafik as first woman president. I understand that they want to disassociate themselves from the scandal. He made other African-American ballers feel like they could go there and really showcase what they could do on a national level. Hes innocent., When they indicted me, they wanted Peter Vario, the mobster, so they tried us together, said Cobb. ESPN's latest 30 for 30 film tackles the Boston College basketball point-shaving scandal. Of course, the damn players had a million excuses, Henry Hill wrote in Sports Illustrateds bombshell story, How I Put The Fix In, which was the magazines cover story on February 16th, 1981. Its the same crew that had a connection to BC basketball player Rick Kuhn, who hailed from the area. At that point, I was looking forward to a trial, said Cobb. Investigators find phone records from Pittsburgh to Burke that allow them to connect the point-shaving scheme to him. Class ring returned to Texas woman after missing for decades. Boeing's fuel-efficient aircraft design wins $425 million award from NASA. These bookies could handle large bets and lay them off and spread the bets among a number of unsuspecting bookmakers around the country so as not to arouse suspicion. They were touting me as the next sub-6-footer to have an impact in the NBA. So I didnt even go on trial with Kuhn and the mobsters that put the whole thing in motion.. Sometimes, B.C. This scandal did not end with the regular basketball season, it continued to affect and alter these players and gangsters lives for years after. Director Joe Lavine goes on to feature many references and clips of the movie. The jury is scared to be connected to this case because Burke was so powerful and violent in the mob. You understand? To allay any suspicions of foul play, they decided to bet on Boston College to win by more than the point spread ("cover the spread") in a game that they were confident the Eagles would win handily. Jason Avant Chief Operating Officer at ASTAR, Inc. Jan. 18 (UPI) -- A man who posed as a cannabis billionaire plead guilty Wednesday to securities fraud for lying to investors about his wealth, education and business. He didn't want to be bothered with these kids anymore." Rocco has a vague conversation with Cobb over winning certain games, but both sides wont admit to knowing the extent to which he was involved. Convicted with Kuhn, 26, of conspiracy to commit racketeering and sport bribery and violation of the Travel Act were James Burke, 50, of New York, a reputed organized crime figure who is serving time for parole violation on a 1974 extortion conviction; Paul Mazzei, 37, of Pittsburgh, in jail on a narcotics conviction, and brothers Anthony Perla, 31, and Rocco Perla, 26, of Pittsburgh. The story breaks to the media and the massive investigation followed. I feel it.. Said Hill, "I asked the players which of the upcoming games they felt we could shave. Even after being informed of the investigation, he said he noticed nothing unusual after reviewing films of the games. Edward A. McDonald, who coincidentally had graduated from Boston College in 1968 and who had played briefly on the basketball team, prosecuted the case.. He said he would have done that if the sides were reversed. When he returned to the United States, he moved to Phoenix, Arizona, where he became a Special Education teacher and high school basketball coach. was favored to win a game by ten points, Kuhn had to make sure, if the game was in play with the mobsters and the bookies, that they won by less than ten in order for the gamblers to make money. On the stand during the trial, Rick Kuhns girlfriend, Barbara Reed, with whom he shared an apartment during his senior year at Boston College, testified that she overheard Kuhn and Sweeney discussing the Fordham game, saying that they had to keep the ball away from Cobb because he shot the ball all the time. Everything Id worked so hard for was coming to fruition.. Jan. 18 (UPI) -- A Memphis-area church is holding prayer services Wednesday for four of its members who were killed in a plane crash in Texas. When he arrived on campus in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, Cobbs internal mantra was, I gotta stay eligible. With those persistent affirmations dancing through his mind, he took his academic responsibilities seriously from day one. Hill and Burke both were convicted of extortion in 1972 in Florida and have been prime suspects in the Dec. 11, 1978, robbery of almost $9 million from the Lufthansa Cargo Terminal at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport. A grand jury indicted Burke, Mazzei, Kuhn, and the Perla brothers. Boston College Accused of Point Shaving, was the big headline on the UPI wire. In 2014, the ESPN-produced 30 for 30 series debuted Playing for the Mob, the story about how Hill and his Pittsburgh associates, and several Boston College basketball players, perpetrated the point-shaving scheme during the 197879 season, an episode briefly mentioned in the movie Goodfellas. I just had to be alone, Cobb told the reporters afterwards. The next step in the saga is how these players get connected to the mob. The narrator explains that the strength of how Henry Hills testimony is would determine if Burke was going to be convicted. The Perla brothers were small-time gamblers who saw the upcoming 197879 Boston College Eagles basketball season as a perfect opportunity to earn a lot of money. Suspecting that some bookmakers might be getting wise to the scheme, the conspirators temporarily revised their strategy after the UCLA game. The scheme was conceived by Rocco Perla and his brother Anthony in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, during the summer of 1978. Although a participant in the scheme, Hill was granted immunity from prosecution and testified as a government witness. Needing an inside man, the brothers wanted to recruit Rick Kuhn, a high school friend of Rocco who was entering his senior year at Boston College and was expected to be a key member of the 197879 Eagles team. So, in very basic terms, if B.C. Hill stated that, at the time, he and Burke were watching the game on television at Burke's home in Queens, and Burke put his foot through the television in anger at having lost $50,000 ($186,700 today). You gotta tell me the truth, because I gotta know how to go on this?. Mazzei and Tony Perla were sentenced to ten years' imprisonment. Paul Mazzei explains that there is no time to change your mind in their business. Sweeney took out one of those little schedule cards, circled the games he thought we could fool around with, and gave the card to me. He sold copy machines and paved driveways for an asphalt company, which was ironically the same job his father found when hed relocated from North Carolina to Connecticut some twenty years earlier. A fitness fanatic who augmented his training by swimming and riding his bicycle very long distances, Cobb hopped on his ten-speed shortly after the indictment was announced and began pedaling. I had everything I could have possibly asked for. Jimmy said he was finished. But, as Sweeney points out, the government didnt need to prove that point shaving actually happened, just that a conspiracy to shave them had. It was one of the most tremendous feelings Id ever experienced.. Regardless of what the audience thinks, the eyes of the law he is not guilty. 197879 Boston College basketball point-shaving scandal. In the summer of 1978, Rocco Perla and his older brother Anthony, back in Pittsburgh, were the ones who initially conceived the point-shaving scheme that would later rock the college basketball world. Only on occasion does the scandal come up. U.S. District Judge Henry Bramwell set sentencing for Jan. 8. There were times when the work got really hard, when I wanted to give up, when I had to stay up all night reading or studying or writing papers, and shed be right there pushing me, telling me, You cant give up! He dreamed of walking away from Boston College at seasons end as one of the schools most revered sons before embarking on what he hoped would be an accomplished, financially rewarding career in the NBA. Kuhn, who ultimately served four years in prison for conspiracy and racketeering, hatched a plan with Hill associates Tony Perla, his brother Rocco Perla, and Paul Mazzei to shave points - losing by more than the point spread or winning by less than the point spread - in several BC games between December 1978 and March 1979. Rocco Perla and Kuhn were high-school classmates. Jan. 18 (UPI) -- Columbia University has announced economist Nemat "Minouche" Shafik will become the university's 20th president and the first woman to serve in the role in its 268-year history. @ChristSchool. Hill gave up everybody including the players involved. 2015, www.recorder.com/Archives/2015/01/spt-KeepingScore-GR-012415. Jim Sweeney admits that Kuhn gave him cash. A witness is interviewed and says, The rat one.. Whenever the Boston College scandal comes up, he tends to remind people that theres always more than one side to a story, and leave it at that. Dean Smith, basketball coach at the University of North Carolina and the president of the National Association of Basketball Coaches, said last night it is standard procedure for coaches to speak to team members about the possibility of point-shaving overtures and to encourage them to report any efforts to persuade them to manipulate scores. The audience learns about Boston Colleges rival Holy Cross and its huge significance to the players and the alumni. He took advantage of an opportunity that surfaced when a pro team from Israel offered him a spot on their roster. But Im so proud of him because he picked his life back up and made the best of it. indictments charged against them. Bookmakers, on seeing the heavy action, moved the line as high as twelve to discourage bets on the favorite (St. John's) and attract more bets on the underdog. Golub was a brilliant lawyer, and he told me that hed have to interview Ernie first to see if he was gonna take the case on. However, Kuhn saw only limited playing time. The Boys of Dunbar, A Story of Love, Hope and Basketball. But for Bowie, it was too little, too late. The Worst Fix Ever. ESPN, ESPN Internet Ventures, 3 Oct. 2014, www.espn.com/espn/chalk/story/_/id/11633538/betting-chronicling-worst-fix-ever-1978-79-bc-point-shaving-scandal. Same here, and yet when they did their list of greatest sports scandals a few weeks back (when Miami broke) they didn't have it on there the first day. To establish Hills character, the film showcases numerous scenes from Goodfellas, including when Hill, under trial, is rewarded for not snitching on his family associates. My girlfriend and I bought a new stereo, television and some furniture. They were just doing their jobs. The fact that I went to court and fought for my name, that I stood up for myself and cleared my name, that I was exonerated and acquitted, its a travesty that Im still associated with this., My name is indelibly linked to it, Cobb continued. His testimony continued terribly, he was a nervous wreck, he was rambling about unnecessary information and he couldnt even look in Burkes direction. Richard Kuhn AIA by BSA Staff Name: Richard Kuhn AIA Job title and company: Design director, Perkins+Will Degree(s): B. It wasnt until I actually saw him play that I realized how special he was as an offensive talent. Professional wrestler Jay Briscoe dies in car accident at 38, Sister Andre, world's oldest living person, dies at 118, Ukraine's interior minister, other officials killed in helicopter crash near school, Qantas flight lands safely after engine trouble prompts mayday call, Meditation may alter gut microbes, study of Tibetan monks suggests. Theyre no match for us. He told me, Well good, I plan on betting on those games and if you guys win and it turns out like that, Ill take care of you., Man, I was one of the most recognizable athletes on campus and people would come up and talk to me all the time, people I didnt know, Cobb continued. I felt like, You put my name out there, so let me clear my name! When they investigated me, I told them straight up about the $1,000 that Rocco Perla had given me. The Globe would later admit that they were wrong in reporting that Bowie was involved, after he was not implicated nor investigated by the federal government for any role in the scandal. So I guess the thought process was, Well, if there were criminal activities going on, it had to be the brothers! My name and picture, and Michael Bowies as well, was on the front page of every newspaper in the country.. NEW YORK -- Former Boston College basketball player Rick Kuhn, jailed for his 1981 conviction in a point-shaving scandal, has asked for a reduction of his 10-year prison sentence. All because, he says, of those five crinkled $100 bills dropped at his feet one day in the locker room. When the evidence came up at the first trial, it didnt match up, but they still came after me a few years later. But I know that its not really in vain, because I know the truth.. My family has suffered. The teams coach, Tom Davis, kept his job and led the Eagles to a few more strong seasons, including a 1982 Elite Eight appearance, before jumping at a big offer from Stanford and then later moving on to Iowa. 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