In 1978-1979, Jim Sweeney was captain of the Boston College Eagles, a young kid described as the poster boy for someone going to BC. A leader on and off the court, he went for dinner one night with teammate Rick Kuhn to meet some of Kuhn's friends from Pittsburgh. His life would never be the same.
Over the span of the season, Jim Sweeney found himself embroiled in a story straight off the pages of a movie script. He was dead smack in the middle of a point-shaving scandal, the likes of which had never seen before and may never be seen again.
The details of the story over time have been sketchy at best, but here's what is known: Boston College basketball players ended up dealing with gangsters and mobsters from the Five Families of New York City. The gangsters, Henry Hill and Jimmy Burke, were two of the most notorious and famous, later sensationalized in Goodfellas by Ray Liotta and Robert De Niro. The extent of point-shaving--the act of winning or losing by a certain amount of points in order to rig a result opposite a points spread--may never be known...until now.
On Monday, BC Interruption's radio show will host a special edition ahead of the premiere of ESPN's critically acclaimed series 30 for 30. On Tuesday night, the world will view the documentary Playing for the Mob. Interviews with Jim Sweeney, Ernie Cobb, and mobsters like Henry Hill (since deceased) and Paul Mazzei will be played. And light will be shone into the workings of one of the strangest and surreal scandals in sports history.
Jim Sweeney and his wife Maura will join BCI Radio on Monday at 8 PM to discuss their side of the story. They'll touch upon the impact on their lives, the way life was lived in the late 1970s, and the interactions between the scandal. They'll talk about the impact on Boston College and how it still resonates today through a lack of attention and publicity. And they'll tell their story, considered the "perfect storm" of events, in their own words, to our listeners.
Tune in on Monday at 8 PM for one of our hottest shows: Jim Sweeney, former captain of the BC basketball team, and his wife Maura. They dealt first hand with the impact of a fixed basketball team playing for the Mafia's interests, and now they'll talk to us ahead of a documentary that is both captivating and fascinating.