Goodfellas : Boston Point Shaving Scandal

Boston Point Shaving Scandal

This was only briefly mentioned in this movie when Morrie mentioned it 5 seconds before he was whacked but this was a huge scandal which was what eventually brought down Jimmy Burke. They should have had this in the movie. I know it wasn't as sexy as the Lufthansa heist but it was what landed Burke in jail when they couldn't pin Lufthansa on him. There's an ESPN 30 for 30 on it and it's very good.

Re: Boston Point Shaving Scandal

I Agree and they should've spent time on that part and less with the Karen/Henry relationship. The whole Karen/Henry thing to me is worse than watching paint dry.

But not including the BC point shaving seems like a pretty big omission if trying to stay true to the story. Jimmy Burke(Jimmy Conway/Deniro) was a major player in that deal. However, I doubt many people outside of big sports fans even ever heard of it and probably would have no idea what point shaving actually is.

Re: Boston Point Shaving Scandal

I've seen Goodfellas countless times and never caught that detail. Although it's probably impossible to improve on the movie, if the book was ever remake as a tv series, there would be no lack of material – from Henry's early years on, there's so many good stories that had to be left out of the film.

Re: Boston Point Shaving Scandal

I watched the movie idk how many times since I was a kid and the book had a lot of stories I would have liked to have seen

Re: Boston Point Shaving Scandal

Ironically, running that point-shaving scandal may have saved Henry. Otherwise he might have been in on the Lufthansa robbery.

Re: Boston College Point Shaving Scandal

The Boston College basketball point shaving conspiracy was uncovered when Henry Hill was indicted by New York state authorities on drug trafficking charges. Hill turned informant in exchange for avoiding prison time and to escape possible execution by Jimmy Burke and the Lucchese family. While being questioned on these crimes, Hill inadvertently revealed that he had participated in a point shaving scheme involving the Boston College basketball team. Hill offered to relate the full story if federal officials would guarantee him full immunity and agree to intercede on his behalf to convince state officials to drop the pending drug charges.

I read Hill's book "Wiseguy" a long time ago. He said that after agreeing to cooperate he had to tell a lot of details to the cops . When it came up a few times that he traveled to Boston the cops wanted to know why. Hill had been doing so many illegal things it had practically slipped his mind that he was one of the key figures in a major point shaving scandal.

Re: Boston College Point Shaving Scandal


When it came up a few times that he traveled to Boston the cops wanted to know why.


Maybe he preferred New England style clam chowder over Manhattan style...

Re: Boston Point Shaving Scandal

Henry Hill originally became a rat agaisnt a group of college basketball players, not his fellow gang members. I guess they wanted to give him an excuse, which was the fake story line that he was going to be killed.

Re: Boston Point Shaving Scandal

I must confess to sympathizing (at least somewhat) with the players in college point-shaving scandals. As the laborers and prime attraction in a multi-billion dollar business, the players go unpaid except for a scholarship, while the coach pulls in a seven-figure salary. Given that the NCAA has a monopoly, and the players get nothing while their coaches become multi-millionaires, well, I can see them shaving points.

Re: Boston Point Shaving Scandal


I must confess to sympathizing (at least somewhat) with the players in college point-shaving scandals. As the laborers and prime attraction in a multi-billion dollar business, the players go unpaid except for a scholarship, while the coach pulls in a seven-figure salary. Given that the NCAA has a monopoly, and the players get nothing while their coaches become multi-millionaires, well, I can see them shaving points.

I actually watched the documentary the TC mentioned and everyone ought to feel sorry for the players. According to the documentary most of the players were actually convinced to do it by a particular player on the team. It's been a while since I watched it but basically from what I recall Henry went to a particular guy on the team and ended up threatening him if he didn't do it.

All of the players involved were really angry and upset after it was found out by everyone that Henry didn't get any jail time for it. Instead the player Henry threatened ended up getting sent to prison for 10 years and all the other players ended up in some trouble as well. One of them was going to go into the NBA but then when they heard he was questioned by the FBI they denied him admittance. All this because of Henry and also Jimmy and Paulie. Though Paulie and Jimmy did push him into it. He basically had to do whatever they asked or he'd get whacked. Not that's it's right but the people this movie is based on weren't right about anything they did most of their lives.

Green Goblin is great! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1L4ZuaVvaw

Re: Boston Point Shaving Scandal

Point shavers are almost always modestly good players, typically seniors, who feel they have no chance of making the NBA or any international pro leagues. They realize that their player days are winding down, and this is their chance to cash in on a system that is rigged against them.

Players who feel they have a shot at the pros - only about 5% of NCAA players do - have far too much to lose.

Re: Boston Point Shaving Scandal

Wanted to get this back to the top of the thread again because I too agree it was a significant omission from the movie. When I saw the related '30 for 30' episode last week I was wondering where in 'Goodfellas' I missed this story. Perhaps they left it out because of the speculative tidbits regarding this scandal. Perhaps since Boston College is a Jesuit school that the Jesuits used their Hollywood connections. More likely, since the movie was obviously slanted in favor of Henry Hill, they weren't going to include any material which made him look particularly bad.

Re: Boston Point Shaving Scandal

Yes, they probably should have mentioned the point-shaving scandal. That, plus his drug dealing, was a major reason Henry Hill was not involved in Lufthansa.

The whole thing could have been filmed quickly (perhaps it was, and was left on the cutting room floor). Just a quick introductory scene explaining point-shaving, and narrated by Hill (Ray Liotta), plus one or two brief scenes showing him paying cash to guys in basketball uniforms outside a gym, then watching a game on TV.

While it may have made Hill look bad, his drug dealing didn't exactly make him look all that good.
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