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DiMauro: BC 'ethically' bound to help Holy Cross? I don't think so

Updated: Sep 15


Holy Cross coach Bob Chesney said earlier this week during media availability that a power outage didn’t allow his coaching staff to use their headsets in the press box early during Saturday’s eventual loss to Boston College at Alumni Stadium.

Chesney’s description of the events included the word “ethically.”

Shall we examine?

“We lost power in our press box. All the other power in the other (part of the) press box was on. Just our one box had no power, so the headsets went down,” Chesney said. “We brought Coach Kennedy (offensive coordinator Dean Kennedy) down and we brought our defensive coaches down and we called the first quarter and a half with no eyes up top, which was certainly a challenge.

“Now a lot of times, the other team takes their headsets off, too, but it's not a conference game. So it's just based ethically if they want to or not and they do not want to. So then they don't have to. We were just in a situation where we were headset-less for the first quarter and a half almost.”

Kevin J. Stone of the New England Football Journal subsequently reported, “I’ve been told by someone who had direct knowledge of this situation that it was more like three plays rather than 1.5 quarters and that it had nothing to do with BC, but rather, it was an HC equipment issue.”

Chesney’s oratory lasted 45 seconds. Much of it came through a smarmy grin that gave the appearance that gosh golly whiz this was no big deal, just another obstacle for his poor lads to conquer. Chesney subtly alluded to the nefarious, suggesting that all the power stayed on in the press box except the Holy Cross part. He then tossed in the word “ethically,” which is amusing when it’s surely possible Stone caught him in a lie.

But I find this kerfuffle fascinating for a different reason. It’s one thing for the BC haters to pounce on this. As the old line goes: Some drink from the fountain of knowledge, others merely gargle. What concerns me more is that I have true, blue BC people telling me they honestly believe that in the spirit of sportsmanship, BC should have turned off its headsets, too.

I mean, do we have to be such bumpkins here? Can we try to understand how things really work as opposed to how they perhaps should?

Let me ask: Do you think Coach Prime would have turned off his headsets? Harbaugh? Saban? Dabo? Please. They wouldn’t have merely kept using their own headsets, but hired somebody to steal their opponents’ headsets and run them over with a Ford F350. It’s called a competitive advantage. And anybody who thinks BC should dismiss a competitive advantage in highly competitive, cutthroat college football is drowning in idealism.

Straight up: BC needs to make more decisions like this one. This is big time college sports. You adjust to the environment. Athletic Darwinism. And while BC is under no obligation to participate, it needs to understand that failure to do so begets failure period. You either get into the cesspool - at least to a varying degree - or go to the Patriot League.

But I’m getting tired of reading posts from BC fans who honestly think you can win and still behave like the Von Trapp family at the same time. This just in: You can’t. I’m not suggesting we start to recruit felons or cheat uncontrollably with NIL money. But I am saying that some degree of Darwinism must apply.

Example: BC coach Jeff Hafley didn’t pop wheelies on Chesney’s lawn. He just chose to keep using a headset. Hell, we all chuckled at the paranoia the old Lakers had when coming to the Boston Garden. They brought their own soap, shampoo and drinking water. Their locker room never seemed to have hot water. The fire alarm in the hotel howled a lot at 3 a.m. It was just Red Auerbach being Red Auerbach, right? It’s called competitive advantage, real or perceived.

In fairness: We’ve all been turned off by the football team’s personal fouls and individual whims in the first two games. Mostly turned off because it has impeded the path to win games. BC coach Jeff Hafley promised to address it and apply consequences to future offenders. He should be held to his word. But acts of self-indulgence in sports aren’t going away.

I’ve seen a number of readers chastise Hafley for recruiting some of the offenders. I ask: If it turns you off, then just beg Fr. Leahy to go to the Patriot League and stop the charade. Otherwise, it’s the cost of doing business.

I’m not sure if Chesney lied. I don’t really care. What I care about is that BC capitalized on a competitive advantage. That’s called doing what’s required to win. And to those it offended: Awaken from your stupor.


Mike DiMauro, a columnist in Connecticut, is a contributor to Eagles Daily and a member of BC’s class of 1990. He may be reached at and @BCgenius
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