As an example, the man pointed to Ronnie's decision not to play quarterback on the high school football team. Ron had made sure his was just one of several voices urging Ronnie to be satisfied with place-kicking. "I was embarrassed not to be playing out there with my friends," says Ronnie, "but I went along." He also went along to Holy Cross. In this case, his father's only advice was to tell Ronnie to take the pressure off himself by deciding which college to attend before the start of his final high school season. "My father being at Holy Cross was one reason I went there," says Ronnie. "The fact that I liked everything about the school was the other."
An economics major, Ronnie had a 3.25 average last semester and enjoyed himself thoroughly. "The thing I like most about him," says his girl friend, Marion Nelligan, "is that he's nice—to everyone." Including his old man. Ronnie looks to his father for moral support during games. Afterward, father and son embrace, then Ron often will detail Ronnie's mistakes, reminding him to penetrate more or to play intensely (he tends to be mechanical).
This may not be overprotecting, but observers wonder about Ron's advice to Ronnie on how to act off the court. A controversial coach—at Catholic Memorial he was accused of recruiting, running up scores and being too friendly with officials—Ron had Ronnie talking to reporters like a politician by the time he was 15. It was unnecessary. Ronnie was naturally tactful and got excellent coverage; still, his father often complained of insufficient publicity.
"They asked me if I had a bad shooting night," he said to his father after going 5 for 19 in the Seton Hall game. "Did you tell them you were 10 for 10 from the line?" his father shot back. Half an hour later Ronnie blurted out, "I didn't shoot well." Ron answered, "If you say that again..."