Blog Entry

Report: Bernie Fine investigated for molestation

Posted on: November 17, 2011 7:54 pm
Edited on: November 17, 2011 11:19 pm
By Gary Parrish

Syracuse police are investigating an allegation that longtime Syracuse basketball assistant Bernie Fine molested a team ball boy over an extended period of time beginning in the 1980s, according to a Thursday night report from ESPN's Mark Schwarz and Arty Berko. left a message on Fine's cell seeking comment.

The message was not immediately returned.

The alleged victim is Bobby Davis, who is now 39. He told ESPN's Outside the Lines that Fine began molesting him in 1983, shortly before Davis entered seventh grade. Davis was a Syracuse ball boy from 1984 to 1990. He said the abuse occurred at Fine's home, at the Syracuse basketball facilities and on road trips. A second man, identified by ESPN only as "a relative of Davis," has said Fine also molested him around the same time.

Fine is in his 35th season at Syracuse. He was placed on administrative leave late Thursday even though Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim released a statement backing Fine.

"This matter was fully investigated by the University in 2005 and it was determined that the allegations were unfounded," Boeheim said. "I have known Bernie Fine for more than 40 years. I have never seen or witnessed anything to suggest that he would been involved in any of the activities alleged. Had I seen or suspected anything, I would have taken action. Bernie has my full support."

Outside the Lines -- as well as the Syracuse Post-Standard -- reported Thursday that it initially investigated Davis' claims in 2003 but decided against running the story because no additional alleged victims talked. But in recent days, according to the ESPN report, a second man -- inspired to talk because of the ongoing Penn State scandal -- contacted Outside the Lines with information alleging Fine had also molested him, which led to ESPN running the story.

Kevin Quinn, Syracuse's senior vice president for public affairs, issued a statement late Thursday on behalf of the school. It read: "In 2005, Syracuse University was contacted by an adult male who told us that he had reported to the Syracuse City Police that he had been subjected to inappropriate contact by an associate men's basketball coach.

"The alleged activity took place in the 1980's and 1990's. We were informed by the complainant that the Syracuse City Police had declined to pursue the matter because the statute of limitations had expired. On hearing of the allegations in 2005, the University immediately launched its own comprehensive investigation through its legal counsel. That nearly four-month long investigation included a number of interviews with people the complainant said would support his claims. All of those identified by the complainant denied any knowledge of wrongful conduct by the associate coach.

"The associate coach also vehemently denied the allegations. Syracuse University takes any allegation of this sort extremely seriously and has zero tolerance for abuse of any kind. If any evidence or corroboration of the allegations had surfaced, we would have terminated the associated coach and reported it to the police immediately. We understand that the Syracuse City Police has now reopened the case, and Syracuse University will cooperate fully. We are steadfastly committed ensuring that SU remains a safe place for every member of our campus community." reached a former Syracuse player by phone on Thursday.

Asked for comment, the former player said: "Sad to hear if it's true."

--'s Jeff Goodman contributed to this report.

Photo: AP

Since: Nov 19, 2011
Posted on: November 20, 2011 1:03 am

Report: Bernie Fine investigated for molestation

Do you mean the same legal system that granted Joe Paterno due process??  Yes, that should apply to Bernie Fine as well.

Since: Nov 19, 2011
Posted on: November 19, 2011 1:58 am

Report: Bernie Fine investigated for molestation

What the media and the general public seem to be refusing to do is focus on victims and the fact that if the alleged type of abuse that went on at "squeaky-clean" Penn State is real (I believe it is); then what else is going on throughout our schools and universities?  The media is guilty of the same thing as Joe Paterno....only doing enough!!  It is sad; but if we as a society are going to convict Paterno and his staff without due process, then Bernie Fine MUST sit on the sideline---and Jim Boeheim should absolutely not be so quck to chime in.  Joe immediately went to bat for the school's AD and President much in the same fashion as Jim currently is with Bernie.  Bernie is an innocent man until proven guilty; but let the legal process sort things out-not Jim Boeheim!!   I wish the same could be said for those who have unnecessarily lost jobs, careers, and legacies at Penn State.

Since: Nov 19, 2011
Posted on: November 19, 2011 12:54 am

Report: Bernie Fine investigated for molestation

Just what has this gotta do with anything?  I've known married men who are gay, straight men who wear their wives clothes, etc. and they are some of the finest people in the community.  Get out of your four walls and get real!

Since: Sep 28, 2008
Posted on: November 18, 2011 4:48 pm

Report: Bernie Fine investigated for molestation

What do you mean Paterno didn't do enough with the information he knew? 

Paterno did what he was supposed to do. And that was to go to somebody above him in the chain of command and tell that person what he knew. Which he did. I don't like Paterno that much, but Joe should still have a job. Especially since he's been real loyal to Penn State for 60 years. Joe didn't do anything wrong. Where was the legal system to protect him from losing his job?  I thought so.

Just with this news story, Bernie Fine has probably affected Syracuse recruiting, sort of like how Penn State recruiting will be affected by the latest stories. It's not like the guy is going to struggle the rest of his life if Syracuse let him go today.  

Since: Apr 24, 2008
Posted on: November 18, 2011 4:17 pm

Report: Bernie Fine investigated for molestation

It's completely different from Paterno. Get your facts straight. Paterno did not clearly do enough with the information given to him and by not doing enough his inaction tarnished the reputation of the University forever. His was not an offense for the legal system it was the court of public opinion, and he was found guilty due to his inaction.

Much different for the Syracuse guy. You are calling for him to get fired based on what....accusations? Are you the same idiot that wanted the whole Duke Lacrosse program abolished after that girl cried rape? This is a legal matter and must be dealt with as so. Don't be so rush to judgement.

And I'm 170 and work 10 hours a day for the record, unlike you who's current job right now is probably Occupying some park somewhere around the country because you are too lazy to get a job.

Since: Sep 28, 2008
Posted on: November 18, 2011 12:02 pm

Report: Bernie Fine investigated for molestation

Yeah great idea just fire him. I'm pretty sure we still live in America where we have a legal system in place that offers everyone due process. You cannot set a precedent of firing someone due to accusations. A paid leave of absence is the farthest I would be willing to go. Anything beyond that and we should tear up the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights and start over. 
Really?  When does the legal system ever take place when it comes to investigations for jobs? 

Lets see... Joe Paterno, fired. Did he go to court or anything?  Nope.

Maybe you should get your fat, 350lb ass off the couch once in a while and realize what's going on around the world.  

Since: Mar 24, 2009
Posted on: November 18, 2011 11:30 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Nov 16, 2011
Posted on: November 18, 2011 11:22 am

Report: Bernie Fine investigated for molestation

looks like Doyel has to run his worthless A$$ to syracuse now and write somemore obnoxious stories !

Since: Nov 30, 2006
Posted on: November 18, 2011 11:21 am

Report: Bernie Fine investigated for molestation

why not?  at penn state any one associated with possibly knowing something about the accusations was fired.  at this point penn state alumni and students have lost jobs and internships because of having penn state affiliations.  def not sandusky affiliations.

prepare to lose faith in America, Syracuse.  this is our new justice system.  We the People, Against the People.

Since: Aug 1, 2007
Posted on: November 18, 2011 11:21 am

Report: Bernie Fine investigated for molestation

Wow, we have a lot of opinions and suggestions based on absolute thin air. Some are even calling for the firing of Boeheim because it's "the same thing" as PSU. These people need to get their facts in order before making such foolish demands. The two cases are so very different,
PSU knew of the abuse, made no investifgation and attempted to hide the entire ugly situation, Joe Pa knew of it and made only the one report to his superior, after that he too simply ignored the situation.
Syracuse heard of the problem, did a thorough invstigation, police werer involved and Boeheim cooperated fully. Not the same situation in the least, and this Syracuse matter is also being handled correctly still to this day while the accusation looks to be flimsy at best. IF it turns out Bernie Fine is guilty and these NEW allegations are true, well Syracuse has already suspended the man and nothing will be swept under the rug.

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