Blog Entry

Syracuse fires Bernie Fine

Posted on: November 27, 2011 8:03 pm
Edited on: November 28, 2011 7:34 am
By Gary Parrish

Syracuse University announced Sunday that associate head coach Bernie Fine has been terminated.

"At the direction of Chancellor Cantor, (Syracuse associate men's basketball coach) Bernie Fine’s employment with Syracuse University has been terminated, effective immediately," Syracuse University Senior Vice President for Public Affairs Kevin Quinn said via a statement on the school's athletics website.

This development comes on the same day audio was made public from a phone conversation between Fine's wife and Bobby Davis. Davis is one of three men who have alleged they were sexually abused by Fine while they were children. In the conversation, Fine's wife, Laurie Fine, appears to confirm that she was aware that Fine molested Davis. She said her husband "has issues."

"I know everything that went on, you know," she said on the call. "I know everything that went on with him ... Bernie has issues, maybe that he's not aware of, but he has issues ... And you trusted somebody you shouldn't have trusted. ... Bernie is also in denial. I think that he did the things he did, but he's somehow through his own mental telepathy has erased them out of his mind."

Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim last week strongly defended Fine and accused the first two alleged victims -- former Syracuse ball boys Bobby Davis and Mike Lang -- of lying and trying to extort money. Boeheim released a statement late Sunday about an hour after Fine was fired and indicated he regretted attacking the accusers.

“The allegations that have come forth today are disturbing and deeply troubling," Boeheim said. "I am personally very shocked because I have never witnessed any of the activities that have been alleged. I believe the university took the appropriate step tonight. What is most important is that this matter be fully investigated and that anyone with information be supported to come forward so that the truth can be found. I deeply regret any statements I made that might have inhibited that from occurring or been insensitive to victims of abuse."

Syracuse chancellor Nancy Cantor also released a statement late Sunday.

"All of us have the responsibility, individually and collectively, to ensure that Syracuse University remains a safe place for every campus community member and everyone with whom we interact on a daily basis on campus or in the community as part of our learning, scholarship, or work," she said. "We do not tolerate abuse.  If anything good comes out of this tragedy, it will be that this basic principle is reinforced."

The 65-year-old Fine was in his 36th season at Syracuse. He was placed on administrative leave on Nov. 17 after police confirmed they were investigating charges of molestation, and after ESPN aired interviews of Davis and Lang alleging Fine sexually abused them. The case seemed to stall for a few days after that, but police raided Fine's home Friday, and the damaging audio of the phone conversation between Davis and Fine's wife was made public early Sunday around the same time a third accuser publicly surfaced, too.

"It was the [Jerry] Sandusky stuff that came out that really made me think about it," the third accuser, Zach Tomaselli, told the Syracuse Post-Standard. "A lot of people were slamming ESPN and Bobby for saying anything. I wanted to come out. ... It made me sick to see all that support for Fine at that point. I was positive he was guilty."

Tomaselli, 23, told the Associated Press on Sunday that he's told police that Fine molested him in 2002 in a Pittsburgh hotel room the night before the Orange played Pittsburgh. He said Fine touched him "multiple times" in that one incident. Tomaselli's father, Fred Tomaselli, told the Associated Press that he thinks his son is lying.

"I'm 100 percent sure that Bernie Fine was never in contact with Zach," Fred Tomaselli said. "He never went to Pittsburgh to a game, never been to that arena. ... I brought him to a couple of games in Syracuse. We always sat in the nosebleed section and left after the game. He never stayed for any overnighters and never even got within shouting distance of Bernie."

Photo: AP


Since: Apr 28, 2007
Posted on: November 28, 2011 1:32 pm

Syracuse fires Bernie Fine

he not only needs to be fired but burned at the stake
(Let's say figuratively.....)

Since: Jun 10, 2011
Posted on: November 28, 2011 1:28 pm

Syracuse fires Bernie Fine

Uh-Oh ... there goes the mob with the torches & pitchforks - headed straight toward Boeheim's house ...

Since: Dec 12, 2010
Posted on: November 28, 2011 12:42 pm

This Stinks

Reading the phone transcript, it's clear that Laurie Fine hates her husband.  The accuser who talks with her says he had sex with her too. He looks jumpy as hell in the TV interviews he's given so far.  The father of the third accuser has called his son a liar. 

Something's not right about this.  

Shamefully, false accusations are made sometimes. I'm not familiar with Fine or the Syracuse basketball program, but I think we need to suspend judgement pending further info.

Since: May 3, 2011
Posted on: November 28, 2011 12:32 pm

Syracuse fires Bernie Fine

It's a sad state affairs for sports fans when they make "funny" comments about issues like this. I am the father of three and wonder if these idiots would think it was as "funny" if it was their son or brother or someone they cared about that was molested by one of these two scumbags. I see no humor in either the Penn State or SU incidents. I understand making fun of some athlete's public idiocy but this is not acceptable in this instance. I hope and pray that this never happens to someone I know or care about.

Not funny now or ever.

Since: Nov 6, 2009
Posted on: November 28, 2011 11:42 am

Syracuse fires Bernie Fine

And to the comment that Boeheim's "no Joe Paterno," we have to at least be skeptical - we certainly shouldn't be mindlessly running to his defense (or assuming he knew) before facts come out.
Regardless, I agree with all of you that says he should be fired for his thoughtless comments about these guys seeking money - that is inappropriate enough to discipline him.

Does anybody know if ESPN had all of this info and didn't release it? I thought they had aired something on this before...why didn't the investigation yield anything?  Just wondering - if anybody has access or a link to this info, I would appreciate it.

Since: Nov 6, 2009
Posted on: November 28, 2011 11:34 am

Syracuse fires Bernie Fine

@Laddin - if you haven't read or heard the entire transcript, the wife seems as off as the husband - check it out.
I agree with you - very disturbing - she also insinuates (and Davis says) that she slept with the boy consentually.

Since: Dec 17, 2007
Posted on: November 28, 2011 11:05 am

Syracuse fires Bernie Fine

Now they need to fire Boenhead...

Since: Oct 15, 2006
Posted on: November 28, 2011 10:52 am

Syracuse fires Bernie Fine

Caller:  C'mon, pick up!

Callee:  Hello. 

Caller:  Joe?

Callee:  Yes.....  This is Joe.

Caller:   Joe.  I'm not you.  But just in case.....  Can you give me the number for that high-priced legal talent that you recently retained?

Callee:  Sure thing....  Good luck with that  

Since: Oct 10, 2006
Posted on: November 28, 2011 10:38 am

Syracuse fires Bernie Fine

Jim Boeheim needs to be fired ASAP for his public support last week of his dear friend Bernie Fine, the ball boy molester.

Since: Dec 12, 2010
Posted on: November 28, 2011 10:36 am

Syracuse fires Bernie Fine

put him in the pokey!!!

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