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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: Nov 10, 2011
Posted on: November 27, 2011 10:23 pm

Syracuse fires Bernie Fine

Must be the BF initials.. I wonder if Ben Franklin was accused of this kind of thing?

Since: Aug 17, 2009
Posted on: November 27, 2011 10:18 pm

Syracuse fires Bernie Fine

He looks like Barney Frank... Hmmm

Since: Nov 3, 2010
Posted on: November 27, 2011 10:10 pm

Syracuse fires Bernie Fine

Lee, has it even dawned on you that it is possible these guys were both abused and still not being 100% percent truthful? You should consider that possibility as it most definately exists. Perhaps this is where the "mopney grubbing" part comes in. In any event, the facts in this case are that Fine was investigated (more than once) and either we have some very flawed investigations, or new evidence. In any event, your comments are way off the mark. Jim Boeheim is not being investigated in case you didn't know the difference..... 

Since: Nov 27, 2011
Posted on: November 27, 2011 9:55 pm

Syracuse fires Bernie Fine

So ESPN held this incriminating tape since 2003 and did not report it to the proper authorities, but self righteously went 24/7 on Penn State coverup?  Penn State removed those involved in the coverup.  If ESPN does not do the same they are a bunch of hypocrites.    

Since: Nov 6, 2007
Posted on: November 27, 2011 9:53 pm

Syracuse fires Bernie Fine

Maux, How is it obvious boeheim knew, if he knew he would have kept his mouth shut. Boeheim is not an idiot, jury is still out on u however. All his actions suggest he didnt know what fine was up to. Your not from 'cuse so you wouldnt know but boeheim is just a basketball coach. He doesnt run the city or school like joepa did . SU did its own investigation, boeheim didnt order it , oversee it or anything. Nor is that his job. He is the bbal coach. I am curious to find out if these kids were really on trips. Then i need to hear what coach has to say about that.

Since: Aug 29, 2006
Posted on: November 27, 2011 9:50 pm

Syracuse fires Bernie Fine

Well, I would think the audio recording had MUCH more to do with Boeheim becoming convinced than the third accuser did.

Since: Feb 1, 2010
Posted on: November 27, 2011 9:42 pm

Syracuse fires Bernie Fine

So the 3rd accusers dad thinks he is a liar ??

But its enough for Boeheim to now be convinced ?

You work with a child molester every day for 29 years and didnt know ?

Sounds like a lot of polygraphs need to be given. You dont have to take them. Only if you want to retain your job.

Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: November 27, 2011 9:42 pm

Syracuse fires Bernie Fine

Syracuse needs to clean house as does the local police department when the evidence now is pointing to a vast cover-up. It makes me sick that these kids were exposed and abused in this (or any) way. Fine and Boeheim were public figures who have to take responsibility for their actions. Who knew what and when is the next step in this saga. Jim Boeheim has destroyed his credibility and place as Syracuse University's most prominent figure. When he attacked the kids as liars for coming forward he turned in his resignation to the university. He is through and needs to be retired.

The turmoil for a boy that is sexually abused is huge. It is not about sex. It is about being controlled to humiliation. How these boys have been able to come forward is not easy and takes immense courage. Never, ever should anyone call them liars and money grubbers while the facts are still being investigated. Joe Paterno meet Jim Boeheim. There is no way I want Boeheim to represent the USA Basketball again this next year. Coach K needs to release him from that position.

Since: Nov 29, 2006
Posted on: November 27, 2011 9:31 pm

Syracuse fires Bernie Fine

There is no question about Fine's guilt any longer. There is also no doubt that Jim Boeheim knew about the earlier accusations brought forth years ago against Fine. Everybody up there knew, and the head coach of a major program knows everything. Jim Boeheim came out and called the victims "money grubbing liars". He told the media they "could print that". His absolute indifference and arrogance toward the victims in this case is indefensible. It doesn't matter how many years his relationship goes back with Fine. It is immaterial. Jim Boeheim must pay for turning his head the other way, just as Joe Paterno. Boeheim must be fired, and cannot be permitted to resign. It's a shame too. Jim Boeheim is among the top ten college basketball coaches of all time. His loyalty toward a child molester was misplaced. Right is always right, and wrong is always wrong. There is no grey area in these matters. Jim made his bed, and now he must lie down in it.

Since: Sep 21, 2006
Posted on: November 27, 2011 9:28 pm

Syracuse fires Bernie Fine

So Boeheim had the back of an accused pervert who lied to him. What a judge of character ::rolleyes::

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