Syracuse head basketball coach Jim Boeheim doesn’t believe the child molestation allegations levied against his long-time assistant coach Bernie Fine and he said that he’s not covering up for a friend.
“I’m not Joe Paterno,” Boeheim said. “Somebody didn’t come and tell me Bernie Fine did something and I’m hiding it. I know nothing. If I saw some reason not to support Bernie, I would not support him. If somebody showed me a reason, proved that reason, I would not support him. But until then, I’ll support him until the day I die.”
Thirty-nine-year-old Bobby Davis told ESPN that Fine molested him starting in 1984 and that the sexual contact continued until he was around 27 years old.
Davis, a former ball boy, said that the abuse occurred at Fine’s home, at Syracuse basketball facilities and on team road trips, including the 1987 Final Four.
Davis’ stepbrother, Mike Lang, 45, who was also a ball boy, said Fine molested him starting while he was in fifth or sixth grade.
Fine, who has been placed on administrative leave, calls the allegations “patiently false.” He asked for a quick review and said he would be vindicated.
“Sadly, we live in an allegation-based society and an internet age where in a matter of minutes one’s lifelong reputation can be severely damaged,” Fine said in a statement. “I am confident that, as in the past, a review of these allegations will be discredited and restore my reputation. I hope the latest review of these allegations will be conducted expeditiously.”
Syracuse said it conducted an internal investigation when Davis originally made the allegations back in 2005 but closed the case after determining the charges could not be corroborated.
Meantime, the university is being criticized for failing to notify the district attorney’s office or law enforcement other than the campus police. University officials had said that Davis had already gone to the police.
The allegations against Fine come as the NCAA and law enforcement authorities dig deeper into the child sex abuse allegations into former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.