Friday, November 18th, 2011...3:56 pm

Accusations Against Fine

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As I’m sure you all have heard, Bernie Fine, the assistant basketball coach at Cuse, was recently accused of molesting a child in the 1980’s. Bobby Davis, a ball boy at the time, and his stepbrother, Mike Lang, are saying that Fine molested them while on team field trips and in the Syracuse basketball facilities. In 2005, the University did a four-month investigation that involved speaking with every person that Davis identified and said would corroborate his story. SU reps said that no one would corroborate his story or would say anything about Fine doing anything wrong.

I think you all should know that this is a difficult post for me to write because I am a Cuse Grad and a diehard Orange basketball fan. I do, however, feel as though these accusations need to be addressed. Although they have not caused the same media frenzy that Sandusky/Joe Pa did, they are still very serious.

It seems that at this point these story could go one of two ways, and neither way is good. First, the allegations may turn out to be true, and if that happens, it will be devastating.┬áIt would mean that there are two more men in the world who have had to live with this abuse. Additionally, if the allegations are true, college sports fans will once again be confronted with a harsh truth – there is a dark side to college sports. Some coaches, who are legends and celebrities in their respective communities, are not the role models that they are portrayed as and that we want them to be.

If the allegations aren’t true, it will also be devastating. It means that Fine’s reputation will be tarnished forever. It may also mean that victims, who were really harmed, may be less likely to come forward because they fear being labeled as “liars” or “fame whores.” Truly, nothing good can come from this situation.

I do believe that Syracuse University has handled the situation well. Nancy Cantor, SU’s Chancellor, sent an email to all alum and was completely open and honest about the situation. You can tell that the University is upset with the allegations and is taking them very seriously. SU also placed Fine on administrative leave.

Jim Boeheim, on the other hand, has not handled the situation so well. I respect the heck out of this man, and I generally love his feisty and controversial statements (remember when the Daily Orange called G-Mac overrrated?), but I believe he overstepped his bounds this time. Boeheim addressed the media and called Davis and Lang liars who are looking for money. While this may turn out to be true, it may also turn out to be false. Loyalty is wonderful, but until the allegations are investigated more, I think it may be best for Boeheim to keep his opinions more private. Besides looking bad in the future, he also may have discouraged victims from coming forward. Many victims already fear speaking out, so fear of assault in the media may further discourage their coming forward.

Any thoughts from you all?

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