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: Dec 12, 2010
Posted on: January 20, 2012 3:14 pm

Syracuse fires Bernie Fine

Two of the three accusers have now admitted to lying about Bernie Fine.

I told you this stinks. 

Since: Aug 30, 2006
Posted on: November 29, 2011 6:46 pm

Syracuse fires Bernie Fine

There is a whole slew of these bastards out there.  Look up Boystown, Illuminati, Freemasonry, and you'll even see they've held office of the President of the United States of America.  And yet we STILL buy into this fraud 2 party system....its time for Americans to quit being complacent and allowing these scumbags to 'have issues'.   Issues my ass...he's a criminal and he needs to serve the rest of his years getting it from the big boys in federal prison.

Since: Mar 20, 2008
Posted on: November 28, 2011 11:14 pm

Syracuse fires Bernie Fine

Boehiem is still there because he didn't do anything worth being fired for. He did what pretty much any person would do after 2 investigations turned up no evidence on a friend of 35+ years; He stuck up for the guy. It's not his responsibility to investigate crimes, he's a coach, not a detective. He's guilty of working with a cunning preditor that, as is often the case in crimes such as this, was very careful about covering his tracks. The only thing that this scandal has in common with PSU is that the initial crime is the same. Beyond that, these are two completely different situations. People calling for Boehiem's head ona platter are looking to lynch the wrong person. If anybody needs to be looked at for incompetence (as JoePa was), it's the police who investigated this back in '02. It looks like THEY were the ones that weren't doing their jobs, not Boehiem.

Since: Jul 24, 2011
Posted on: November 28, 2011 9:41 pm

Syracuse fires Bernie Fine

why is boehiem still there???  he should be out on his ass also after those harsh comments he made last week. 

Since: Dec 23, 2007
Posted on: November 28, 2011 9:25 pm

Syracuse fires Bernie Fine

As long as they don't get Larry Fine........

Since: Dec 5, 2007
Posted on: November 28, 2011 8:49 pm

Syracuse fires Bernie Fine

I'm a UK fan, I have no love for the 'Cuse sports team-wise, and everybody is disgusted by these kinds of things wherever they happen. That being said, unless more comes out I don't think Jim Boeheim should resign, or be asked to. He vocally supported someone he wanted to think the best of, and bashed some other people that didn't deserve it. Welcome to New York, is this your first trip? Yes, he did do a bad thing, and being a prominent public figure who is looked up to by many, in my opinion he should just make up for it 10 times over. Easy enough to do with some time and effort. Just state several times how he feels, and show support for the victims of abuse anywhere, and do some work for causes. I would really hate to see the basketball world lose a great coach over something it seems he knew absolutley nothing about. Just my 2 pesos. Cool

Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: November 28, 2011 8:19 pm

Syracuse fires Bernie Fine

Typical ESPN, Media Bullshit. trying to control everything through the Idiot Box. If they find out he has any knowledge then can his butt. If not the University should decide, NOT the mainstream media. 

Since: Jun 22, 2008
Posted on: November 28, 2011 5:51 pm

Syracuse fires Bernie Fine

Not calling for Boeheim to step down because half of the staff from CBS and ESPN are 'cuse grads, the other half are Duke grads.

Since: Mar 22, 2011
Posted on: November 28, 2011 5:33 pm

Syracuse fires Bernie Fine

goldpanther - as has been mentioned in previous comments, the bus was NOT the Syracuse team bus. Rather it was a Syracuse administration bus. However, I agree with your other comments, and believe Boeheim was terribly negligent in allowing Fine to entertain this kid inside the Syracuse basketball team functions.

Since: Mar 1, 2007
Posted on: November 28, 2011 5:28 pm

Syracuse fires Bernie Fine

Chancellor Cantor should be fired.   She twiddled her thumbs while all this was brewing the past 10 years

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