Bernie Fine Case Takes Another Strange Turn…Posted by EJacoby on June 12th, 2012
Nothing has come easy for investigators in the child molestation case against former Syracuse assistant coach Bernie Fine, in which former ball boy Bobby Davis accused the coach of sexual wrongdoing. It’s been a back-and-forth of accusations and denials from everyone involved in the story since it broke public last November. The most fascinating detail about the case remains that the university knew about Davis’ accusations against the coach as far back as 2004, and yet Fine remained on staff in his top assistant position to head coach Jim Boeheim until the public fiasco in 2011.
On Monday a new twist surfaced, as the Syracuse Post-Standard reported on a 2005 university investigation that found no witnesses at the time believed the accuser’s claims. Seven key members of Davis’ story were interviewed by SU, and not a single one confirmed the accusations. But it gets even more odd, as the accuser provides information of his own that the school didn’t seem to properly investigate. Davis reportedly called Fine to apologize (about what?) in 2005, according to the Post-Standard‘s knowledge of the secret report. The investigation has not been released, but more and more contradicting details continue to come out that could prolong this case.
Bernie Fine was fired in November of last year when the second round of molestation charges were made public, but it’s been a curious case ever since. Orange head coach Jim Boeheim initially came out in full support of Fine, before he retracted those statements several days later. Then multiple other accusers came out of the woodwork to support the case against Fine, yet some of them have since claimed that they made up their stories. Most notably, Fine’s second major accuser, Zach Tomaselli, said in April that he ‘fabricated everything’ about his story. At this point, the entire investigation remains a mystery despite so many people seemingly involved.
To the testament of Boeheim and his players, the team was completely unaffected by the public relations nightmare last season. The Orange were an elite team all season long that finished 34-3 with a trip to the Elite Eight (cut short by the loss of Fab Melo). And though four of the team’s six leading scorers from last season are now gone, Syracuse retains many talented players for next year thanks to the recruiting efforts and player development of Boeheim. The Orange are expected to contend for a Big East title next season with blossoming talent like C.J. Fair, Michael Carter-Williams, and Rakeem Christmas along with the senior leadership of Brandon Triche and James Southerland. It’s fairly remarkable how the team weathered the off-court storm last season, and new information in the Bernie Fine case means that they’ll likely have to deal with many of the same issues next year.
Evan Jacoby is a regular contributor for RTC. You can find him @evanjacoby on Twitter.