Syracuse assistant basketball coach investigated for molestation

Submitted by m1817 on November 17th, 2011 at 9:15 PM

Syracuse police say they are investigating an allegation that Syracuse University assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine molested a team ball boy for more than a dozen years beginning in the mid-1980s.

One of two alleged victims, Bobby Davis, 39, came forward with allegations in 2003, but he was told by authorities that the statute of limitations had run out. At that time, former Syracuse basketball player Dennis Duval was police chief.

Syracuse University vice president for public affairs Kevin Quinn issued a statement Thursday in response to the sexual abuse allegations against assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine. The statement says that the university investigated the allegations in 2005 and that Fine “vehemently denied” the allegations.



November 17th, 2011 at 9:23 PM ^

As disgusting as it is to hear this, I feel like this is a positive from the Sandusky scandal. Hopefully people who were being molested will have more confidence to come forward and help stop these sick men. Preventing future incidents.


November 17th, 2011 at 9:25 PM ^

I was sort of wondering if there would be a huge outcropping of people coming forward with stories of molestation and sports after this, as that's what seems to happen when such a taboo thing is brought to light.  I truly hope it's not as widespread as what was found to occur in the Catholic church, but I fear it might be.


November 17th, 2011 at 9:35 PM ^

NPR had a story today about an increase in people calling attorneys and others about past abuse. If nothing else, it's raising awareness, and sending a clear message to victims that they are not alone and not at fault. The abuse is horrible. That it's being brought to light and addressed is very good.

Darth Wolverine

November 17th, 2011 at 9:39 PM ^

Did anyone just hear that phone conversation with Marc Schwartz of ESPN during half time of the VA Tech game? The claims are that it started when this kid was in seventh grade, it happened hundreds to one thousand times (I can't believe that many), and through high school. Does anyone buy that? I'm not denying it happened at all, but I can't see this happening to this kid when he was in high school. One would think a kid in high school, especially an upper classman, would finally have the guts to tell that old man to back the fuck off and call the freaking police.

This story thus far just doesn't make sense.

UM Fan in Nashville

November 17th, 2011 at 10:34 PM ^

You don't know what that type of abuse does to a mind especially when it starts at an early age.  Once you get to adult age, you don't necessarily want to come out strictly out of fear of embarrassment.  You don't have to believe it, but it definitely has a huge impact on someones thought process.   It's easy for us to say "I'd do this" and "i'd do that," but you weren't abused.   If this is true it's truly heinous and dispicable and I hope these guys get what they deserve.  


November 17th, 2011 at 11:48 PM ^

You don't know what that type of abuse does to a mind especially when it starts at an early age. Once you get to adult age, you don't necessarily want to come out strictly out of fear of embarrassment.

Which is why I'm keeping an open mind.  Really, I don't know the effects of abuse.  But once you get to be 24, 25, is it that difficult to just leave and not even have to give a reason?  I dunno.  I think that part needs some clarifying, because it doesn't seem to fit the profile.


November 18th, 2011 at 1:57 AM ^

For example, abused spouses often stay with abusers out of a warped sense of responsibility or self-image. The abuser creates a twisted connection that feeds on itself and makes it more and more difficult to leave the situation. In the case of abuse, often the strongest victims are the ones who kill their abuser because they're convinced it's the only way out of the dynamic. Most just put up with the abuse. It isn't about age, it's about how the victim is convinced to carry on self-victimization. Rather than listening to his own rational voice, he hears only the voice of his abuser. That's why often the abuser will call the victim a "slut" or otherwise make him feel like he's at fault. It keeps him from getting out because of his own guilt.


November 17th, 2011 at 10:54 PM ^

not as uncommon as you might think for abused kids for many emotional reasons.  Even if he sort-of "wanted" the abuse/relationship to continue as he got older, it is still criminal sexual abuse of the highest level - this started when he was young.  This abuse certainly could affect his mind as he matured. 


November 18th, 2011 at 12:09 AM ^

You never know how a sexually abused person might react later in life. All of this speculation about what a victim should or would do is insensitive and ignorant. I personally know a person that was sexually abused as a young child (6-7 yrs old) as that person progressed though their pre-teen and tenage years that person actually sought out pedophiles because thats what made that person comfortable.

Now does that make the situation right? Hell no, but this person was so messed up and the situation went on for so long, this person became comfortable with a horrible situation...

Bo Knows

November 17th, 2011 at 10:29 PM ^

Exactly what I was thinking, I am so confused as to how a high school student would allow a grown man to do this to him and continue to go one recruiting trips and to hotels with him.  Something about this just doesn't make any sense.


November 17th, 2011 at 10:34 PM ^

Let's all go ahead and assume that there's no way the victim is lying and that Bernie Fine definitely did what he's being accused of... because that's clearly what any sane person on this blog would do.


November 17th, 2011 at 10:43 PM ^

horrible thing that has gone on the last couple weeks. Who knows how many more people will actually come foward now. It makes you think how much of this stuff actually goes on with some of these people in power. It makes me think of who is watching the watchers.


November 17th, 2011 at 10:48 PM ^

But did anyone else see Ace's tweet:
<br>“@AceAnbender: Oh boy RT @elevenwarriors: We are 99.7% sure Urban Meyer has agreed to a deal to become the next coach of Ohio State. Solid sources. Plural.”
<br>For those of you non tweeters this is eleven warriors saying they think Urban is headed to OSU


November 17th, 2011 at 10:54 PM ^

In reply this guy said

"Urban Meyer's father passed away six days ago. Could Urban be headed to OSU? Sure, timing seems off right now however."

Also, it's not known the sanctions OSU might face, although they might get a slap on the wrist for Tattoo-gate. Stupid NCAA


November 17th, 2011 at 11:48 PM ^

Americans really need to shed their puritanism.  I'm sure Sandusky is guilty of molestation, but I wouldn't be surprised if the anal rape thing was completely made up by McQueary.  His "Emails" that got leaked really seem like he's trying to cover his ass by lying and he doesn't seem at all credible.  

If americans weren't so hysterical about everything sexual, you would get false accusations and false testimony so often in these kinds of cases.   Things like the Kern county fiasco damage real cases.  I'm worried that Sandusky might get off on some of the charges if it's proven that other charges have been exaggerated or fabricated.  


November 18th, 2011 at 1:11 AM ^

Although I stand firmly on the fact that victims react to sexual abuse in a variety of ways, I just saw partial interviews of the alleged victims and honestly they seem like a couple dirtbags...


November 18th, 2011 at 8:02 AM ^

You can never be too sure about these kinds of things, but this one feels a little bit fishy.  It comes out right after the PSU case came out?

Devil'sAdvocate:  Well maybe this finally gave him the courage to stand up for himself now!

Noooo no no, he accused Fine of mollesting him back in 2003.  All the witnesses he said would support him all denied any wrongdoing on Fine's part, and Syracuse's head coach has said this is the product of thousands of lies, or something to that effect.

Devil'sAdvocate:  But, now there is another coming forward at Syracuse about the molestations.  Surely it can be no coincidence!!

The other one coming forwardo is related to the first one....  He could just be supporting his brother-in-law by saying these things.

I agree with your overall sentiment, but I don't know if I'd say dirtbags.  They seem like crazies.  I saw the same partial interview (on ESPN?) and the first guy couldn't keep his eyes straight for more than a second.  He looked like a recovering drug addict.  I don't think that's a response to a sexual assault, dude looks crazy.  Second guy, the step brother, seemed a little more on the dirtbaggy side.

I definitely want to hear the results of this investigation, because I don't think Fine has sexually abused those guys.  


November 18th, 2011 at 9:59 AM ^

PSU needs to go learn from Syracuse's Chancellor. This morning she released this statement.

Assuming what she wrote is true, 'Cuse:

-Had the police (city, not their own department) look at it. They found nothing and dropped it.
-Did their own inquiry, also found nothing.

So Syracuse is light years ahead of PSU in terms of how they respond to these incidents.


November 18th, 2011 at 10:16 AM ^

As the resident Syracuse guy, I've been waiting on chiming in on this as to not give a kneejerk reaction.

The more I read about it, the more I don't buy it.  If any of it is true, Bernie Fine would need to be gone yesterday, but knowing Syracuse, they don't put up with shit like this.  SU is definitely not Penn State, and I'm glad our Chancellor continues to show that.

The letter above was in my inbox before I even woke up this morning.

From my understanding, the accuser contacted ESPN in 2003 during our National Championship year to allege that Bernie Fine molested him over the course of 12 years from when he was 15 until he was 27.  ESPN Outside the Lines investigated but could not corroborate any of his claims and decided not to run the story.

In 2005, the accuser contacted the Syracuse Post-Standard, Syracuse University, and Syracuse Police.  All three did investigations and could not corroborate any of his allegations, including a four-month investigation by SU.

Now in 2011, the accuser went again to ESPN with a second accuser who happens to be his step-brother.

So it appears that through 2005, there were four investigations conducted - Syracuse Police, Syracuse University, Syracuse Post-Standard, and ESPN to which none could corroborate any of his allegations.  Mark Schwarz from ESPN is now running this story after the accuser's stepbrother comes forward.  The mother of the accuser stated that he only travelled with the team on bus trips since he was afraid to fly (the accuser states he was molested at the 1987 Final Four which was in New Orleans).

I just found out about all of this last night so I don't know more than what I do above, and knowing the way that Syracuse University and SU's Judicial Affairs operate.  If any of the accusations are true, I trust that SU will bring the hammer down on anyone culpable, but this all seems really fishy to me.