Bernie Fine says accusations are "patently false"

By ANDREW DONOVAN

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WKTV) - Syracuse University's associate head coach Bernie Fine, who's accused of molesting team ball boys in the 1980s and 1990s according to ESPN, denied all charges against him on Friday.

Fine was put on administrative leave Thursday after the story was reported by ESPN. On Friday, Fine said, "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. I am confident that, as in the past, a review of these allegations will be discredited and restore my reputation."

According to the ESPN article, two now-grown men allege that Fine molested them in them nearly 20 years ago.

One of the accusers says he went to Syracuse Police in 2003 was told the statue of limitations had passed. The investigation is now reopened as a new accuser has come forward.

When the story broke on Thursday night, Head Coach Jim Boeheim offered strong support in favor of Fine. He said, "I have never seen or witnessed anything to suggest that he would been involved in any of the activities alleged. Had I seen or suspected anything, I would have taken action. Bernie has my full support."

On Friday, Boeheim announced that former SU player Gerry McNamara would be tentatively elevated to the position of associate coach in wake of Fine's absence.

Syracuse University Chancellor Nancy Cantor also released a statement Friday. She said, "Following the terrible news that came out of Penn State in the last several weeks, this is clearly distressing to all of us in the Syracuse University community."

The Orange will take on Colgate Saturday at the Carrier Dome.

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