SU assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine suspended, Boeheim offers his support


SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WKTV) - According to ESPN, Syracuse Police are investigating an allegation that Syracuse University Men's Basketball Associate Head Coach Bernie Fine molested a team ball boy back in the 1980's. Syracuse University has now placed Fine on administrative leave.

Police tell ESPN that the investigation is in it's early stages.

The alleged victim, 39-year old Bobby Davis, told ESPN that he was molested for a period of 12 years starting in 1983 and that it continued until he was 27 years old. There is a second individual who is also coming forward with accusations. Details of that case have not been released publicly.

Shortly after 8:30 p.m., the University released the following statements:

“In light of the new allegations and the Syracuse City Police investigation, this evening Chancellor Cantor asked Director of Athletics Dr. Daryl Gross, to place Associate Head Coach Bernie Fine on administrative leave."

Syracuse University released the following statement a short time before that:

“In 2005, Syracuse University was contacted by an adult male who told us that he had reported to the Syracuse City Police that he had been subjected to inappropriate contact by an associate men’s basketball coach. The alleged activity took place in the 1980’s and 1990’s. We were informed by the complainant that the Syracuse City Police had declined to pursue the matter because the statute of limitations had expired. 

On hearing of the allegations in 2005, the University immediately launched its own comprehensive investigation through its legal counsel. That nearly four-month long investigation included a number of interviews with people the complainant said would support his claims. All of those identified by the complainant denied any knowledge of wrongful conduct by the associate coach.  The associate coach also vehemently denied the allegations. 

Syracuse University takes any allegation of this sort extremely seriously and has zero tolerance for abuse of any kind. If any evidence or corroboration of the allegations had surfaced, we would have terminated the associate coach and reported it to the police immediately. We understand that the Syracuse City Police has now reopened the case, and Syracuse University will cooperate fully. We are steadfastly committed ensuring that SU remains a safe place for every member of our campus community.”

Syracuse Head Coach Jim Boeheim also released a statment late Thursday. He said, "This matter was fully investigated by the University in 2005 and it was determined that the allegations were unfounded. I have known Bernie Fine for more than 40 years. 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."

Stay with NEWSChannel 2 for the latest as this story develops.

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