Sunday, November 27, 2011

Recapping what's happened at Syracuse today

Its been an eventful day in upstate New York.

This morning, ESPN published excerpts from a phone call between Bernie Fine's wife and one of the people accusing Fine, an assistant on the Syracuse basketball team at the time, of molesting him. There is plenty of explosive information that comes to light from that phone call, but the most relevant: that Fine's wife, Laurie, seems to confirm the fact that she knew that her husband was abusing more than one kid and that Laurie and Bobby Davis, the accuser, had a sexual relationship.

Umm, whoa.

It gets crazier.

A third accuser has come forward. Zach Tomaselli, a 23 year old man from Maine, said he was abused by Fine in 2002. He also said he was abused by his father around the same time. His dad, who he's estranged from for four years, claims that his son is lying. And if that wasn't enough, Tomaselli is currently facing his own charges of molesting a child.

The result?

Fine was fired this evening. Here is the statement from the Syracuse Chancellor, Nancy Cantor.

The question now becomes whether or not Jim Boeheim is going to be able to keep his job, and he made big strides in the right direction by releasing this statement late on Sunday night:

"The allegations that have come forth today are disturbing and deeply troubling. 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."

I've bolded the key sentences.

Boeheim hasn't been a part of a cover-up that allowed Fine to operate. He lashed out when he believed that a long-time friend of his was being attacked by two people looking for money. And while its still unclear what, exactly, happened in the Fine household, today's reports made it nearly impossible to think Fine is completely innocent.

Boeheim was right to apologize. He had to. He took a huge risk when he emphatically stated that Fine's accusers were doing nothing but looking for a payday. Those statements came back to bite him today.

Its been said before and will be said over and over again in the coming week, but this situation is different that what occurred at Penn State. I doubt that Boeheim will be fired as a result of it, but I do think that today's events will make it significantly less likely that Boeheim will ever coach in the ACC.

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