In another disturbing sexual misconduct sure to rock the college sports landscape, Syracuse men’s assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine has been accused of sexual molesting two former team ball boys over a nearly 20-year period of time from the late seventies through the late nineteen-nineties. The Syracuse police department has opened an investigation into these claims and Fine has been put on administrative leave by the school.
During an interview with the two accusers aired by ESPN, disturbing details were provided about how Fine took advantage of now 39 year-old Bobby Davis and his stepbrother, now 45 year-old Mike Lang. What struck me about the interview is that, when asked why now, Lang mentioned that the Penn State scandal motivated him to speak up about this to try and raise awareness of the issue and prevent others from suffering like he, Davis, and countless victims of Jerry Sandusky did.
A fascinating twist to this case is that Jim Boeheim has come out and very publicly supported Fine, the longest tenured assistant in men’s division one college basketball. Boeheim went so far as to question the motivations of the accusers and stating that they are flat out lying. No other witnesses or victims have come out to support Davis and Lang’s claims, but if the facts surrounding the claims turn out to be remotely true, Boeheim’s support of his friend and long-time colleague could make him the second high profile coach to become a casualty of a terrible scandal, joining the likes of Joe Paterno in the forced retirement home.