By Geoffrey Ratliff
When allegations of sexual misconduct against former Syracuse’s Bernie Fine first surfaced over a month ago, head coach Jim Boeheim vehemently defended his long-time assistant, providing the following quote to the Syracuse Post-Standard:
“The Penn State came out and the kid behind this is trying to get money. If he gets this, he’s going to sue the university and Bernie. What do you think is going to happen at Penn State? You know how much money is going to be involved in civil suits? I’d say about $50 million. That’s what this is about, money.”
This was very early on in the case before any of the details that we now know about the tape recording and a third accuser were ever revealed, but I said at the time of this statement that if Boeheim turned out to be wrong, he could be setting himself up for serious disciplinary action from the University, including a fate similar to that of Penn State icon Joe Paterno.
Last night, during his post-game press conference following a win over Florida, Boeheim somewhat admitted as such by stating that he “misspoke badly” when initially questioning the motives of Fine’s accusers (see full video here):
The university has steadfastly supported its legendary basketball coach, and at this point there is absolutely no evidence suggesting that Boeheim ever had any sort of knowledge of Fine’s indiscretions either during or after they occurred. I’m not suggesting that he be fired, but he certainly deserves some type of serious disciplinary action from the school if these allegations prove to be true because it is absolutely irresponsible in every since of the word to openly question the motives of victims of such a heinous crime, and Syracuse needs to send a strong message that they will not tolerate such behavior.