Syracuse puts Fine on leave after police inquiry

Associated Press  |  Last updated November 17, 2011
Just two weeks after Penn State was rocked by a child sex-abuse scandal, ESPN reported Thursday that police were investigating an assistant basketball coach at Syracuse University on allegations of child molestation. Shortly afterward, Syracuse placed longtime assistant coach Bernie Fine on administrative leave ''in light of the new allegations and the Syracuse City Police investigation,'' the school said. ''We are in the very early stages of an investigation,'' Sgt. Tom Connellan told The Post-Standard in Syracuse (http://bit.ly/saDgk9). Connellan told the newspaper that police received information on the case Thursday but would not say who provided the information. Phone calls by The Associated Press to the police were not immediately returned. Fine is in his 35th season as an assistant to Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim. After a reporter knocked on the doors of the homes of Fine and Boeheim, he was told neither was home. ESPN reported that Fine is accused of molesting a former Syracuse ball boy, who is now 39. The alleged victim told ESPN the abuse occurred at Fine's home, at Syracuse basketball facilities and on team road trips, including the 1987 Final Four. ESPN said it first investigated the accusations in 2003 but decided not to run the story because there was no independent evidence to corroborate the allegations. Recently, a second man contacted ESPN, alleging that Fine also molested him. That person said he decided to come forward after seeing the Penn State coverage. The Post-Standard reported it also investigated the accuser's allegations in 2003 but did not publish the story because it did not have a second person to confirm the accuser's account. The resurfacing of the accusations arrived on the heels of the Penn State case in which longtime former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky is accused of sexually abused eight boys over 15 years. The case cost Joe Paterno his job, and former school administrators Tim Curley and Gary Schultz are charged with not properly alerting authorities to suspected abuse and perjury. Syracuse senior vice president for public affairs Kevin Quinn said in a statement that Syracuse was contacted in 2005 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 associated 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.''
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Tom Hanks taking ‘NFL moratorium’ when Raiders leave Oakland

Ex-Obama adviser touts Theo Epstein as potential candidate

Report: 49ers are not buying the Mitch Trubisky-to-Browns talk

Report: Browns source calls Garrett best draft talent in six years

Jaguars reportedly interested in Deshaun Watson at No. 4

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Teams believe Browns somehow will get Trubisky

JJ Watt offers to help pay Rockets owner’s fine

WATCH: Birthday boy Aaron Judge homers and makes spectacular catch at Fenway

Predators rookie Kevin Fiala carted off and hospitalized after gruesome collision

Warriors invite members of ‘We Believe’ team to playoff game

Report: Emails suggest no foul play in Eli Manning memorabilia case

Stanley Cup Playoffs: Eastern rivalries take center stage

Marshawn Lynch gives an already-spurned city hometown appeal

Everything you need for the 2017 NFL Draft

Box Score 4/27: Waiting for Goodell to call our name

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The 'Bonehead blunder that watered down the 1931 AL home run crown' quiz

Draft prospects we're most excited to see in the NFL

Stanley Cup Playoffs: The West is full of surprises

Box Score 4/26: NFL Draft eve

The 'QB or not QB? That is the question' quiz

How the Astros are following the Cubs' blueprint to the top

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Paul Millsap needs a twin phone

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Stanley Cup Playoffs: Eastern rivalries take center stage

Marshawn Lynch gives an already-spurned city hometown appeal

Everything you need for the 2017 NFL Draft

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The 'Bonehead blunder that watered down the 1931 AL home run crown' quiz

Draft prospects we're most excited to see in the NFL

Stanley Cup Playoffs: The West is full of surprises

How the Astros are following the Cubs' blueprint to the top

The 'QB or not QB? That is the question' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Paul Millsap needs a twin phone

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker