Syracuse police begin investigation of molestation allegations against SU assistant basketball coach

first_img Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on November 17, 2011 at 12:00 pmcenter_img UPDATED: Nov, 17. 10:13 p.m. Syracuse police are investigating an allegation that an assistant coach on the men’s basketball team molested a team ball boy for more than a dozen years. Bernie Fine, an assistant who works with the SU frontcourt players, is alleged to have molested Bobby Davis, now 39 years old, beginning in 1984 when Davis was in seventh grade. In light of the new allegations and the investigation, Syracuse University Athletic Director Daryl Gross, with a request by Chancellor Nancy Cantor, placed Fine on administrative leave, according to an email statement from the university by Kevin Quinn, senior vice president for public affairs. In a statement issued Thursday night in an email, Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim gave Fine his full support and said the allegations were unfounded.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text ‘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,’ he said. When reached by phone, Boeheim declined to comment beyond the statement he released. The abuse occurred at Fine’s home, at the Syracuse basketball facilities and on road trips, according to an ESPN article. A call to Fine’s home was answered by an unidentified woman who said Fine is currently ‘out of town’ and all comments from now on will have to be made through his attorney. Davis reported the abuse to Syracuse police in 2003 but was told the statute of limitations had run out, according to the article. Dennis Duval, a former Syracuse basketball player, was the police chief at the time of the report. An unidentified female answered the phone at Duval’s home but said he was not home. In a statement, Quinn said university officials launched their own investigation in 2005 after an adult male reported inappropriate conduct by an associate men’s basketball coach to the Syracuse Police Department. ‘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,’ according to the statement. In the statement, Quinn said if any evidence or corroboration of the allegations had surfaced, the university would have terminated the associate coach and reported it to the police immediately. The university will cooperate fully with the police, the statement said. Calls to the Syracuse University athletic department were not immediately returned. Scoop Jardine, a senior on the SU basketball team, answered his cellphone but said he could not comment on the allegations. Calls to Syracuse police Sgt. Tom Connellan were deferred to later this evening. Fine and Boeheim first met in 1963, when Fine was a student manager and Boeheim was a freshman on the basketball team. Fine graduated from Syracuse in 1967 and went into business for himself. In 1976, he was hired by Boeheim as an assistant coach. Fine has been a part of the Syracuse basketball program since that point as a longtime assistant to Boeheim. He’s been known to primarily work with SU’s centers, mentoring SU greats such as Roosevelt Bouie, Rony Seikaly, Etan Thomas and Arinze Onuaku. [email protected] [email protected]last_img

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