One of the four men accusing former Syracuse Assistant Coach Bernie Fine of sexual assault, made a major retraction yesterday. He admitted he was 100% lying and that Fine never actually molested him.
Fine was Jim Boeheim’s right hand man for decades at Syracuse University until the sexual abuse claims surfaced and the school fired Fine.
Accuser and current prison inmate Floyd VanHooser wrote a letter where said he lied to both police and in his December interviews with The Associated Press and to The Post-Standard newspaper of Syracuse.
Fine helped raise the 56-year-old VanHooser after his parents died.
On Thursday, The Post-Standard received copies of two letters dated Nov. 29 that VanHooser wrote and mailed to Fine. One letter is addressed to Fine and the other “to whom it may concern.”
“In a statement I gave, I told a lot of lies about Bernie Fine. None of what I said was true,” VanHooser wrote. “Bernie has been nothing but good to me over the years. He was the only thing I had close to a father. He never did anything wrong. He is a good man.”
VanHooser confirmed Friday that he wrote the letters and did so without being asked. When asked if his statements to police were true, VanHooser said only parts were.
When Syracuse police detectives questioned him about Fine’s relationship with him as a child, VanHooser said he did not offer specifics.
“They suggested things and I went along with it,” VanHooser told the newspaper.
The moment the detectives walked out of the room, VanHooser said, he regretted saying Fine had abused him.
VanHooser said he was still angry with Fine about not helping him hire a lawyer so he repeated the false allegations to the AP and The Post-Standard. He said he wanted “revenge” but did not think “the story would go as far as it did.”
Fine has denied wrongdoing and has yet to be charged, but a federal investigation is ongoing. The first two accusers, both former Syracuse ball boys, have seen the statute of limitations on the allegations expire. The third accuser has a claim lacking in credibility according to the prosecutor.
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports
A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; and he’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too
VanHooser was angry at Fine for not helping him hire a lawyer to fight a criminal conviction. That was his motivation for the lie. VanHooser is serving 16 years to life at Clinton state prison near the New York/Canada border as a persistent felony burglar.
Leave a Reply