A few hours ago it was announced that police have begun an investigation into the allegations against Syracuse University basketball assistant coach Bernie Fine. The charges? That he molested a Syracuse Orange team ball boy for more than a decade.
You’ve heard the commonly used expression “celebrities die in threes,” in the past week it’s applied to University athletics department employees molesting children as well. In the past week we’ve heard about instances of child sexual abuse within the programs at Penn State, The Citadel and now Syracuse.
According to the University SID, the allegations cover a period that spans both the 1980s and ’90s; and Syracuse placed Fine on administrative leave in the wake of these allegations.
According to Fox Sports:
The alleged victim, 39-year-old Bobby Davis, told ESPN the abuse began in 1983 before he entered seventh grade. He was the team’s ball boy for six years from 1984.
He said the alleged abuse occurred at Fine’s home, at Syracuse University facilities and on team road trips.
Fine has served as an assistant coach at the school for 35 years.
Police told CNY Central the investigation is in its very early stages.
ESPN is reporting that Davis originally reported the alleged abuse to the Syracuse police in ’03, but a police detective told him the statute of limitations on the crime had expired. Davis also claims a police detective within the department told him that if he knew of any boys currently being molested by Fine, he should tell them and they would then investigate.
Davis told the police he believed other boys were being molested by Fine, but that he only had first hand knowledge of his own molestation.
By the way, the police chief at the time was Denis DuVal, a former member of the SU college basketball team. Just saying.
The University released a statement to the media saying they received a complaint in 2005, but didn’t pursue the matter because further because the city police department wasn’t going to pursue the case- due to the statute of limitations expiring. The school further stated that they would fully comply with any requests from the police, now that they have re-opened the case.
This situation doesn’t resemble Penn State very much- yet. We only have one victim/accuser at this point. However int he wake of these allegations more alleged victims may come forward in the coming days. It pains me to say it, but I have trouble believing that Penn State is the only place where this type of sordid, illegal, evil type of thing goes on. The Syracuse police department also said that this investigation is only in it’s very early stages; so many more disturbing news stories could break soon.
A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; he’s also a member of the FWAA, USBWA and SPJ. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.