SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Syracuse assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine says allegations that he molested two former ball boys for years are “patently false.”
The school placed Fine on administrative leave Thursday “in light of the new allegations” and an investigation by the Syracuse City Police.
In a statement released by one of his attorneys Friday, Fine said the allegations have been thoroughly investigated multiple times and that he has fully cooperated with past inquiries.
“Sadly, we live in an allegation-based society and an Internet age where in a matter of minutes one’s lifelong reputation can be severely damaged. I am confident that, as in the past, a review of these allegations will be discredited and restore my reputation. I hope the latest review of these allegations will be conducted expeditiously.
“Finally, I appreciate (Chancellor Nancy Cantor’s) statement that I should be accorded a fair opportunity to defend myself against these accusations. I fully intend to do so. There should never be a rush to judgment when someone’s personal integrity and career are on the line.”
Cantor vowed Friday that the school will not turn a blind eye to child molesting allegations that resurfaced just two weeks after the Penn State scandal.
ESPN reported the accusations were made by two former ball boys.
Bobby Davis, now 39, told ESPN that Fine allegedly molested him beginning in 1984 and that the sexual contact continued until he was around 27. A ball boy for six years, Davis told ESPN the alleged abuse occurred at Fine’s home, at Syracuse basketball facilities and on team road trips, including the 1987 Final Four.
Davis’ stepbrother, Mike Lang, 45, who also was a ball boy, told ESPN that Fine molested him starting while he was in fifth or sixth grade.
Fine is in his 35th season as a Syracuse assistant.