Long time Syracuse University assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine has been accused of sex abuse by a former ball boy. Fine has been a coach at Syracuse for 36 years.
Bobby Davis, now 39 years old, alleges that Coach Fine abused him beginning all the way back in 1984 when Davis was in the 7th grade. Davis was a ball boy for the Syracuse basketball team. A second man Mike Lang, who is Davis’ stepbrother, also a ball boy, has also come forward with similar allegations of sexual abuse from when he was in 5th grade. The police have opened an investigation into the allegations and Coach Fine has been placed on leave.
ESPN’s Outside the Lines has the details about the alleged abuse, including an interview with Davis (trigger warning).
The immediate victim blaming by Coach Boeheim is really appalling to me. The New York Times reported:
Boeheim told ESPN: “I believe they are looking for money. I believe they saw what happened at Penn State, and they are using ESPN to get money. That is what I believe.”
It appears that the one positive thing to come from the Penn State case may be that it has empowered other survivors to speak out.
UPDATE: Syracuse Chancellor Nancy Cantor’s message to Syracuse community is fair and without victim blaming which is refreshing.