The culture of college sports is about to take another hit in wake of the Penn State scandal, as allegations of molestation have surfaced at another university.
According to ESPN, Syracuse police is telling Outside the Lines that they are investigating Syracuse University basketball assistant coach Bernie Fine following allegations that he molested a team ball boy during the mid-1980s. Fine has been an assistant of head coach Jim Boheim for 35 seasons.
The alleged victim, Bobby Davis, told Outside the Lines that Fine started molesting him in 1983 when Davis was in seventh grade. A year later, Davis took over as a ball boy for the team, a position he held for six years. The abuse allegedly occurred on Syracuse basketball facilities, at Fine's home and even at the 1987 Final Four.
A relative of Davis also told ESPN that he was molested by Fine, and Davis says that the abuse went on until he was 27.
Syracuse released the following statement to ESPN:
"In 2005, Syracuse University was contacted by an adult male who told us that he had reported to the Syracuse City Police that he had been subjected to inappropriate contact by an associate men's basketball coach. The alleged activity took place in the 1980's and 1990's. We were informed by the complainant that the Syracuse City Police had declined to pursue the matter because the statute of limitations had expired.
"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.
"Syracuse University takes any allegation of this sort extremely seriously and has zero tolerance for abuse of any kind. If any evidence or corroboration of the allegations had surfaced, we would have terminated the associated coach and reported it to the police immediately. We understand that the Syracuse City Police has now reopened the case, and Syracuse University will cooperate fully. We are steadfastly committed ensuring that SU remains a safe place for every member of our campus community."
Davis says he reported the incident to authorities in 2003, but he was told that the statute of limitations had run out. The Syracuse police chief at the time was Dennis Duval, who played basketball at Syracuse for Boheim.