Bernie Fine, Syracuse University basketball coach, accused of molestation


Assistant Coach Bernie Fine, of the Syracuse Orange of the Connecticut Huskies during the quarterfinals of the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden in New York City.


Jim McIsaac

Syracuse University's assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine has been put on administrative leave after a former ball boy for the team told ESPN that he had been molested by Fine.

Bobby Davis, 39, said that he was molested by Fine "hundreds of times," The New York Times reported. Davis said the molestation began in 1983, when he was in the seventh grade, and lasted more than 10 years.

Fine has denied the allegations, USA Today reported.  

"Simply put, these allegations are patently false in every aspect," said Fine.  

Syracuse Coach Jim Boeheim defended Fine, who has been Boeheim's assistant coach for 35 years.

In a statement released Thursday night, Syracuse University said that the allegations were first brought to its attention six years ago, and the school launched an internal investigation.

According to the statement: 

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.

We understand that the Syracuse City Police has now reopened the case, and Syracuse University will cooperate fully. We are steadfastly committed to ensuring that SU remains a safe place for every member of our campus community.

Boeheim was never informed of the charges by Davis. 

“The university investigated this, the university talked to the people he said to talk to; none of them corroborated it,” Boeheim said, the Times reported.  

According to USA Today, no charges have been filed, and Fine is under investigation by Syracuse police. 

The story was first reported on ESPN's Outside the Lines. According to Davis, the abuse occurred at Fine's home, at Syracuse basketball facilities, and on road trips, USA Today reported.

"In light of the new allegations and the Syracuse City Police investigation, this evening Chancellor (Nancy) Cantor asked Director of Athletics Dr. Daryl Gross, to place Associate Head Coach Bernie Fine on administrative leave," said the school's senior vice president for public affairs, Kevin C. Quinn, said in a statement, CNN reported.

The news comes after reports that a coach at Penn State University, Jerry Sandusky, has been accused of sexually assaults.