Syracuse basketball coach fired over sexual abuse investigation


Syracuse assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine was fired on Sunday, after 36 consecutive seasons, due to sexual abuse allegations.


Jim McIsaac

Syracuse University fired assistant men’s basketball coach Bernie Fine Sunday night, hours after new reports of his alleged sexual abuse of boys, CNN reported.

"At the direction of Chancellor Cantor, Bernie Fine's employment with Syracuse University has been terminated, effective immediately," a statement released by school spokesman Kevin Quinn, ESPN reported.

Fine was placed on administrative leave earlier this month after former team ball boy Bobby Davis and his stepbrother Mike Lang accused Fine of molesting them, CNN reported. Fine, 65, was in his 36th season at his alma mater and had the longest active streak of consecutive season at one school among assistant coaches in Division I, USA Today reported.

An investigation was opened up by police on Nov. 17. His termination comes after a third accuser stepped forward and told the police he was also sexually molested by Fine. Zach Tomaselli, 23, of Lewiston, Maine, told Syracuse police on Wednesday that Fine molested him in 2002 in a Pittsburgh hotel room when Tomaselli was 13-years-old, The Syracuse Post-Standard reported. this led to police searching Fine’s home on Friday, a source told The Post-Standard.

Tomaselli faces sexual assault charges in Maine involving a 14-year-old boy and said he signed an affidavit accusing Fine of molesting him, ESPN reported. However, Tomaselli’s father believes his son is lying.

Fine has called the allegations by Syracuse’s former ball boys, “patently false,” ESPN reported.