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SPECIAL EDITION mon day, nov em ber 2 8 , 2 01 1

FINE FIRED t h e i n de pe n de n t s t u de n t n e w spa pe r of s y r acuse , n e w yor k

Three accusers have come forward

SU thrust into national spotlight

Fine placed on leave Nov. 17 by chancellor

Chancellor ends Fine’s SU tenure

Third person details abuse allegations By Debbie Truong ASST. NEWS EDITOR

By Michael Cohen

A third person has stepped forward and accused Bernie Fine, former associate head coach of men’s basketball, of sexual molestation. The accusations prompted a search of Fine’s home Friday that lasted hours long. Zach Tomaselli, 23, of Lewiston, Maine, told Syracuse police he was molested by Fine in a hotel the night before SU played an away game against Pittsburgh in 2002, according to an article published in The Post-Standard on Sunday. Tomaselli, who was 13 years old at the time and lived 78 miles north of Syracuse, said nobody witnessed the alleged abuse and he has no physical evidence of the

SPORTS EDITOR

Bernie Fine, the associate head coach for men’s basketball at Syracuse University, was fired Sunday amid allegations of sexual abuse. The termination comes in the aftermath of allegations that Fine sexually assaulted two former ball boys and another youth. The announcement was made in a statement from Kevin Quinn, SU’s senior vice president for public affairs, on the university website “At the direction of Chancellor (Nancy) Cantor, Bernie Fine’s employment with Syracuse University has been terminated, effective

bobby yarbrough | staff photographer

SEE TOMASELLI PAGE 5

Editor’s Note The Daily Orange publication calendar did not include a paper for the Monday after Fall Break, but because of the developing story about Bernie Fine, former associate head coach for men’s basketball, and the allegations of sexual abuse that have been brought against him, the editors at The D.O. felt it was important to have one. No advertisements appear in the paper to focus on the content. We hope our readers will continue to follow the story through The D.O. and, as always, feel free to voice their opinions about the news happening on campus with a Letter to the Editor. Send any comments, concerns or questions to editor@dailyorange.com.

Fine dismissed after phone call released

SEE FINE PAGE 2

Police search Fine’s house after Fine’s wife admitted concerns in third accuser comes forward ‘02 phone call with accuser Davis By Debbie Truong ASST. NEWS EDITOR

Police searched the DeWitt home of former Syracuse men’s basketball associate head coach Bernie Fine on Friday afternoon, according to an article published by The PostStandard. State troopers stood in the driveway to Fine’s home, located at 7001 Tiffany Circle at 2:25 p.m., according to the article. Three officers were seen looking through

Fine’s garbage bins, and six or more police vehicles lined the street. Fine is accused of molesting two former Syracuse ball boys and a third youth. Fine was fired from the university Sunday night. The search began at approximately 1:45 p.m. A state police officer told The Post-Standard that police from several agencies were carrying out a search warrant. Police were spotted speaking to

SEE SEARCH PAGE 5

By Mark Cooper ASST. SPORTS EDITOR

Bernie Fine’s wife admitted to concerns about her husband’s molestation of a Syracuse University men’s basketball team ball boy in their home in a 2002 tape-recorded telephone conversation, according to an article and video published by ESPN on Sunday. Bobby Davis accused Fine, a former SU associate head coach, of molesting him for more than a dozen years, begin-

ning when Davis was in the seventh grade. Davis legally recorded a phone call with Laurie Fine, Fine’s wife, on Oct. 8, 2002, according to the LAURIE FINE article. ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” obtained the recording of the phone call from Davis and hired a voice

SEE LAURIE FINE PAGE 2


2 nov ember 28, 2 011

special edition

FINE

FROM PAGE 1

immediately,” Quinn said in the statement. Cantor also issued a statement to the university Sunday night. She said in the statement that SU has been cooperating fully with the authorities and that the university did not have access to a tape-recorded phone call between Fine’s wife, Laurie, and Bobby Davis, one of the former ball boys and an accuser, when the university conducted its investigation in 2005. “Frankly, the events of the past week have shaken us all,” she said in the statement. Cantor said it is vital that the university examines its protocols and actions in dealing with such serious allegations. Cantor said the university needs to learn all that it can from this terrible lesson. If anything good comes out of this tragedy, Cantor said, it will be that the basic principle that SU does not tolerate abuse will be enforced. Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim issued a statement through Pete Moore, director of

athletic communications, in an email Sunday. Boeheim said he is personally very shocked at the news of the allegations because he has never witnessed any of the alleged activities. “I believe the university took the appropriate step tonight,” he said in the statement. “What is most important is that this matter be fully investigated and that anyone with information be supported to come forward so that the truth can be found. I deeply regret any statements I made that might have inhibited that from occurring or been insensitive to victims of abuse.” The firing comes 10 days after ESPN broke a story detailing allegations of molestation against Fine by two former SU ball boys. Bobby Davis, 39, and his stepbrother, Mike Lang, 45, both accused Fine of molesting them in the 1980s and ‘90s. A third accuser, Zach Tomaselli, 23, of Lewiston, Maine, accused Fine of molesting him in 2002. That molestation allegedly took place in a hotel room the night before SU played an away game at Pittsburgh. Nobody answered the door at Fine’s residence. Across the street at the Boeheim

residence, Juli Boeheim waved Daily Orange reporters away from the Boeheim property. Fine was a student manager when Boeheim was a freshman on the Syracuse basketball team. After graduating from SU in 1967, Fine went into business for himself. He returned to SU to be an assistant under Boeheim in 1976. He was in his 35th season as an assistant and worked primarily with SU’s forwards and centers during his career. He worked closely with Orange stars Roosevelt Bouie, Rony Seikaly, Etan Thomas and Arinze Onuaku throughout the years.   Athletic Director Daryl Gross could not be reached to comment. A call to assistant coach Mike Hopkins was not immediately returned. Scoop Jardine, a senior guard on the men’s basketball team, declined to comment when reached on his cellphone. Dion Waiters, a sophomore guard on the men’s basketball team, declined to comment when reached on his cellphone. mjcohe02@syr.edu — Asst. Sports Editors Mark Cooper and Ryne Gery, Asst. News Editor Liz Sawyer, and Asst. Copy Editors Andrew Tredinnick and Breanne Van

PERSPECTIVES compiled by stephen bailey and stacie fanelli | the daily orange

How will the charges against Fine affect the program’s future?

“It might hurt recruiting next year. We have DaJuan Coleman already signed, and hopefully he doesn’t change his mind.” Kevin Carpenter

SYRACUSE RESIDENT, 45, FAN FOR 15 YEARS

LAURIE FINE FROM PAGE 1

recognition expert, who said Laurie Fine’s voice matches the voice on the tape, according to the article. “I know everything that went on, you know,” she said to Davis on the phone call, according to the article. “ … Bernie has issues, maybe that he’s not aware of, but he has issues.” Davis, now 39, first gave the tape to ESPN in 2003, according to the article, but ESPN did not publish it because Davis’ story wasn’t corroborated. That changed when Mike Lang, Davis’ stepbrother and a former ball boy, accused Fine of molesting him. Fine was placed on administrative leave by the university Nov. 17, after police began a full investigation of the allegations. The tape was shared with Syracuse police after Davis’ and Lang’s most recent accusations, according to the article. “Bernie is also in denial,” Laurie Fine said on the phone call from 2002. “I think that he did the things he did, but he’s somehow, through his own mental telepathy, has erased them out of his mind.”

“Bernie is also in denial. I think that he did the things he did, but he’s somehow, through his own mental telepathy, has erased them out of his mind.”

Laurie Fine

BERNIE FINE’S WIFE

Pete Moore, Syracuse director of athletic communications, said Sunday that SU head coach Jim Boeheim would not be releasing a statement after Sunday’s news. In the late 1990s, when Davis was 27 years old, he asked Fine for $5,000 to help pay off his student loans, according to the article. The money was a topic of discussion in the recorded phone call. “When he gave you the money, what does he want for that? He wants you to grab him or he wanted to do you?” Laurie Fine said. “He wanted to do me. He wanted me to

touch him, too,” Davis said. “He tried to make me touch him a couple of times. He’d grab my hand, and then I’d pull away, and then he’d put me in your bed, and then, you know, put me down, and I’d try to go away, and he’d put his arm on top of my chest. He goes, ‘If you want this money, you’ll stay right here.’” According to the recorded phone call, Davis and Laurie Fine allegedly had a sexual relationship when Davis was an 18-year-old senior in high school. But Davis told ESPN that when he talked to Fine about the relationship with Laurie Fine, “it didn’t faze him one bit, honestly.” Laurie Fine also told Davis that she had let her husband know the alleged molestations of Davis may one day be out in the public, according to the article. “I said to him, ‘Bobby and I talked, and I know some things about you that if you keep pushing are going to be let out,’” she said, according to the article. “He doesn’t think he can be touched,” Davis answered. Laurie Fine responded: “He thinks he’s above the law.”

“I don’t think it changes my view of the program. If you asked me who Bernie Fine was before this all happened, I would have no idea who he was, so I guess it’s more of an individual judgment than a whole program judgment.” Zach Schotz

SOPHOMORE SPORT MANAGEMENT MAJOR

mcooperj@syr.edu

“It’s a great program overall, and it should continue to stay that way. Obviously, it’s going to be a little bit tarnished just because it’s such a huge allegation that it’s going to be in people’s minds anyway.” Will Boucher

JUNIOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND EMERGING ENTERPRISES MAJOR

t h e i n de pe n de n t s t u de n t n e w spa pe r of s y r acuse , n e w yor k

News Editor Sports Editor Presentation Director Copy Chief Development Editor Asst. Presentation Director Asst. News Editor Asst. News Editor Asst. News Editor

Dara McBride

Amrita Mainthia

EDITOR IN CHIEF

MANAGING EDITOR

Meghin Delaney Michael Cohen Becca McGovern Laurence Leveille Kathleen Ronayne Ankur Patankar Jon Harris Liz Sawyer Debbie Truong

Asst. Asst. Asst. Asst. Asst. Asst. Asst. Asst.

Sports Editor Sports Editor Photo Editor Photo Editor Copy Editor Copy Editor Copy Editor Copy Editor

Mark Cooper Ryne Gery Stacie Fanelli Kristen Parker Stephen Bailey Stephanie Bouvia Andrew Tredinnick Breanne Van Nostrand

General Manager IT Director IT Manager Street Team Captain Circulation Manager Circulation Circulation

Peter Waack Mike Escalante Derek Ostrander Brooke Williams Harold Heron Joyce Placito Olivia St. Denis

“I don’t think it affects my view of Boeheim really, not too much. It’s different from the Penn State incident because Boeheim didn’t know, or he says he didn’t know.” Mac Kaseman

FRESHMAN SPORT MANAGEMENT MAJOR


MONDAY

november 28, 2011

NEWS

SU allegations differ from scandal facing Penn State By Jon Harris ASST. NEWS EDITOR

On Nov. 5, one of the biggest scandals in the history of college sports began to unfold. Former Pennsylvania State University defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was arrested for a slew of sexual abuse charges. Legendary football coach Joe Paterno and President Graham Spanier were fired for their lack of action upon supposedly learning of the abuse in 2002. And about two weeks later, when Penn State seemed to have begun the long road back to prominence, news broke at Syracuse University that brought the allegations hovering over State College back to the forefront of college sports. On Nov. 17, Syracuse police began investigating an allegation that Bernie Fine, former associate coach of the men’s basketball team, molested a team ball boy for more than a dozen years. Fine, who was placed on administrative leave by the university on Nov. 17 and fired Sunday

night, is accused of molesting Bobby Davis, now 39, starting in 1984 when Davis was in seventh grade. Davis told ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” that the abuse happened at Fine’s home, the Syracuse basketball facilities and on road trips. Mike Lang, Davis’ stepbrother and a former ball boy, corroborated Davis’ story and accused Fine of molesting him as well. With the sexual abuse cases at Penn State and Syracuse both involving prominent assistant coaches and legendary head coaches, it’s hard not to compare. The cases have differences in how they’ve been handled, what may happen to the alleged abuser and what is likely to happen to the universities. A little more than a week after the initial allegations broke at SU, a third accuser told police Wednesday that Fine sexually abused him in 2002 in a Pittsburgh hotel room when he was 13. Zach Tomaselli, of Lewiston,

SEE COMPARISON PAGE 6

Onondaga County DA Fitzpatrick says firing of Fine ‘appropriate’ By Michael Cohen SPORTS EDITOR

Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick called the actions of Mayor Stephanie Miner and the Syracuse Police Department “hypocritical” Wednesday evening and reiterated he eventually will get the information he requested. Fitzpatrick said he is upset and puzzled by the “selective leaking” FITZPATRICK of documents to The Post-Standard from SPD’s ongoing investigation of the molestation allegations against former Syracuse men’s basketball associate head coach Bernie Fine. This is after Miner issued a public statement on Monday stating Syracuse police will complete their investigation before any files are turned over. New York Supreme Court Justice James Murphy will make a decision in court Tuesday as to whether SPD needs to comply with a grand jury subpoena that Fitzpatrick acquired. The subpoena requires SPD to turn over any files it has from 2002 onward involving allegations against Fine.�Fitzpatrick said if Murphy

orders the files to be turned over, they will be. “And if they don’t turn them over — that’s why this is so silly. It’s a waste of time. They’re fighting like hell not to turn the files over, and yet they’re selectively leaking them to The Post-Standard. If that isn’t hypocritical to the extreme, then I don’t know what is,” Fitzpatrick said Wednesday evening. Miner issued a statement Wednesday denying Police Chief Frank Fowler or Deputy Chief Sean Broton authorized the release of any documents to The Post-Standard. “Let me be clear: Chief Fowler and Deputy Chief Broton did not in any way authorize the release of or provide any documents or information to the Syracuse Post Standard,” Miner said in the release. Miner also noted Fitzpatrick is the only one “regularly providing information to the media.” Fitzpatrick said his office was never contacted with information regarding previous allegations made by Bobby Davis or anyone else at any time, and there is no documentation of his office ever being notified. Fitzpatrick acknowledged the statute of limitations for any allegations former ball boys Davis or Mike Lang made against Fine has run out.

SEE FITZPATRICK PAGE 4

PAGE 3

the daily orange

THROUGH THE YEARS

1963

Bernie Fine and Jim Boeheim meet when Fine was a student manager and Boeheim was a freshman on the Syracuse University men’s basketball team.

1967

Fine graduates from SU and goes into business. Fine and Boeheim remain friends.

1976

Boeheim, now head coach of the men’s basketball team at SU, hires Fine as an assistant coach. Fine has been a part of the Syracuse basketball program since then. He primarily works with SU’s centers, mentoring SU greats such as Roosevelt Bouie, Rony Seikaly, Etan Thomas and Arinze Onuaku.

2002

Bobby Davis, a former ball boy, accuses Fine of molesting him for more than a dozen years, beginning in 1984 when he was in the seventh grade. Davis reports the abuse to the Syracuse Police Department but is told the statute of limitations ran out. The abuse was said to have occurred at Fine’s home, at the Syracuse basketball facilities and on road trips. Dennis Duval, a former Syracuse basketball player, is the police chief at the time of the report.

2005

SU officials launch their own investigation after an adult male reported inappropriate conduct by an associate men’s basketball coach to SPD. The nearly four-monthlong investigation includes a number of interviews with people who Davis said would support his claims. All of those identified by the complainant deny any knowledge of wrongful conduct by the associate coach, SU officials said. The associate coach also vehemently denies the allegations.

NOV. 17

SPD reopens the investigation against Fine due to new molestation allegations from Davis, who is now 39. Davis’ stepbrother, Mike Lang, also comes forward to ESPN, claiming he was a victim of sexual abuse by Fine. In light of the new allegations and the investigation, Fine is placed on administrative leave. Boeheim gives Fine his full support and says the allegations are unfounded.

NOV. 18

Chancellor Nancy Cantor sends out an email to students describing the past accuCONTINUED ON PAGE 4

manuel martinez | staff photographer Since allegations surfaced against Bernie Fine on Nov. 17, the media and police have visited the former coach’s house at 7001 Tiffany Circle.

Local, national media descend on Syracuse Experts caution reporters not to sensationalize Fine allegations By Kathleen Ronayne DEVELOPMENT EDITOR

Allegations of molestation against former associate head men’s basketball coach Bernie Fine have thrown Syracuse University into the glare of intense media attention. Almost every major national news outlet reported on the investigation and at least a dozen news organizations sent reporters to Syracuse, where some were staked outside Fine’s house, after ESPN broke the story Nov. 17. Fine was first placed on administrative leave and was fired Sunday night. The coverage, according to sports journalists and media ethics experts, is driven by several factors: The new police investigation adds newswor-

thiness and legitimacy to the allegations against Fine; an additional accuser, Mike Lang, stepbrother of Bobby Davis, came forward to ESPN last week and another, Zach Tomaselli, came forward Sunday; and the recent sexual abuse scandal at Pennsylvania State University put competitive pressures on news organizations to avoid charges of covering up sexual abuse allegations. But the current factors for coverage also mean the media is at risk of sensationalizing the story, experts and sports journalists say. The key to evaluating the coverage depends on how aggressively reporters work to find the truth about the allegations. “It’s obviously a very dangerous

SEE MEDIA CONTROVERSY PAGE 4

Students express mixed reactions, wonder about next step for school By Dylan Segelbaum STAFF WRITER

Following Sunday’s announcement that Syracuse University officials fired men’s basketball associate head coach Bernie Fine, students’ opinions are mixed. Though many still want more information to be released, the news of Fine’s firing has altered SU students’ viewpoints. Head men’s basketball coach Jim Boeheim’s earlier statement dismissing the accusations against Fine conflicted with later reports when a third person accused Fine of sexual molestation. This pre-

vented some students from forming a strong opinion on the investigation. This was the case for Paul Bennett, a freshman political science major. “I didn’t believe it because Jim Boeheim said that there was nothing going on,” he said. Bennett said he first learned about the news about the investigation in a text message from his roommate. Initially, he did not believe the case was valid, especially because a previous investigation turned up nothing, he said. Still, he hopes it does not escalate into what occurred at Penn-

SEE STUDENT REACTIONS PAGE 6


4 nov ember 28, 2 011 CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3

tions against Fine and what the university is currently doing about it. Fine publicly denies all allegations in a statement that afternoon, and Boeheim announces the promotion of graduate assistant Gerry McNamara to the coaching staff.

NOV. 19

Syracuse police and Department of Public Safety officers are present at the men’s basketball game against Colgate, but neither SPD nor DPS can be reached to determine whether there was an increased presence in light of the Fine allegations.

NOV. 21

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner announces that SPD will not release information as it arises during its investigation of the allegations against Fine. Miner says SPD will complete its investigation fully and then turn its findings in their entirety over to the appropriate authorities and answer questions at the appropriate time. Miner says the investigation will be published as a whole rather than piece by piece because “any comments about specifics of the investigation while it is ongoing would be premature and irresponsible.” In light of the molestation allegations, SU seeks help from public relations consultant Paul Verbinnen, president and co-founder of Sard Verbinnen & Co. and a 1979 SU alumnus.

NOV. 23

Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick criticizes the way SPD has handled its investigation of Fine at a press conference. Fitzpatrick accuses Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler and Deputy Chief Sean Broton of criminally “leaking” a witness affidavit in the case to try to embarrass the prosecutor’s office. He also accuses Fowler of using new procedures to restrict access to all reports in possession of the police from the prosecution and insinuated that police officials may have vandalized one of his investigator’s cars.

NOV. 25

Police search the Fines’ DeWitt home Friday afternoon. After more than six hours of digging, officers rolled out three filing cabinets, which were covered in tape that read “Evidence,” and loaded them onto the back of a truck.

NOV. 26

A third person accuses Fine of sexual molestation. Zach Tomaselli, 23, of Lewiston, Maine, told Syracuse police he was molested by Fine in a hotel the night before SU played an away game against Pittsburgh in 2002. Tomaselli, who was 13 at the time, said nobody witnessed the alleged abuse and he has no physical evidence of the abuse happening. Tomaselli faces sexual assault charges of his own against a 14-year-old boy in Maine. Fred Tomaselli says in a phone interview Sunday that he never met Fine or allowed his son to attend the Pittsburgh game in 2002. Fred Tomaselli says his son was a victim of abuse by a neighbor when he was growing up. Instead of seeking help, Fred Tomaselli said, his son became a predator and “master liar and manipulator.”

NOV. 27

Fine is fired at the decision of Chancellor Nancy Cantor. — Compiled by Liz Sawyer, asst. news editor, egsawyer@syr.edu

special edition

MEDIA CONTROVERSY FROM PAGE 3

and very volatile environment for the media,” Wasserman said, “and the pressure is on to be far more aggressive, even to the point of recklessness.” ESPN first reported the investigation and had two of the accusers, Davis and Lang, on air Nov. 17 detailing the alleged molestation. Both ESPN and The Post-Standard say they looked into the claims Davis made in the early 2000s but could not find enough evidence to corroborate the allegations and chose not to publish the information. When the claims were brought to Syracuse police at that time, no investigation was completed because the statute of limitations had expired. Initial reporting focused mainly on reaction to the allegations. But in the 11 days since ESPN first reported the story, new information is coming to light almost daily. Coverage by major media outlets has focused on the investigations by the police and SU, public feuding between the police and the district attorney, and new evidence to potentially support Davis’ claims. On Sunday, ESPN aired excerpts from a secretly recorded phone call between Fine’s wife, Laurie, and Davis. In the conversation, recorded by Davis in 2002, the two discuss Fine molesting Davis. David Rubin, a professor of media law at SU, said ESPN acted unethically by running the initial story on Nov. 17. Since the tape’s airing, there are still many questions on ESPN’s reporting that have not been answered, such as why the tape was not aired in the initial report if ESPN already had possession of it. “I stand by what I said because none of this was known at the time,” Rubin said. “I have so many questions about this story, and I still think ESPN is putting this out in ways that do not permit a person like me … to be able to really evaluate what we’re getting.” Both ESPN and The Post-Standard had possession of the tape in 2003. According to a PostStandard article, Laurie Fine confirmed and denied portions of the tape in a 2003 interview and also said Davis pieced together parts of different conversations. She has not commented on Sunday’s stories. Questions on The Post-Standard’s reporting were directed to executive editor Mike Connor. On Nov. 20, Connor published an article

FITZPATRICK FROM PAGE 3

Because a grand jury can do more than look into criminal activity and look into the activity of a public servant, receiving the documents from SPD is crucial, he said. A third accuser’s story was published by The Post-Standard on Sunday. Fitzpatrick said he wants to know what happened in 2002 when Davis made the initial allegations, whether he was treated properly and if SPD protocols were followed. He said the district attorney’s office can also recommend administrative or legislative action depending on results. Another reason Fitzpatrick said he needs the files is to find out whether there are other alleged victims. But he said the most important reason for obtaining the documents of SPD’s investigations is to get to the truth in the best way possible, and he said his office is the best agency designed to get at the truth. “If Mr. Fine didn’t do anything, then this is beyond terrible. He needs to be cleared; he needs to be exonerated by someone that knows what they’re talking about. And if he did do it, he needs to be exposed and the young man needs to be validated. He needs to hear that, yes, it did happen,” he said.

detailing why The Post-Standard did not publish a story in 2003 due to a lack of corroboration. Just as in 2003, there are many steps to undergo to continue assessing the validity of the allegations, Connor wrote. “This time, we still have some distance to travel before we discover what’s patently true and false.” ESPN chose to publish on Nov. 17 largely because a second alleged victim came forth, said David Scott, director of communications for ESPN. When asked how ESPN goes about verifying the legitimacy of sources, Scott said the network has standards for its journalists to follow. Scott could not cite specifics.  “I do not have those readily available,” he said. “The news operation through the years, and especially ‘Outside the Lines,’ it’s pretty much impeccable the way they’ve handled their reporting.” Scott declined to provide further comments

“At this point, I don’t see anything in the coverage that suggests media have crossed the line. In fact, usually what happens in these cases is the media gets in front of criminal or official investigations.”

Glenn Guzzo

FORMER ETHICS COMMIT TEE CHAIRMAN FOR THE ASSOCIATED PRESS SPORTS JOURNALISTS

on ESPN’s decision on when to run the taped conversation and referred to explanations given in published stories. He also declined to comment on criticism ESPN has received in the wake of the initial reports from the public and other media outlets. The new police investigation is one of the forces driving the allegations into reportable territory that was not there in 2003, said Wasserman, Knight Chair in Journalism Ethics. Beyond reporting the investigation, he said, it is important for news outlets to analyze how credible the witnesses are. Wasserman said Fine “is a person in a position of public trust, and I think the charges are serious, and I think the charges are reportable.” He added, “What you do with it, how aggres-

Unlike SPD, Fitzpatrick said Syracuse University officials have been extremely compliant and willing to help in his current efforts with the case. Fitzpatrick said he has been in contact with members of the chancellor’s office as well as an attorney representing the university. The university conducted its own internal investigation of the allegations against Fine in 2005, and Fitzpatrick said SU shared the information with him. Fitzpatrick said he spoke with the university’s attorney about SU’s investigation, and once the various investigations are completed, he and the university will likely speak again about the final investigation. He added that he considered it ironic the university has “bent over backwards to be accommodating,” but he has not received information from SPD. In her statement issued Wednesday, Miner said information will be shared with Fitzpatrick and his office, but only when the timing is right. “It is deeply unfortunate for the people of this community, the accused and the accusers that the District Attorney has chosen a different tactic, resorting to personal and professional attacks,” Miner said. “Despite his histrionics and grandstanding, we will continue to investigate these allegations and share information with the authorities, including the District

sively you go with it, how zealously you go about reporting it and how much prominence you give this, these are all very important matters.” Glenn Guzzo, former ethics committee chairman for The Associated Press sports journalists, said the difference between an absence in reporting the story in 2003 and the reports now demonstrates the power of plural voices. Once more than one source comes forward, and the police begin an investigation, it adds a sense of credibility in the public’s mind that the allegations could be true, he said. Guzzo said he does not think the media has done anything unethical in reporting on the story thus far, including playing the recording of Laurie Fine and Davis’ phone conversation. “At this point, I don’t see anything in the coverage that suggests media have crossed the line,” Guzzo said. “In fact, usually what happens in these cases is the media gets in front of criminal or official investigations.” And, he said, if there were evidence that the media was reporting on information it knew to be false or handling the situation poorly, other media outlets likely would have come across that in their own reporting. Malcolm Moran is the Knight Chair in Sports Journalism and Society and a professor at Penn State. In today’s lightning-fast information age, Moran said, competition and speed are two major factors that lead to errors in journalism. The Duke lacrosse case is an example of this, he said. Rushing to report information first can often lead to imprecise or incorrect information presented as fact. The case against Fine is a very different scenario than the case against Jerry Sandusky at Penn State, Moran said. But, he said, he asked his students to think about how they will evaluate media coverage of the Sandusky case when looking back on it in the future. “What will be our judgment on how much credible information we actually had at this point? And I don’t think anybody truly knows that,” he said. As journalists continue to report on the story, the presumption of innocence and balance are key, he said. “I think what is important to remember is that there is a presumption of innocence,” Moran said. “To me, that’s the foundation of reporting on either of these scenarios.” kronayne@syr.edu — A previous version of this story appeared on dailyorange.com on Nov. 21.

“There is no way that somebody overheard an affidavit being dictated and then relayed it days later in such detail to a reporter.” William Fitzpatrick

ONONDAGA COUNTRY DISTRICT AT TORNEY

Attorney and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, at the appropriate time.” That time might be Tuesday, when Murphy gives his verdict as to whether the files must be turned over to Fitzpatrick and his office. Until then, the struggle continues as each side waits through the holiday and into next week. Fitzpatrick remains confident that Miner will be forced to give up the files in the end. Said Fitzpatrick: “She’s going to have to release them sooner or later through the police department.” mjcohen02@syr.edu — A previous version of this article appeared on dailyorange.com on Nov. 23.


nov ember 28, 2 011

special edition

TOMASELLI FROM PAGE 1

abuse happening. Donald Martin and Karl Sleight, Fine’s attorneys, issued a statement Sunday that said Fine will not comment beyond his initial statement. “Any comment from him would only invite and perpetuate ancient and suspect claims,” Fine’s attorneys said in the statement.  Tomaselli, who faces sexual assault charges against a 14-year-old boy in Maine, told The Post-Standard he was interviewed by Syracuse police detectives Raul Santana and Clark Farry for more than four hours Wednesday

“He has nothing to lose. He’s still bitter.” Fred Tomaselli

FATHER OF THE THIRD ACCUSER

afternoon in Albany. Tomaselli described Fine’s home, in detail, in his affidavit to police, alleging that Fine invited him to his residence in DeWitt following a second SU game in 2003. Rose Ryan, Tomaselli’s friend, said she accompanied Tomaselli to the Marriott hotel room in Albany, where the pair met with police, according to the article. Ryan signed a statement over to Syracuse police, stating Tomaselli told her of the alleged sexual abuse in 2002. There was no answer when The Daily Orange called a phone number listed for Ryan. Tomaselli’s statement was used as proof of possible crimes when federal prosecutors applied for a search warrant to Fine’s home, according to the article. In the article, Tomaselli said he spoke with Bobby Davis, Fine’s first accuser, several times in brief phone interviews after ESPN reported that Mike Lang, a second alleged sexual abuse victim, corroborated Davis’ claims. In April, Tomaselli was arrested by Lewiston police on charges of gross sexual assault, tamper-

ing with a victim, two counts of unlawful sexual contact, five counts of visual sexual aggression against a child and unlawful sexual touching, according to the article. Tomaselli was accused of having sexual contact with a 14-year-old male who attended camp, where he acted as a counselor. Tomaselli pleaded not guilty. Tomaselli’s father, Fred, said in a phone interview Sunday that he never met Fine or allowed his son to attend the Pittsburgh game in 2002. Fred Tomaselli said his son was a victim of abuse by a neighbor when he was growing up in Texas, but the Tomasellis didn’t find out about the abuse until after they moved to Maine. Instead of seeking help, Fred Tomaselli said, his son became a predator and “master liar and manipulator.” “He has nothing to lose,” Fred Tomaselli said of his son. “He’s still bitter.” Aside from a 30-minute conversation last year, Fred Tomaselli said he and Tomaselli have not spoken in years, as his son tends to be “abusive” during conversations. In the article, Tomaselli said he crossed paths with Fine toward the end of 2001, when he attended an autograph session on campus. Fine invited Tomaselli to the Pittsburgh game on Jan. 22, 2002, where, following a team dinner, Fine took Tomaselli to the hotel room. Fine watched a pornographic movie and “fondled Tomaselli’s penis in bed,” Tomaselli said in the article. On Feb. 1, 2003, Fine arranged for Tomaselli and his father to attend a Syracuse-Pittsburgh game in the Carrier Dome. Following the game, the father and son bumped into Fine, who then invited the two to a party at Fine’s home, Tomaselli said. Tomaselli said his father was not able to attend, but allowed Tomaselli, who was 14 at the time, to stay over. Tomaselli said he never spoke to Fine after the associate head coach dropped him off the next morning at Hancock Air Base, where Fred Tomaselli worked. dbtruong@syr.edu — A previous version of this story appeared on dailyorange.com on Nov. 27.

Assemblyman hopes for increased awareness of child abuse College Coaches and Professionals Reporting Act

For New York state Assemblyman James Tedisco, the one good thing that could come out of the Bernie Fine allegations is an increased awareness of child sexual abuse. Tedisco, along with fellow Assemblyman George Amedore, recently proposed the College Coaches and Professionals Reporting Act, a reporting law for college campuses. If the bill were to pass, an adult member of the campus community could face up to one year in prison for failing to report either knowledge or suspicion of physical or sexual abuse to police. The bill has garnered bipartisan support in both the New York Senate and Assembly. Tedisco said he believes it may pass in December should the state convene for a budget session, and if not, by January 2012. There is no mandatory reporting law on college campuses for abused children. With an increasing amount of programs bringing children and adolescents to college campuses for workshops and camps, Tedisco said he felt it was time for the bill. Tedisco noted that the Fine allegations come after the Pennsylvania State University scandal, and he said oftentimes victims of abuse are inclined to speak up after hearing about others who have. “When something like this opens up — it opens up a lot,” Tedisco said. Before serving as an assemblyman, Tedisco was a high school guidance counselor and coach. When he was deciding on a college to attend, Roy Danforth recruited Tedisco

for the SU basketball team, but Tedisco ultimately chose Union College and graduated from there. Tedisco graduated from Bishop Gibbons High School in 1968. When universities become involved in cases of potential child abuse, Tedisco said it makes sense for institutions to hold outside investigations rather than handle the matter themselves. Having outside law enforcement ensures a university’s connection to a case does not affect the outcome. “You can’t let the reputation of a school go beyond protecting our children,” he said.

About child abuse

Child maltreatment, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is any act or series of acts of commission or omission by a parent or other caregiver that result in harm, potential harm or threat of harm to a child. Forms of child maltreatment include neglect, sexual abuse, physical abuse and emotional abuse. The Onondaga County Child Abuse Hotline received more than 5,000 calls in 2010, and there were a total of 9,000 children suspected of being abused, according to information from the McMahon/Ryan Child Advocacy Center, located at 601 E. Genesee St. in downtown Syracuse. If child abuse or maltreatment is suspected, call the New York state hotline at 1-800-342-3720 or the Onondaga County hotline at 315-442-9701. If a child is believed to be in immediate danger, call 911 or the local police department. —Compiled by Dara McBride, editor in chief, dkmcbrid@syr.edu

5

Alumni community reacts to scandal; association president praises students By Dara McBride EDITOR IN CHIEF

The Syracuse University alumni community is trying to remain strong during a time when its alma mater is the focus of a national news story revolving around an investigation of sexual assault. “If anything, people just feel it’s a sad day, and they are banding together to support the university at a difficult time,” Brian Spector, president of the SU Alumni Association, regarding the investigation and firing of Bernie Fine, the associate head men’s basketball coach accused of sexual assault. Alumni are speaking out on Facebook and Twitter or contacting Spector through text messages with their thoughts on the developing story. He emphasized the discussion he has heard is focused on standing together, although he said he has not heard from too many alumni because the news is still “raw.” Michael Simpson, who graduated from SU with a master’s in biochemistry in 1983, said the news is upsetting to him. “It’s like your pal, your buddy, Syracuse, has done something wrong and you want to keep them at an arm’s distance away,” said Simpson, who served as president of the Graduate Student Association and was also a tutor for the men’s basketball team in the late ‘70s. Simpson is now a Los Angeles resident. Simpson’s son graduated from SU in May and the two have been keeping tabs on the story since it first started popping up in the news. Since the news broke last week, Simpson said he has heard other alumni say they are embarrassed and has heard people not associated with SU making snide remarks. The main worry is that more news will come out regarding the case, and Simpson said he is concerned there is more the university could have done to stop this from escalating to where it is now. Spector said he felt the initial email Cantor

sent out Nov. 18, which contained information on what the university was doing to help the investigation and reminded recipients that SU did not tolerate abuse, was “superb” based on the timeliness and content of the letter. Moving forward, Spector said alumni hope that should these allegations prove to be true, the appropriate action is taken.

“It’s like your pal, your buddy, Syracuse, has done something wrong and you want to keep them at an arm’s distance away.” Michael Simpson

1983 GRADUATE

The alumni he heard from said they are waiting for the results of the investigation and said it was important to remember no formal charges have been brought against Fine. Many alumni Spector said he spoke with believe the choice to fire Fine, which the university community was alerted about via an email from Chancellor Nancy Cantor and a statement published online, was the only decision to be made. Spector said current SU students deserve a lot of credit for handling a major crisis in a mature way. He brought up the strong reactions of students and community members after the Pennsylvania State University scandal broke and said there was not the same negativity at SU. “I’m really proud of how our students are handling this,” Spector said, “whether critical or not critical of how the university is handling it.” dkmcbrid@syr.edu

Fine’s status with Sigma Alpha Mu chapter unclear after dismissal from coaching staff By Meghin Delaney NEWS EDITOR

Bernie Fine’s status with the Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity is unclear after he was fired from his coaching job Sunday night. Fine was removed from his post as associate head coach of the men’s basketball team Sunday night by Chancellor Nancy Cantor. His dismissal comes after the Syracuse Police Department launched an investigation into allegations that Fine molested two former ball boys and another youth. Fine was placed on administrative leave Nov. 17 after the investigation began.

SEARCH FROM PAGE 1

Fine at the doorway of his house slightly past 3 p.m., according to the article. An officer wearing a vest that read “Police Secret Service” was seen moving several boxes and envelopes to a vehicle parked near the front door. Just before 8 p.m., officers rolled out three filing cabinets, which were covered in tape that read “Evidence,” and loaded them onto

Robert Atkins, the prior of the Eta chapter of Sigma Alpha Mu at Syracuse University and a senior in the Martin J. Whitman School of Management, declined to comment on anything related to the Fine case. Atkins said in an email that neither he nor other members of Sammy, undergraduates or alumni, would comment on the issue. Fine is still listed as the adviser on the fraternity’s website. Eddie Banks-Crosson, director of fraternity and sorority affairs, was not available to comment Sunday night. medelane@syr.edu

the back of a truck, according to the article. All of the officers left Fine’s home by 9:10 p.m. Earlier in the day, a state trooper at the scene directed questions to the U.S. attorney’s office in Albany. Assistant U.S. Attorney William Pericak in Albany said the U.S. attorney’s office could neither confirm nor deny a search took place at Fine’s residence until public proceedings take place. dbtruong@syr.edu — A previous version of this article appeared on dailyorange.com on Nov. 25.


6 nov ember 28, 2 011

special edition

STUDENT REACTIONS FROM PAGE 3

sylvania State University. The situation has seen a number of developments since Nov. 17. District Attorney William Fitzpatrick expressed outrage with Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler and Deputy Chief Shawn Broton regarding the leaking of a witness affidavit, according to an article published

“If he’s lying, he’s going to be in trouble, too. You don’t want Boeheim to be in trouble. It’s Boeheim.” Shirley Daniels

SOPHOMORE COMMUNICATION AND RHETORICAL STUDIES MAJOR

by The Post-Standard on Nov. 23. On Friday, Fine’s DeWitt home was searched by a team of U.S. Secret Service members, Syracuse police and New York state police officers, The Post-Standard reported on Nov. 25. Following reports that a third person accusing Fine of sexual molestation stepped forward,

COMPARISON FROM PAGE 3

Maine, is now 23 and facing sexual assault charges of his own involving a 14-year-old boy in Maine. Fine has not been charged. Sandusky has. After a grand jury investigation, Sandusky was indicted on 40 counts of child molestation dating from 1994 to 2004, although the abuse may go as far back as the 1970s. Sandusky allegedly had inappropriate contact with at least eight young boys — sometimes in university facilities. Penn State wide receivers coach Mike McQueary, who has since been placed on administrative leave, testified in the grand jury investigation. The report says administrators didn’t contact authorities after McQueary, then a graduate assistant, said he saw Sandusky sexually assaulting a young boy in the football facility shower in 2002. Authorities say Sandusky met many of his alleged victims through The Second Mile, a charity he founded for at-risk children. “Right off the bat, the only question is not whether somebody is an alleged molester,” said Jeffrey Lindy of the Philadelphia-based law firm Lindy and Tauber. “The question is whether there was an accusation that was ignored or improperly handled or, more sinister, swept under the rug and thereafter the guy kept molesting.” With the case in Syracuse, Lindy said, the allegations against Fine date back to the 1980s.

the university terminated Fine from his position as associate head coach Sunday night. Jonathan Grimes, a junior biology major, said he felt SU took the appropriate steps in releasing Fine. But he was not in the opinion that Boeheim should be fired, too. “Everything happened off campus, according to what I’ve heard. It’s a personal thing,” Grimes said. “I think it shouldn’t get to (Boeheim).” Shirley Daniels, a sophomore communication and rhetorical studies major and member of the SU softball team, held a similar opinion. She believes the case came to light because of the recent developments at Penn State. “If he’s lying, he’s going to be in trouble, too. You don’t want Boeheim to be in trouble. It’s Boeheim,” she said. For Graham Heberlig, a junior chemistry major, additional allegations against figures at other collegiate sports programs were inevitable. “The whole thing with (Jerry) Sandusky opened up a can of worms,” he said. “I think we’re going to see a whole lot more of this in the coming months.” Joseph Iluore, a senior biology major on the pre-med track, gave Fine the benefit of the doubt when the story first broke, dismissing the accuser’s actions as a grab for attention. But now, he said he’s not so sure.

But there is no allegation that because the Syracuse Police Department and the university didn’t act when Davis first reported the alleged abuse, Fine continued to molest while he was employed by the university. Davis spoke to Syracuse police over the phone about the allegations in mid-2002 but was told the statute of limitations expired. SU launched an investigation in 2005 after an adult male reported inappropriate conduct by an associate men’s basketball coach to SPD. The investigation lasted nearly four months and “all of those identified by the complainant denied any knowledge of wrongful conduct by the associate coach,” said Kevin Quinn, senior vice president for public affairs, in a Nov. 17 statement. Unlike Syracuse, Penn State never officially conducted an investigation into Sandusky. Sandusky retired in 1999 and still had full access to the Penn State football facilities until a few weeks ago. “Again, very different from Penn State, is Sandusky was not only abusing after Penn State officials knew the allegations, he was doing it on campus — in the Penn State locker room where he had an office because he was an emeritus professor,” said Lindy, who has prosecuted and defended sex abuse cases. “I mean Penn State is going to get tagged. They are going to get tagged in the civil suit.” But Lindy said he doesn’t expect there to be any liability for SU because there’s no allegation that Fine abused after administrative officials conducted their investigation in 2005. “So the question that I think Syracuse Uni-

ankur patankar | asst. presentation director Supporters of Bernie Fine left a signed poster outside the front of his house in DeWitt after the initial allegations against the former associate coach arose. The university needed to release Fine, even if he is found innocent, because of his association with SU and the university’s overall image, he said.

“We all need time to recover from this,” he said. “And this is the best way, I feel, moving forward.”

versity would say, ‘Well, we had no suggestion other than that first allegation from long ago that he was doing anything on our campus,’” Lindy said. Unlike Penn State, no university or athletic officials at SU have come forward saying they saw or were told of the abuse and failed to report it. At Penn State, McQueary told Paterno of the abuse, and Paterno reported it to the athletic director instead of the police.

coach also admitted to “horsing around” in the showers with a young boy the night McQueary described in the grand jury investigation. Meanwhile, Fine released a statement through his lawyer on Nov. 18 calling the allegations against him “patently false.” The biggest differences in the two cases, Lindy said, are that there is no charge against Fine in Syracuse and there is no allegation Fine abused on Syracuse property after the allega-

dmsegelb@syr.edu

“Again, very different from Penn State, is Sandusky was not only abusing after Penn State officials knew the allegations, he was doing it on campus — in the Penn State locker room where he had an office because he was an emeritus professor. I mean Penn State is going to get tagged. They are going to get tagged in the civil suit.”

Jeffrey Lindy

PHILADELPHIA-BASED L AW YER WHO HAS PROSECUTED AND DEFENDED SEX ABUSE CASES

One similarity in the two cases is both Fine and Sandusky have maintained their innocence, although Sandusky has spoken out publicly in a phone interview with NBC’s Bob Costas. “I have horsed around with kids. I have showered after workouts. I have hugged them and I have touched their leg without intent of sexual content,” Sandusky said in the Nov. 14 interview. The former Penn State assistant

tion became known to the university in 2005, while Sandusky committed abuse on campus after Penn State officials knew of the allegation. But some similarities remain. “That’s the thing everybody is struggling with — that sports are bigger than anything,” Lindy said. “And if a big sports figure gets accused of something, you start sweeping under the rug. That’s the similarity.” jdharr04@syr.edu

For up-to-date information surrounding the allegations against former associate men’s basketball coach Bernie Fine visit

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nov ember 28, 2 011

special edition

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i n i t i a l r e a c t i o n : f i r s t p u b l i s h e d n o v. 1 7

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Former assistant coach stunned to learn of allegations against Fine

Former SU center shocked by allegations, supports Fine

By Mark Cooper ASST. SPORTS EDITOR

A former assistant coach from Syracuse’s 1986-87 Final Four team said he was shocked to hear of the allegations that former SU associate head coach Bernie Fine molested two ball boys. Barry Copeland, who worked as a volunteer assistant coach for two seasons before becoming an assistant coach for the 1986-87 and 1987-88 teams, said he was shocked by the news that former ball boy Bobby Davis accused Fine of sexually molesting him for several years beginning in 1984. When The Daily Orange contacted Copeland on Nov. 17, it was the first he heard of the news.

1986-87 ROSTER PLAYER

Howard Triche Derrick Coleman Rony Seikaly Greg Monroe Sherman Douglas Derek Brower Stephen Thompson Herman Harried Joel Katz Keith Hughes Joey Kohm Rodney Walker Erik Rogers Matt Roe

Coaching Staff NAME

Jim Boeheim Bernie Fine Barry Copeland Wayne Morgan Matt Bassett Ralph Willard Sam Carello David Lambert

POSITION

Forward Forward Center Guard Guard Forward/Center Guard/Forward Forward Guard Forward Forward Forward/Center Center Guard POSITION

Head coach Assistant coach Assistant coach Assistant coach Graduate assistant Volunteer assistant Manager Manager

SEAT

FROM PAGE 8

“I didn’t even know what was going on,” Waiters added. “Is it true? Is that really coach Fine? Things like this, you’ve got to have his back. And you’ve just got to continue to pray for him and hope everything works out and hope that everything going on isn’t true.” Boeheim said the coaching staff met with the players after the news came out to discuss the situation and “went through everything.” This included reminding them what they should be focusing on going forward: classes and basketball. Not the scandal swirling around the Syracuse campus, expedited by the horde of media outside the Carmelo K. Anthony Basketball Center before and after the team practiced Nov. 18. “Everything will be determined outside our team,” Boeheim said. “We need to focus on what we’re doing. … These players have nothing to do with anything. And the coaching staff has to focus on these players and what they need from us.” The first step in that plan was accomplished with the 45-point blowout over Colgate. Next was a two-game swing in New York City, a getaway that arrived at perhaps the perfect time for Boeheim and his players.

“I haven’t heard. This is the first I heard of it, and man, there’s nothing that I can think of that would lead you to believe this was going on.” Barry Copeland

FORMER SU ASSISTANT COACH

“It’s a shock to me, quite frankly,” Copeland said. “The fact you’re even saying that this is happening, it’s been on the news, there was nothing that I could comment on as far as I saw or anything that would lead me to believe that was going on.” Phone calls by The Daily Orange to Copeland following Fine’s firing on Sunday were not returned. Copeland said he remembers Davis and the other ball boys going on some road trips with the team. He also said they were at practice all the time and at the home games. Copeland said he talks to Fine maybe once a year and called him a close friend. The former assistant coach was mainly in shock as he digested the news. He said he could not think back to any situations that would make him believe the details in the allegations happened. “Man, I’m a little blown away by it,” he said. “I haven’t heard. This is the first I heard of it, and man, there’s nothing that I can think of that would lead you to believe this was going on. “ ... This is something, it’s a total surprise to me.” mcooperj@syr.edu

The Orange visited its home away from home — Madison Square Garden, where Syracuse defeated Virginia Tech and Stanford on Wednesday and Friday, respectively, in the NIT Season Tip-Off. After SU’s win against the Hokies, Triche said the focus on basketball has stayed sharp amid the adversity. “We are trying to make it as normal as pos-

“That’s a guy we love and miss him on the team. So yeah, that was a tribute.” Fab Melo

SU CENTER

sible,” Triche said. “I think coming down (to New York City) we had the same energy. The lights are bright. I think we just try to stick to what we’ve been doing for the last couple of years. That’s what we’ve been doing the last couple of games.” mjcohe02@syr.edu  — Asst. Sports Editor Mark Cooper contributed reporting to this article. A previous version of this article appeared on dailyorange.com on Nov. 19.

By Ryne Gery

ASST. SPORTS EDITOR

Dave Siock was in disbelief when he learned of the allegations of molestation against former men’s basketball associate head coach Bernie Fine. Siock, a Syracuse center from 1988-93, has known Fine since he was a young kid attending basketball camps. He worked with him closely every day at practice and went to him whenever he needed advice. “When I was at school, I considered him my father away from home basically,” Siock said on Nov. 18. “He was awesome to be with. He was a great guy, a great teacher, a great leader, great role model. And I respect him like nobody else.” Siock said he was shocked by the allegations that Fine molested a former team ball boy, Bobby Davis, for more than 12 years. Phone calls by The Daily Orange to Siock following Fine’s firing on Sunday were not returned. Siock said he remembered Davis as soon as he heard his name in reports. The former center recalled seeing him at practices and home games and talked with him at practices. He said Fine was a mentor to Davis, who seemed like a nice and happy kid.

Fine served as a mentor to Siock, too. Siock said he was frustrated throughout his career as he struggled to earn playing time. Fine was always there for him to talk to and calmed him down multiple times. “He kept me positive, he kept me focused on what I was trying to do to help me become a better person because of it,” Siock said. “So I can’t speak anything negative about Bernie Fine at all.” Siock said he still talks to Fine and calls him whenever he needs some advice. Siock said his wife, who was a Syracuse cheerleader, knew Fine as well and was also shocked. Based on his experience with Fine, he said, he has no reason to believe the allegations. “No, not at all, I’m 100 percent sure of that,” Siock said. “I’d stake my life on it.” The former center said he feels bad his coach has to go through this in a public way. But Siock feels his coach will be cleared once all the facts are known. Said Siock: “I think when it’s all said and done, I’m quite sure that everyone will realize it’s just bogus, bogus information.” rjgery@syr.edu

Despite recent developments, former SU player, trustee continues to defend Fine By Amrita Mainthia MANAGING EDITOR

Bernie Fine is still innocent despite his termination from Syracuse University on Sunday night, said former men’s basketball player and SU trustee George Hicker. Fine is being investigated for molesting two former ball boys and a youth during his time as an associate men’s basketball head coach, a post that was terminated Sunday night at the discretion of SU Chancellor Nancy Cantor. “I still don’t think he did it,” Hicker said. “The whole situation from when this first happened is really lurid.” Hicker played from 1964-68 alongside SU head coach Jim Boeheim when Fine was a student manager for the team. Hicker criticized ESPN’s release of a recorded 2002 phone call with Bobby Davis and Laurie Fine, aired nationally Sunday morning. Hicker said that if ESPN had possession of the tape, it should have released that information years ago. “I think it’s irresponsible that they wait until now to do this, if they had the tape for nine years,” Hicker said. Hicker said he had just two comments about the current situation: first, that Fine is not guilty of the molestation charges, and second, that Cantor made the right decision in firing Fine. He said he is not sure whether Cantor consulted anyone on her decision to fire Fine but could imagine Cantor making the decision herself. “Having heard an employee’s wife and anybody on a nationally aired tape on ESPN, I think this is what the chancellor had to do. Absolutely,” Hicker said. Since the allegations resurfaced, Hicker said he has spoken to Fine two or three times. Fine is a close friend of 45 years, and Hicker said he has given Fine constant support. Hicker said Fine has no intention of hurting anyone.

“I imagine that Bernie would have resigned had he digested all this. I know he doesn’t want to hurt the basketball program and the school, and this doesn’t have a good effect on any of it.”

George Hicker

FORMER PL AYER AND MEMBER OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES

“I imagine that Bernie would have resigned had he digested all this,” Hicker said. “I know he doesn’t want to hurt the basketball program and the school, and this doesn’t have a good effect on any of it. It’s a very difficult time for a lot of people.” Hicker expressed some worry that after today’s events, the community’s general perception of the situation may be affected. “Up until today I hadn’t heard one iota of anyone that believed any of it,” Hicker said. “This kind of stuff that came out today can have all kinds of impacts on people’s perceptions of what could have happened because none of us were there.” Despite any recent developments, Hicker upholds strong conviction in defense of Fine. Hicker said he would await any future developments before commenting further. “Until something definitive makes me think that he did that, I still don’t believe it,” Hicker said. “Maybe that seems like somebody that’s naïve and blind to the truth, but I still don’t believe it. We’ll see what happens in the future.” mainthia@syr.edu


MONDAY

november 28, 2011

SPORTS

PAGE 8

the daily orange

McNamara temporarily placed on coaching staff By Michael Cohen and Mark Cooper THE DAILY ORANGE

chris griffin | staff photographer Syracuse associate head coach Bernie Fine missed the team’s Nov. 19 game against Colgate while on administrative leave. The Orange left his regular seat open to honor him during a 92-47 victory.

SU players give tribute to Fine

In the wake of Bernie Fine being placed on administrative leave by Syracuse University, men’s basketball head coach Jim Boeheim released a statement Nov. 18 announcing graduate assistant Gerry McNamara’s move to the coaching staff. “Gerry McNamara has been elevated to our coaching staff to serve during this time while Associate Head Coach Bernie Fine in on administrative leave,” Boeheim said in the statement. McNamara joined Syracuse as a graduate assistant before last season. He was a guard for Syracuse from 2002-06 and played a key role on the Orange’s 2003 national championship team. There has been no news or announcements regarding McNamara’s position as an assistant coach with the team since the firing of Fine on Sunday.

When reached by phone Nov. 18, McNamara’s father, also named Gerry, declined to comment. After SU’s game on Nov. 19 against Colgate, McNamara said his new position felt no different. Though he was elevated to the staff, he said his approach didn’t change and that he has thought of himself as a full-time coach all along. “I’ve approached every game like I was a coach,” McNamara said. “I try to stay like I’m a player and act like I’m a coach. My position didn’t change at all.” mjcohe02@syr.edu mcooperj@syr.edu

MOVING UP

Gerry McNamara joined the Syracuse coaching staff Nov. 18, a day after associate head coach Bernie Fine was placed on administrative leave. McNamara played at SU from 2002-06.

Syracuse leaves seat empty on bench during game By Michael Cohen SPORTS EDITOR

The second seat was without its traditional owner. Stationed between Jim Boeheim and Stan Kissel on the Syracuse bench, the emptiness of the chair was obvious. The intended message clear. If Bernie Fine, who has held that seat for 35 years, couldn’t sit there, no one would. “That’s a guy we love and miss him on the team,” SU center Fab

helped build the SU program. And in the wake of the shocking accusations by Bobby Davis and Michael Lang, Syracuse showed no signs of dishevelment to knock off Colgate easily 92-47. Fine has sat to the left of Boeheim for more than three decades, clipboard and magic marker in hand. In the team’s first game following his placement on administrative leave, that chair became a focal point for the SU players as they entered and

“Things like this, you’ve got to have his back. And you’ve just got to continue to pray for him and hope everything works out and hope that everything going on isn’t true.”

Dion Waiters

SU GUARD

Melo said. “So yeah, that was a tribute.” Roughly 48 hours after the men’s basketball program and Syracuse community was rocked by allegations of molestation against Fine, an associate head coach who was on administrative leave at the time, the Orange took the floor in the Carrier Dome on Nov. 19 against Colgate. Players honored the legendary assistant to Boeheim each time they passed his traditional seat, paying homage to a man who

exited Jim Boeheim Court. Moments before the opening tip, Melo tapped the chair with both hands. He would do so each time he jogged past as a way of “high-fiving” the absent coach, whose main responsibility is working with the SU big men. It was an idea, Scoop Jardine said, conjured by Melo, a player who viewed Fine as a role model. “We told him we are going to play hard for him,” Melo said. “And that’s going to be the whole season.”

Melo spoke for himself and fellow center Baye Keita, who were both bursting with emotion to begin the Colgate game. Melo recorded a block in the first minute of the game. Minutes later, Keita swatted three shots in a span of 52 seconds. “Every night we step out there, we’re just going to play the way he would want us to play,” Keita said. “Hopefully we’re going to get him back soon.” Without Fine, assistant coach Mike Hopkins took over working with SU’s interior players, and Gerry McNamara was promoted to the coaching staff. McNamara and Boeheim insisted the events leading up to the Colgate game weren’t much of a distraction for the current players. The team practiced the day before the game behind closed doors, and both asserted that focus wasn’t an issue. Still, Brandon Triche and Dion Waiters couldn’t deny the amount of shock and disbelief that set in upon hearing the news on Nov. 17. “My initial reaction was this can’t be true,” Triche said. “It must be a different Syracuse team somewhere else, it must be a different coach named Bernie Fine.” Waiters said it was strange not seeing Fine on the bench for the first time since he was recruited by the Orange and that the whole team played in his honor against the Raiders.

SEE SEAT PAGE 7

daily orange file photo GERRY MCNAMARA (RIGHT) was promoted from graduate assistant to the Syracuse coaching staff after associate head coach Bernie Fine was placed on administrative leave. Fine was fired on Sunday.


November 28, 2011: Special Edition