A Syracuse University assistant men's basketball coach who was placed on leave over allegations that he inappropriately touched two boys years ago said Friday the accusations "are patently false in every aspect."
Syracuse put associate Bernie Fine on leave Thursday after Syracuse city police said they were re-opening an investigation of the allegations made six years ago by former Syracuse ball boy Bobby Davis, 39.
That news came after both Davis and his stepbrother, Mike Lang, 45, who also was a Syracuse ball boy, told ESPN on Thursday that Fine had molested them when they were children. Lang's new allegations helped kick-start the new police investigation.
"Simply put, these allegations are patently false in every aspect," Fine said Friday in a statement released by lawyers representing him. "The fact is these allegations have been thoroughly investigated multiple times.
"When evaluating the veracity of these accusations, please keep in mind that credible media outlets were approached in the past to publicize these false allegations and declined to do so. I fully cooperated with all past inquires."
Davis told university officials six years ago that he informed Syracuse city police that he had been "subjected to inappropriate contact by an associate men's basketball coach" during the 1980s and 1990s, Syracuse Senior Vice President Kevin C. Quinn said Thursday.
The university launched its own investigation in 2005, and found that no one, even people who Davis said would support his accusations, knew of wrongdoing by Fine, who denied the accusations. Police in 2005 said they wouldn't pursue the case because the statute of limitations had expired, Quinn said.
Had the school found evidence or corroboration of the allegations, it would have terminated the associate coach and reported the case to the police, Quinn said. Syracuse placed Fine on leave "in light of the new allegations and the Syracuse city police investigation," Quinn said.
Fine said in the statement: "Sadly, we live in an allegation-based society and an Internet age where in a matter of minutes one's lifelong reputation can be severely damaged. I am confident that, as in the past, a review of these allegations will be discredited and restore my reputation. I hope the latest review of these allegations will be conducted expeditiously."FULL STORY