Syracuse University associate head basketball coach Bernie Fine is accused of molesting a ball boy in the 1980s and 1990s. The Syracuse City Police are investigating the allegations, and the university has placed Fine on administrative leave.
"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.
Syracuse University head men's basketball coach Jim Boeheim released the following statement:
“This matter was fully investigated by the University in 2005 and it was determined that the allegations were unfounded. I have known Bernie Fine for more than 40 years. I have never seen or witnessed anything to suggest that he would been involved in any of the activities alleged. Had I seen or suspected anything, I would have taken action. Bernie has my full support."
Quinn says the school conducted an investigation into the allegations when it learned about the alleged molestation in 2005. However, the alleged victim was informed that the Syracuse City Police could not 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," Quinn said. "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."
Quinn added, "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 associate 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."