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Syracuse Basketball Coach Accused of Sex Abuse

By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on November 18, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Allegations have surfaced against Syracuse basketball's Bernie Fine, causing university officials to place him on administrative leave. The assistant basketball coach has been accused of molesting two former ball boys "hundreds of times."

Bobby Davis, now 39, alleges that Fine began molesting him while he was in the 7th grade. The abuse occurred at Fine's home, Syracuse basketball facilities, and on team road trips.

He first made these allegations in 2003, and again in 2005.

ESPN and the Syracuse Post-Standard investigated Bernie Fine in 2003 after hearing from Davis. Both sources chose not to run the story because they found no outside evidence.

The same goes for the university, which also investigated the Syracuse basketball coach in 2005, reports the Associated Press. Bobby Davis identified people that would corroborate his story, but they all denied seeing anything inappropriate.

Fine has been placed on leave because there may be new evidence in the case. Moved by the Penn State scandal, another former ball boy contacted ESPN, reports the New York Times. He, too, has accused Bernie Fine of sexual abuse.

The issue with these new allegations is that the Times reports they come from a man identified as Davis' cousin. Investigators are likely to find this somewhat suspicious. Since both were ball boys, it's likely that the cousin was interviewed during previous investigations.

This doesn't mean that he is currently lying. It's common for sexual abuse victims to keep quiet out of shame--even when other victims speak up. But it poses a problem for prosecutors who may have to contend with an accuser who has changed his story.

We'll likely get more information about the new accusations as police reopen the investigation. In the meantime, Syracuse basketball will have to do without Bernie Fine.

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