Syracuse University basketball coach Bernie Fine was fired Sunday as new details emerged about sex abuse allegations against the longtime assistant.
Fine, a senior assistant to head coach Jim Boeheim and founding member of the Jewish Coaches Association, was dumped after a tape surfaced in which Fine’s wife appeared to back up the claims by a former player that he was molested as a boy, ESPN and other outlets reported.
“Bernie has issues, maybe that he’s not aware of, but he has issues,” Laurie Fine told accuser Bobby Davis in a 2003 call. “And you trusted somebody you shouldn’t have trusted.”
Davis had gone to police about the accusations before but the statute of limitations had expired. Local newspapers got tips about the alleged abuse but were unable to confirm it.
The story heated up again when Davis reiterated the accusations in the wake of the Penn State child abuse scandal this fall.
Boeheim initially stood by Fine strongly, asserting that Davis concocted the accusations for financial gain and that he was “not Joe Paterno,” a reference to the Penn State football coach. He was forced to backtrack from those statements after Fine’s firing, saying that he “deeply regretted” them.