Skip to content

Bernie Fine will not be charged in child molestation case

Nov 9, 2012, 9:40 AM EDT

Bernie Fine AP

After all the headlines, controversy and the loss of his job, former Syracuse assistant coach Bernie Fine will not be charged in his ongoing child molestation case.

The news comes via Syracuse.com, after officials spent nearly a year researching over 100,000 pages of documents and listening to the testimony of several alleged victims. Steven Clymer, an assistant United States Attorney, filed court documents on Friday morning officially ending the investigation that began when former Orange ball-boys Bobby Davis and Mike Lang, who are stepbrothers, made  accusations that Fine sexually abused them as children in the 1980s. Two additional accusers, Zach Tomaselli and Floyd Van Hooser, have since admitted to lying about their accusations.

It’s small consolation for Fine, who lost his job just 10 days after he was accused of these crimes.

The big question now is, what’s the university going to do? Fine was a long-time assistant under coach Jim Boeheim for 35 years who was immediately cast aside. Will they offer him his old job? Will Fine file a wrongful termination suit? Will the  program jump the gun and offer him some sort of cash settlement as penance? I’d be willing to bet the school has something planned to apologize to Fine.

If they don’t that’s a travesty. In this country — to go all America on you — you’re innocent until proven guilty and in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky case, Syracuse jumped the gun to make sure that there wasn’t an trouble as a university if something did happen. Nothing did and now there are going to be consequences for the school not having any trust in Fine.

Fine has denied all wrongdoing since the charges came about.

While none of us will know the whole story and who is telling the truth, it’s at least great to hear that were weren’t experiencing some sort of  sick trend within college sports of coaching violating the trust they have with young people for some twisted and disgusting need.

David Harten is the editor of The Backboard Chronicles. You can follow him on Twitter at @David_Harten

  1. alligatorbait - Nov 9, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    Innocent until proven guilty? I don’t think that’s the way it works outside the confines of a courtroom.

  2. jimstaro - Nov 9, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    Good Luck Bernie!! Didn’t buy into this from the beginning and it started unraveling shortly after that! To bad he was treated the way he was but that’s the world we live in sad to say and even more so for those so called adults that do use that stature to abuse youngsters in any fashion and youngsters who are taught by what they observe in adults to bully their peers!!

  3. 32maniac - Nov 9, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    The university should have put him on administrative leave.. either unpaid or paid. Isn’t that what usually happens in situations like this?

    No, SU jumped the gun… an all-in approach just like all the other ‘head hunting’ going on about the same time across the country.

    Yes, he is deserved something in the form of financial restitution. I think he should sue because we know the university will offer a low ball settlement.

    Go for it Bernie!!

  4. dgkmojo - Nov 9, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    Normally I wouldn’t comment on a story – but being as though this is linked to the main NBC news website I feel compelled to comment in order to clarify any misunderstanding a reader of this article may have.

    Bernie Fine was never charged with the sexual abuse of Bobby Davis or Mike Lang. Because of state and federal statutes of limitations, he could not be charged with the sexual abuse of these boys (now men). He was charged with the abuse of two now men which did fall within the federal statute of limitations. Those two men have now admitted they lied. Just because they lied does not mean that Bobby Davis and/or Mike Lang lied. You will recall the taped telephone conversation with Bernie’s wife, Laurie, where she basically admitted that she was aware that Bernie had inappropriate sexual contact with Bobby. I think in light of that taped phone conversation, Syracuse had good reason to fire him. If they had not, and he later abused another boy, Syracuse would be in the same sad state as Penn – facing civil suits from the abused.

  5. sailbum7 - Nov 9, 2012 at 4:29 PM

    The two who admitted to making up their stories should be sued into perpetual destitution for their actions. If it can be proven that the other two made up their stories as well, which is highly likely, thy should face the same fate. This was about nothing more than a handful of people seeing the big dollar signs they could extort in a settlement from the university by making these accusations. Unfortunately, things like this happen all too often. Unless the person accused is a public figure you never hear about it. These people have their lives destroyed, often by vindictive kids upset about not making a team or getting a bad grade. The university better come to the table with a very large check to compensate Fine for their unwarranted firing of him. They fired him without there being any evidence pointing to his guilt other than unsupported allegations of two brothers. They should have waited at least until a preliminary investigation was complete before taking action. What happened to Fine is a travesty and a reminder to all not to believe everything they hear and not the convict someone until the evidence has been presented.

  6. powercorrupts2 - Nov 9, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    Just like Sandusky Fine should go to jail for life. Boeheim should have his wins vacated by the NCAA just like Paterno and Syracuse should get the death penalty. If they did it to Penn State,why not to Syracuse? No Tom Corbett involved in this case?

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!