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More On Fine, Syracuse

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There's not enough information out of Syracuse yet to have a seriously informed opinion, but we are, as of now, somewhat skeptical of the Bernie Fine accusations. Partly it's because the charges don't entirely make sense and aren't very strongly supported as of yet, and partly because the people who know him have been so emphatically supportive. Circling the wagons is probably normal institutional behavior, but no one is even slightly hedging their bets.  Jim Boeheim has put his career on the line to defend him; former big 'Cuse man Rony Seikaly said "He would never do something like that. He is one of the very best people I know. It's disgusting that anyone would say it. It's just unbelievable."

Another former ball boy who served in that capacity at the same times as did Davis, Sam Carrello, is unconditionally supportive:

"People that know Bernie will know it didn't happen. But the people who don't will think he's guilty. It's not innocent until proven guilty in this society anymore...I know he's not guilty, but he's already presumed guilty. He's on leave. He will never coach again. Anyone accused of being a molester at a university, you're not going to coach anymore. All because of one person coming forth and lying...What's really sad is they've just ruined a guy's career without investigating it further. I was one of the people they interviewed back in 2005 and stuff. You didn't find anything there. Now, just because of this Penn State stuff and the media, you get a media blitz to ruin this guy's life without any accusation except one guy claiming this and no evidence....I just got off the phone from a conference call with Derrick Coleman and Billy Owens. And everybody feels the same way. They're upset and they blame it on the Penn State thing trying to bring down the university's name for the same reason. Everybody that knows Bernie knows there is no way he did this."

Of course, despite our current skepticism, without full information who knows?  People lead secret lives all the time.

The alleged victim, Bobby Davis, said this: "I don't care what other people say ... I mean Boeheim wasn't there with me and Bernie. I don't know how he can say that. He wasn't there. How does he know what happened at Bernie's house at night? Maybe he thinks he knows Bernie like a lot of other people do, but they don't. They don't know Bernie."

Obviously that would be true if the allegations hold up. There was an interesting detail in this ESPN story which seems somewhat incongruent with the rest: the second accuser, Davis's step-brother Mike Lang, is selling his house.  And what's the house like?

"Lang's house, which is on the market for $74,900, stood as a tribute to Syracuse hoops. Stickers were scattered over windows; basketballs, beer mugs, a clock, PEZ dispenser, and a plush mascot doll rested on the windowsill; a Gerry McNamara jersey also hung in the window. There was even a foam orange finger, signaling Syracuse is No. 1."

People have all kinds of reasons for doing all kinds of things, but it's hard to understand why he would deck his house in Orange memorabilia if the defining event of his life was being molested by a Syracuse basketball coach. Even just from a business point of view, for a sale, you might want to remove that stuff.

Or for whatever reason, maybe not.  Again, it's impossible to know the truth and unless and until there is more compelling evidence, we're skeptical.

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