It’s hard to imagine any story worse than the child rape scandal at Penn State, and maybe a single story can’t be any worse. What could be worse, though: multiple stories like it. So when news broke yesterday that longtime Syracuse assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine is currently under police investigation (and on administrative leave from Syracuse) for allegedly molesting two former ball boys, we wouldn’t blame you if your first gut reaction was something along the lines of, “PLEASE MAKE IT STOP.”
Of course, you might have had any number of reactions, and they all might have been reasonable. You might note that police beginning and investigation and a grand jury presenting a deeply disturbing 23-page account of its findings are two very different scenarios. You might note that the timing of this, considering the horrors unfolding at Penn State, seems a little too convenient. You might note that Syracuse actually conducted an investigation into these allegations back in 2005, and found no evidence of wrongdoing.
That’s the thing, though – these allegations aren’t just happening to surface at the same time as the Penn State scandal. Rather, they’re re-surfacing. ESPN said it heard from Fine’s accuser, Bobby Davis, in 2003, but never ran the story due to lack of supporting claims and corroborating evidence. And Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim is supporting Fine all the way, saying, “There’s absolutely no way that I believe any of this could possibly have happened.” Maybe he’s right. Maybe there’s nothing to this. We hope there’s nothing to it. But now we have to find out. And the fact that these allegations are out there at all is enough to make you want something, anything, good to happen. Video of ESPN’s report below.