Syracuse police are investigating an allegation that longtime Syracuse basketball assistant Bernie Fine (right) molested a team ball boy over an extended period of time beginning in the 1980s, according to a Thursday night report from ESPN's Mark Schwarz and Arty Berko.
CBSSports.com left a message on Fine's cell seeking comment.
The message was not immediately returned.
The alleged victim is Bobby Davis, who is now 39. He told ESPN's Outside the Lines that Fine began molesting him in 1983, shortly before Davis entered seventh grade. Davis was a Syracuse ball boy from 1984 to 1990. He said the abuse occurred at Fine's home, at the Syracuse basketball facilities and on road trips. A second man, identified by ESPN only as "a relative of Davis," has said Fine also molested him around the same time.
Fine is in his 35th season at Syracuse.
Davis said he never informed Jim Boeheim of the abuse.
Outside the Lines -- as well as the Syracuse Post-Standard -- reported Thursday that it initially investigated Davis' claims in 2003 but decided against running the story because no additional alleged victims were willing to talk. But in recent days, according to the ESPN report, a second man -- inspired to finally talk because of the ongoing Penn State scandal -- contacted Outside the Lines with information alleging Fine had also molested him, which led to ESPN running the story.
Kevin Quinn, Syracuse's senior vice president for public affairs, issued a statement late Thursday on behalf of the school. It read: "In 2005, Syracuse University was contacted by an adult male who told us that he had reported to the Syracuse City Police that he had been subjected to inappropriate contact by an associate men's basketball coach. The alleged activity took place in the 1980's and 1990's. We were informed by the complainant that the Syracuse City Police had declined to pursue the matter because the statute of limitations had expired. On hearing of the allegations in 2005, the University immediately launched its own comprehensive investigation through its legal counsel. That nearly four-month long investigation included a number of interviews with people the complainant said would support his claims. All of those identified by the complainant denied any knowledge of wrongful conduct by the associate coach. The associate coach also vehemently denied the allegations. Syracuse University takes any allegation of this sort extremely seriously and has zero tolerance for abuse of any kind. If any evidence or corroboration of the allegations had surfaced, we would have terminated the associated coach and reported it to the police immediately. We understand that the Syracuse City Police has now reopened the case, and Syracuse University will cooperate fully. We are steadfastly committed ensuring that SU remains a safe place for every member of our campus community."
CBSSports.com reached a former Syracuse player by phone on Thursday.
Asked for comment, the former player said: "Sad to hear if it's true."