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Thursday, April 26, 2018

Remember: Jim Boeheim Was Adamant Bernie Fine Allegations Were a Cash Grab

We haven’t covered the Bernie Fine sexual molestation allegations here at LBS for many reasons. Mainly, we did not want to unfairly criticize anyone until we had more information. However, there was one quote that stood out to me when the allegation was made public by ESPN two weeks ago. The words came from Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim, and I immediately thought that he might end up regretting what he said.

“The Penn State thing came out and the kid behind this is trying to get money,” Boeheim said of accuser Bobby Davis. “He’s tried before. And now he’s trying again. If he gets this, he’s going to sue the university and Bernie. What do you think is going to happen at Penn State? You know how much money is going to be involved in civil suits? I’d say about $50 million. That’s what this is about. Money.”

Now that audio tapes of Fine’s wife admitting she knew her husband was molesting boys have been released, Boeheim has apologized. But you know what’s strange? Boeheim said Tuesday night he hadn’t heard the tape. Hmm, why would such a staunch defender apologize if he hadn’t heard the strongest piece of evidence? That doesn’t make much sense.

Boeheim’s explanation Tuesday night for his vehement defense of Fine was also weak.

“I supported a friend,” Boeheim said, “That’s what I thought I did. I’m proud that I did. I think if you’ve known someone for 48 years and worked with them for 36 years, I think you owe them a debt of allegiance and gratitude.

“That’s what my reaction was,” he reasoned, “So be it.”

That’s the wrong attitude, and that’s what makes Boeheim’s apology seem hollow. What he should be feeling is remorse and regret for minimizing sexual molestation allegations. If he thought it was important to take a wait-and-see approach, he should have done so. Instead, he attacked the media and the accusers, and now he’s offering a poor and insincere apology. It’s a pathetic, and morally wrong display by Boeheim.

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