Syracuse University has fired associate head basketball coach Bernie Fine, according to a statement released by the school on Sunday.
"At the direction of Chancellor Cantor, Bernie Fine's employment with Syracuse University has been terminated, effective immediately," Kevin Quinn, the school's senior vice president for public affairs said in the statement.
Fine has been accused of child molestation by three separate accusers, with a certain validity being added to the claims following the release of an audio tape which contained his wife seemingly acknowledging her husband’s problems.
The first claim of sexual molestation made against Fine came from former school ball boy Bobby Davis. The now 39-year-old Davis told ESPN that Fine engaged in inappropriate behavior with him beginning in 1984 and continuing all the way until he was 27 years old. The molestation was said to have occurred at Fine’s home, at Syracuse basketball facilities and on team road trips.
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Later, Davis’ step brother Mike Lang stepped forward and said that Fine molested him as well – starting from when he was in the fifth or sixth grade.
In audio tape released by ESPN on Sunday, Fine’s wife, Laurie, could clearly be heard discussing and in some ways validating Davis’ claims of sexual harassment. Davis reportedly made the recording back in October 2002 knowing that he would need proof.
The tape has since been passed along to Syracuse police.
ESPN has gone on record saying that they have verified that the person on the tape is in fact Laurie Fine.
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The content of the tapes can be found here.
Among the exchanges was this seemingly incriminating bit:
"When he gave you the money, what does he want for that? He wants you to grab him or he wanted to do you?" Laurie Fine asked.
"He wanted to do me. He wanted me to touch him, too. He tried to make me touch him a couple of times. He'd grab my hand, and then I'd pull away, and then he'd put me in your bed, and then you know, put me down, and I'd try to go away, and he'd put his arm on top of my chest. He goes, 'If you want this money, you'll stay right here,' " Davis replied.
Fine spent 36 seasons with Syracuse, the longest active streak of consecutive seasons of any assistant coach in Division I.