Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim issued an apology in a scandal involving former assistant coach Bernie Fine following Syracuse’s 72-68 win over Florida.
“I believe I misspoke very badly in my response to the allegations that have been made,” Boeheim said. “I shouldn’t have questioned what the accusers expressed or their motives. I am really sorry that I did that and I regret any harm that I caused. It was insensitive to the individuals involved and especially to the overall issue of child abuse.”
Fine has been investigated by officials over the past two weeks for allegedly molesting two team ball boys—Bobby Davis, and his stepbrother Mike Lang—in the 1980s and 90s.
Fine was fired on Sunday in his 36th year with the team.
Boeheim went on several media outlets after the news broke, including ESPN. In that interview, he called the accusations “a bunch of a thousand lies.”
He also questioned the motives of the accusers in the same interview: “You don’t think it is a little funny that his cousin (relative) is coming forward?”
Since then, a third accuser, Zach Tomaselli, has come forward. ESPN has also released an tape of a conversation between Fine’s wife, Laurie, and Davis.
Boeheim faced several tough questions by media following Tuesday’s game against Eastern Michigan, including questions about his own job.
Tonight was Boeheim’s second appearance since Fine’s dismissal.
“What I said last week was out of loyalty, I reacted without thinking, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing,” Boeheim said. “I’m trying to learn from my mistake and this has been a hard time. That’s all I can say, there’s an investigation going on, that I fully support because we all need to know as much as we can what happened.”
Corey Mallonee contributed to this article with reporting from Syracuse.
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