Fourth Bernie Fine accuser VanHooser admits to lying

Floyd VanHooser, who accused former Syracuse University assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine of molesting him more than 40 years ago, said he fabricated the claim in a letter to the Syracuse Post-Standard.

VanHooser—who viewed Fine as a father figure—fabricated the story because Fine didn’t hire an attorney to help him fight criminal charges, according to the letter. VanHooser is currently serving a prison sentence of 16 years to life for burglarizing homes while being a repeat offender.

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In the Post-Standard’s original report, VanHooser accused Fine of molesting him over a four decade span starting in 1969. VanHooser was the fourth person to come forward saying that he had been sexually molested by Fine at an early age.

The allegations of the first three accusers led to Fine’s dismissal as the Syracuse associate head basketball coach on Nov. 27. Fine was in his 36th season with SU.

No criminal charges have been filed against him. Previously, a statement issued by Fine called the allegations of the first two accusers “patently false.”

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The Big Orange was founded in 1992. The publication was one of approximately 50 independent publications devoted to the coverage of its school's athletics programs. The Big Orange was a weekly/bi-weekly print publication until 2002 when it became The Juice, a glossy monthly print magazine which was owned by Fox Sports. The print product ceased publication in June of 2010 and was relaunched as in December of 2010.
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