Some quick reaction to Sunday’s news stories of: (1) A tape of Laurie Fine’s conversation with accuser No. 1, Bobby Davis; (2) A third accuser, Zach Tomaselli, stepping forward with allegations that Bernie Fine molested him in 2002; and (3) the ultimate firing of Fine.
Simply put, the revelations leave me with more questions than answers:
* ESPN ran with this story nearly two weeks ago. But couldn’t they have waited an additional two weeks for the voice recognition expert to review the tape before running the story?
* Yes, there is no obligation from a journalistic standpoint to turn over a piece of evidence like this to the police, but is there a moral obligation to? This goes both to the Post-Standard and to ESPN.
* Why did Davis not provide a copy of the tape to Syracuse back in 2005 when the University did its own investigation? From everything I’ve read and listened to, it is a key piece of information that would go a long way to corroborating some of his claims.
* What are we to think of Tomaselli? He seems to have credibility issues, but could he be the third of many more to come forward?
* What will be done about Laurie Fine? From the tape, it seems like she knew everything that was going on and did nothing about it. Also, her relationship with Davis is another strange twist to this story.
* What will happen with SU coach Jim Boeheim? There are already columns out there saying he should be fired. There will be plenty on this in the coming days, and I haven’t formed an opinion on that, yet.
* Part of my opinion hinges on this question: Did Boeheim go too far in his defense of his friend of more than 50 years? I respect Boeheim for going to bat for his friend and showing loyalty. But in that defense, he called Fine’s accusers financially motivated liars, which is something he had to backtrack from in his statement Sunday night.
* But the main part of my opinion hinges on is whether Boeheim knew about any of this. That being said, nothing implicates him right now.
* What kind of effect will this have on the team? This has to be a distraction on the players, you’d think. Boeheim was also asked whether this would affect recruiting after the story broke and he said he’d welcome negative recruiting. Well, Syracuse will get all sorts of negative recruiting from this.
This list could grow as we learn more.
There have been plenty of bad days of Syracuse basketball over its history. I doubt there has been one as bad as today.
But, even more concerning is the reality that there could be even worse days to come.