Longtime Syracuse basketball assistant Bernie Fine is at the center of a police investigation for molesting a ball boy for more than a dozen years in the 1980s.
Police stressed to Outside The Lines they are in the early stages of the investigation.
The alleged victim, Bobby Davis, now 39, told Outside the Lines that Fine molested him beginning in 1983 shortly before Davis entered the seventh grade. Davis, the team's ball boy for six years beginning in 1984, said the abuse occurred at Fine's home, at the Syracuse basketball facilities, and on road trips, including the 1987 Final Four.
In addition, a second man -- a relative of Davis -- told OTL that he was also molested by Fine around the same time as the first boy.
Davis reported the crimes to the police in 2003 but was told that the statute of limitations had run out. davis also said that it was possible that other boys were molested.
Davis said that Fine molested him at Fine's home, at the basketball facilities at Syracuse, on recruiting road trips and even at the 1987 Final Four. Davis said he was Fine's constant companion at all those places. He said that Boeheim would come into Fine's room, and see Davis lying on the Fine's bed, but never asked him any questions.
Davis said he was molested by Fine until he was around 27 years old. Through the years, he said he has felt bitter emotions over the molestation as sex scandals have emerged in the Catholic Church and lately with former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.
Davis said he reported the abuse to Syracuse police in 2003, but that a detective told him that the statute of limitations had run out. Davis said the detective told him that if he knew of boys being molested by Fine at the time, that Syracuse police would investigate those allegations. Davis said he told the detective that he thought other boys were being molested but that he had only direct knowledge of Fine molesting him.
At the time, the Syracuse police chief was Dennis Duval, a former Syracuse basketball player for Boeheim. Duval, who retired in 2004, could not be reached for comment. He played at Syracuse from 1971 to 1974, and started with the Syracuse Police Department in 1978.
Outside the Lines investigated Davis's story in 2003 but decided not to run the story because there were no other victims who would talk, and no independent evidence to corroborate the boy's story. In recent days, a second man contacted Outside the Lines with information alleging that Fine had also molested him. That man said he was inspired to finally talk after seeing news coverage of the Sandusky case.
This is just sick. This is slightly different from the Penn State case only because there is no evidence of a cover up.
Victims of these type of crimes need to speak up. It's a shame that these men use their power and influence to prey on impressionable young children. I don't care how long it's been, if this is indeed true, Fine needs to be locked up immediately. You would've thought that Boeheim might've asked questions if he saw some kid laying on his bed.
Boeheim might not be as culpable as Joe Paterno, but he needs to ask questions if something looks amiss.