Latest on Syracuse’s Bernie Fine
The Confidential opined that Jim Boeheim may have been making a mistake in putting his neck on the line for Bernie Fine. The premise of that was NOT that Jim Boeheim was a bad boss or a bad friend. Quite the contrary, his support for Bernie Fine makes him an outstanding boss and friend. He’s the guy you want in an alley with you. He’s the guy you want in your foxhole.
The problem is that his public announcements went beyond merely responding to the one fact regarding him and, instead, interjected himself into the story. He called the accusers liars. No real gray area there.
To extricate himself would require some sort of “proof” that these allegations against Fine were false. Proving a negative is always difficult. Proving a negative from 20 years ago is more so. Proving a negative in the absence of a venue is next to impossible. At present, the only venue is the venue of public opinion. Fortunately for Syracuse and Boeheim, the public seems generally tired from all the awful news that arose out of the Penn State scandal. And the Syracuse situation comes nowhere near the Penn State situation. But that does not make this issue a “clean” one.
Quite the contrary. Right now, the Syracuse Police Department is in a battle with the District Attorney to see who can deflect attention away from its own possible failings quick enough. The District Attorney is up in arms that he was never alerted about this years ago. The District Attorney wants the police records–even to the point of obtaining a subpoena. This does not sound like a team environment. The Syracuse Police Department may or may not be behind a leak that one of the accuser’s ex-girlfriends reported this incident to the District Attorney’s right-hand man. The call was never returned. All one can say is, be careful what you wish for, Mr. District Attorney.
Frankly, for all we know, nobody ever called anyone! But, in their zeal to cover their own butts, the Syracuse law enforcement team has decided that the best way to CYA is by shifting the blame onto its partner in stopping crime. Good luck with that. Meanwhile, the accusers, Bernie Fine, Jim Boeheim, and Syracuse University, all sit in the middle of this unexpected battle. It’s kind of hard for anyone to strengthen and support their position when “law and order” are so busy trying to disappear from the scene of this accident (that may or may not have occurred).
For the accusers, this mess adds to their position. Competing claims of incompetence by law enforcement officials bolster the claim that nobody took the accusations seriously enough. More importantly, this debacle is keeping the issue in the news. If this is about notoriety, mission accomplished.
This, of course, is the opposite of what Fine, Boeheim, and Syracuse want. Their preference would be for this to shift out of the limelight for somewhere between “a while” and “forever.”
Look… nobody knows the truth. For all the character witnesses supporting Fine, he may have done some or all of the things alleged. For all the knee-jerk desire to assume that a human being would not have invented these serious allegations, this is a sick world sometimes. Worse yet, there is nowhere for anyone to find “hope.” Whoever is telling the truth, we are not going to like the result.
But, at this stage, determining what “the truth” is seems like wishful thinking. There are too many questions to be investigated and resolved, and there is an emerging concern that there is little reason to have faith in those doing the investigating. The bottom line is that this is not going anywhere fast. Jim Boeheim valiantly stood up for his colleague and friend. Hopefully, he has a chair nearby. This may not ending anytime soon.