Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim says he supports the university’s decision to fire his longtime assistant Bernie Fine and that he ”deeply regrets” his initial statements that may have been insensitive to victims of abuse.
On Sunday, a third accuser came forward in the investigation of child molestation allegations against Fine.
Boeheim says: ”What is most important is that this matter be fully investigated and that anyone with information be supported to come forward so that the truth can be found. I deeply regret any statements I made that might have inhibited that from occurring or been insensitive to victims of abuse.”
He also says he finds the new allegations against the assistant basketball coach ”disturbing and deeply troubling.”
After Fine’s firing, Chancellor Nancy Cantor sent the following email to the faculty, staff and students:
”Dear SU Community:
Tonight, in the wake of troubling new allegations that emerged in the media (Sunday), I am writing to let you know that Bernie Fine’s employment at the University has been terminated effective immediately.
Frankly, the events of the past week have shaken us all. The taped phone call that ESPN revealed today was not provided to the university by Mr. (Bobby) Davis during the 2005 investigation by our legal counsel. Like the media review of the case a few years earlier, no other witnesses came forward during the university investigation, and those who felt they knew Bernie best could not imagine what has unfolded.
Since I last wrote to you, we have been cooperating fully with the authorities. On Friday, November 18th, as the District Attorney has noted, we turned over to his office the results of our 2005 months-long investigation. Also on November 18, our Board of Trustees retained an independent law firm, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, to review our procedures in responding to the initial allegations when they first came to the University’s attention. I fully supported that decision and it is vital that we examine our protocols and actions in dealing with such serious allegations. We need to learn all we can from this terrible lesson.
All of us have the responsibility, individually and collectively, to ensure that Syracuse University remains a safe place for every campus community member and everyone with whom we interact on a daily basis on campus or in the community as part of our learning, scholarship, or work. We do not tolerate abuse. If anything good comes out of this tragedy, it will be that this basic principle is reinforced.”