NCAA BK

3rd Bernie Fine accuser stands by story

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Jason Whitlock

Jason Whitlock writes about the sports world from every angle, including those other writers can't imagine or muster courage to address. His columns are humorous, thought-provoking, agenda-free, honest and unpredictable. E-mail him, follow his Twitter or become a fan of Jason Whitlock on Facebook.

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Zach Tomaselli, the third accuser in the Bernie Fine/Syracuse scandal, answered a series of difficult questions with amazing poise and confidence Friday morning during a fascinating one-hour interview for my “Real Talk” podcast at FOXSportsradio.com.

The entire interview can be heard by clicking here.

Tomaselli, who faces his own set of molestation charges in Maine, stood up rather strongly to tough questioning and detailed his involvement in the Fine case and his self-described troubled relationship with his own father, whom Tomaselli also accuses of molestation.

Why has Tomaselli chosen to repeatedly speak publicly?

“Because I really want the truth to get out there,” he said. “I want my story to get out there. I don’t want to hide behind anybody. I don’t want to hide behind the police. I don’t want to hide behind anyone. I want this story. I want people to know I’m telling the truth. The more I tell my story, the more people obviously can compare notes and see my story matches up.”

Is Tomaselli, 23, speaking publicly to draw sympathy for his criminal situation?

“I would say it’s actually working the opposite for me at this point,” Tomaselli said. “The district attorney here has heard so many people ask that question that he is actually offering me the harshest deal that my lawyer has ever seen in a case like this . . . I’m only being offered jail time up to three years in jail and lifetime sex-offender list. To me that feels like I’m not going to have a shot at life if I’m on the sex-offender list for the rest of my life, even though I’ve been getting counseling for the better part of the summer since I got arrested and realized I’ve got a problem and I better start working on this.”

Tomaselli described how on Nov. 18, within an hour of having emailed radio talk-show host Colin Cowherd, ESPN reporter Mark Schwarz had Bobby Davis, Fine’s original accuser, contact Tomaselli.

“Bobby called me and spoke to me very briefly just about how I was doing,” Tomaselli said. “He asked me some basic questions about, you know, if I noticed the swimming pool at the house of Bernie Fine, little things like that. He was trying to confirm my story.”

Tomaselli offered an interesting theory on how his story broke in the media.

“My honest belief is that Mark Schwarz went to ESPN and I believe that ESPN didn’t want to run the story,” Tomaselli said. “They didn’t feel like it met their standard of reporting, as they keep saying. I believe they were already taking heat at the point. I believe Mark wanted the story to get out, but it couldn’t. I believe he was the only one who knew my full story. I truly believe he leaked my story to The Syracuse Post-Standard to allow that story to get out so that he could report on it.”

Listen to the entire Tomaselli interview by clicking this link.

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