Syracuse basketball assistant coach Bernie Fine was fired by the university over allegations of sexual abuse on ball boys. After a third victim came forward and in the wake of a damning – but legal – recorded conversation with Fine’s wife, Syracuse had to break him off.
Bravo, Syracuse University.
The school didn’t mess around like, oh I don’t know – Penn State. Syracuse’s president didn’t offer a clumsy statement in supporting the alleged transgressor like Penn State’s did. Syracuse’s administration had not lawyer-ed up (yet) like Penn State’s.
In short, Syracuse did what Penn State was too cowardly to do: the right thing.
However, there is a parallel (albeit a small bit) here. Head basketball coach Jim Boeheim was not only outspoken of his right-hand man and friend in Fine, but he also called two of the accusers liars. Remember that former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno supported Jerry Sandusky, even if it was a bit quieter.
The only difference was Boeheim did the following in the wake of Fine’s firing: he retracted his support of Fine, and apologized to the alleged victims. He also did not go to the Board of Trustees and told him that he wasn’t going anywhere – even though Boeheim’s job is not in danger.
As I wrote a few weeks ago, Penn State was slow to act and should have been held accountable. At least Syracuse was not asleep at the wheel.
Again, bravo to Syracuse and shame on Penn State.