Amidst the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal, many Penn State supporters lamented about a perceived double standard regarding similar allegations against the Syracuse Orange former assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine.
They wanted the media camped out at the Carrier Dome and coach Jim Boeheim hounded in the same way reporters pursued the late Penn State football coach Joe Paterno.
But earlier this week, citing insufficient evidence, the FBI decided to end its investigation against Fine. Even before the FBI decided to drop the case against Fine, the Syracuse scandal never rose to the level of cover up at Penn State.
Still, we are left with many questions and few definitive answers in this case.
The Penn State case had witnesses, numerous accusers, police reports, indictments, grand jury testimony and the university’s athletic director and president facing criminal charges. We now have the accused, convicted and behind bars. Although lawsuits have yet to be settled, Penn State has been punished.
The Syracuse case just leaves us perplexed. We either have a man wrongly accused or a predator getting off on a technically. Both equally sad.
Two of the four Syracuse accusers have admitted to lying. That leaves Bobby Davis and his stepbrother Mike Lang. These two hired Gloria Allred to sue Boeheim and Syracuse, not Fine. That lawsuit was dismissed.
We haven’t heard from Fine. The so-called smoking gun in this case is a taped conversation between one of the accusers and Fine’s wife. What we hear is bizarre at the very least, distasteful even. But at no point in the conversation is there confirmation of sexual abuse.
What is clear on the tape is that the accuser owed Fine money. Doesn’t help that the he hired the icon of money grabbing lawyers, Allred, whose clients include Tiger Woods’ mistresses and a woman identified as Lawrence Taylor’s underage hooker.
Does this prove the men are what Boeheim said they were, liars “trying to get money”? No. But nothing proves they aren’t.
It’s unclear what went on in the Fine household. It all seems seedy at best. But after local police, the FBI and the university went looking, no charges have been filed and we are left with too many unanswered questions.