If the Penn State scandal is any indication, Jim Boeheim's entire remaining career and reputation could be hanging in the balance of whether or not the allegations that longtime assistant Bernie Fine molested a former Syracuse ball boy for 12 years are proven true.
Assuming Boeheim and Fine are as close as I would imagine them to be, I don't even know if Jim is thinking about his career. But he's certainly stepping up to defend his assistant head coach.
First, he spoke with the New York Times Pete Thamel:
Then, Boeheim released a statement echoing Syracuse University's that stated the matter was previously investigated and closed (via Axe).
"This matter was fully investigated by the University in 2005 and it was determined that the allegations were unfounded. I have known Bernie Fine for more than 40 years. I have never seen or witnessed anything to suggest that he would been involved in any of the activities alleged. Had I seen or suspected anything, I would have taken action. Bernie has my full support."
Then, Boeheim went into the tell-it-like-it-is mode that we've come to expect from him. He flat-out calls the accuser a liar.
"He supplied four names to the university that would corroborate his story. None of them did ... there is only one side to this story. He is lying."
Boeheim added: "Why wouldn't he come to the police (first this time)? Why would he go to ESPN? What are people looking for here? I believe they are looking for money. I believe they saw what happened at Penn State and they are using ESPN to get money. That is what I believe. You want to put that on the air? Put that on the air."
Look, it's way too early to make judgements about ANYTHING in this matter. That said, knowing what we know about the Penn State scandal and knowing what we know about how Joe Paterno handled it and knowing what we know about how the world views Joe Paterno right now...if Jim Boeheim is going to throw a rope around Bernie Fine and then attach himself to that same rope, you better believe that Jimmy thinks this charge is bunk. Doesn't mean it is, necessarily, but if everyone's going down, they're going down thinking they're in the right.