A former men's basketball team manager for the 1985-86 and 1986-87 seasons refutes allegations that Syracuse associate head coach Bernie Fine molested two ball boys.
Sam Carello was with the team at the same time as Bobby Davis, the alleged victim, and called the allegations "totally and completely false."
"People that know Bernie will know it didn't happen," Carello said. "But the people who don't will think he's guilty. It's not innocent until proven guilty in this society anymore."
Carello said he and other former SU players and managers are outraged by the allegations of molestations levied against Fine, who has been an assistant at Syracuse for 35 years. He feels the allegations are "lies" that have resurfaced in the wake of the Pennsylvania State University sex abuse scandal.
The allegations against Fine were originally investigated by Syracuse police in 2003, according to an article published on ESPN. That is when Davis first went public with his story. And Carello said he was interviewed by ESPN later in 2005 in connection with the same allegations.
"What's really sad is they've just ruined a guy's career without investigating it further," Carello said. "I was one of the people they interviewed back in 2005 and stuff. You didn't find anything there. Now, just because of this Penn State stuff and the media, you get a media blitz to ruin this guy's life without any accusation except one guy claiming this and no evidence."
Carello said he participated in a teleconference Thursday night with Derrick Coleman and Billy Owens, who were both outraged over the allegations. He said all of the former players know Davis' words are just lies.
"I just got off the phone from a conference call with Derrick Coleman and Billy Owens. And everybody feels the same way," Carello said. "They're upset and they blame it on the Penn State thing trying to bring down the university's name for the same reason. Everybody that knows Bernie knows there is no way he did this."
Carello said he believes Fine will never coach another game for Syracuse, and that is what makes him and his former teammates sad. He feels a great coach with a phenomenal career has suddenly been stripped of everything he's accomplished, without being proven guilty of anything.
"I know he's not guilty, but he's already presumed guilty," Carello said. "He's on leave. He will never coach again. Anyone accused of being a molester at a university, you're not going to coach anymore. All because of one person coming forth and lying."