That was the sound of the other shoe dropping.
I've been waiting for it, hoping it wouldn't come, but it did. Bernie Fine has been all but branded a pedophile and, regardless of whether any legal action can or will be taken against him, he's gone for good.
The next obvious question is what should happen with Jim Boeheim in light of the fact that he could have had a pedophile on his staff for 35+ years and considering his initial comments regarding Fine's accusers. In short, I don't think Boeheim <em>should</em> be (or even will) fired on either account, but wouldn't be surprised if he is. The long version after the jump.
First off, I don't think Boeheim will or should be fired. In my initial reaction to this story, I stated that if the allegations against Fine ended up being true (and, at this point, it's close enough), then the basketball program needs to be blown up. I'll admit to being overly reactionary, so I'll back track and gladly take any ribbing that comes with it.
Of course, the comparison most are making is with the PSU scandal and who knew what and when. While there is some debate on the details, witnesses indicate that Joe Paterno knew that Sandusky was engaging in inappropriate behavior with young boys within PSU football facilities. Paterno admitted to being told about the shower incident, though denies being told in details of its nature. The consensus is that Paterno didn't do enough to stop that behaviour. His superiors allegedly did nothing about it, so the consensus is that Paterno should have taken matters into his own hands and gone to the police himself. The consensus opinion is that this was a moral fail that justified his firing. I'm not totally sure I agree, but I'm certainly not going to argue it.
Jim B, on the other hand, claims to have known nothing about these alleged abuses and there has been nothing so far to indicate otherwise. Even Davis has retracted his statement that Boeheim personally saw Davis in Fine's hotel room. So, Jim B is to be penalized simply for (assuming unknowingly) having a potential child molester on his staff? That doesn't quite scan. People can talk about, "Boeheim should have known" all they want. How? If the symptoms of abuse were that apparent, someone (Jim B, other assistants, players, Davis' family, etc.) would have noticed. Hell, Davis shared a summer house with Mike Hopkins. If anyone were to notice something weird, it would have been Hop. So, no, Jim B cannot be held accountable for the private affairs of his staff, again assuming that he didn't know.
Nor do I think that his initial comments about the accusers are grounds for firing either. Sure, they were ill-advised, ill-timed and carried the characteristic Boeheim bluntness, but, like Sean said, they were feelings that most of us when we first heard of this. It's well known that Jim B doesn't mince words. If he can get away with, "Not ten f*cking games," then these comments, no matter how insensitive are no worse than that. That's not to say that I don't think SU is within its rights to fire Boeheim on those grounds. The univesity certainly is. And with Doc Gross' PR heavy agenda, I wouldn't be surprised if Boeheim is fired (or more likely "resigns"). But, at the same time, I think that both Cantor and Gross are smart enough to know that firing Boeheim is nothing more than an overreactionary PR move that won't help the situation at all.
Now, all that said, I think that this whole thing will have the opposite affect as what NoXCUSE mentioned in Sean's post about Boeheim's future. I think it could cause him to retire sooner rather than later. I don't mean a mid-season resignation (unless to preempt a firing). I think that if Jim B knew anything, he would have resigned as soon as the story broke, especially considering the PSU fiasco. People were talking about the ACC move pushing Boeheim out the door. I thought the opposite. I thought that the challenge of establishing a presence in a new league with new top-flight conference opponents would keep him around for a good 5 years more, maybe closer to 10. But now, I think that Jim B. might be getting fed up with the BS. Hopkins is as ready as he'll ever be to take over the program. They have a good stable of young assistants. I think Jim B could easily look at his legacy (bringing Syracuse basketball from mediocrity to national powerhouse), look at what's left to be done (900 wins and maybe another NCAA title) and the obstacles ahead (the Fine aftermath, ACC move) and decides to walk away. It's bound to happen sooner or later. This might be the sort of perfect storm that sends him out.