Bernie Fine Allegations: Fine's Office Searched, Accusers Clarify & Post-Standard Comes Clean

Tons of developments, news and tidbits dropped today. I'll try to be concise.

The other day word leaked that a search warrant was going to be issued on Manley Field House, assumedly to search Bernie Fine's office. That search warrant was served today.

Federal court filings show two search warrant applications were filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Clymer on Friday and Monday, both signed by U.S. Magistrate Andrew Baxter. The filings don’t say the searches were connected to the investigation into child-molesting allegations against Fine. But a source who spoke on the condition of anonymity said police entered Fine’s office at the Carmelo K. Anthony Basketball Center early Tuesday and conducted a search.

A lot has been said about the accusers, their stories and timelines over the last few days. Lots of discrepancies. Today the biggest ones noted were the fact that Zach Tomaselli's initial account of how he took a team bus to the Pittsburgh game didn't make sense since the team had flown to the game directly from Tennessee. Tomaselli clarified on his Facebook page, saying that he took a separate but with "team staff."

Then there's the discrepancies that come up when you compare Mike Lang's timeline in different interviews.

Are they lying? That's impossible to say. And probably beside the point, to be honest (though accuser No. 3 continues to be "interesting" to say the least). There's not much to be gained from trying to prove the accusers are liars or devious at this point. And besides, it doesn't matter what they told reporters, it only matters what they told authorities and what those authorities can prove.

Meanwhile, Lang explained to CNN why he finally came forward while Tomaselli has been interviewed by Pittsburgh police.

Lost in all the brouhaha over ESPN's decision not to release the audiotape in 2003 is the fact that the Post-Standard had the tape as well. Unlike ESPN, who is trying to hide behind the BS of their authentication problem (multiple videos of Laurie Fine existed on the Internet the entire time courtesy of Syracuse new sites), the Post-Standard is coming clean and explaining themselves like a normal news organization should.

Is it possible we made a wrong call? Is it possible we could have done more? Of course. We agonized over these decisions in 2003 as we do today. We hope to learn from the experience. Randi Bregman, executive director of Vera House, says that in a case like this we might consider steering the accuser to an abuse victims' advocacy group, along with a copy of the tape. (The Vera House hotline to report abuse is 315-468-3260.)

When people ask about our "moral responsibility," however, we believe we were faithful to it. We listened to Bobby Davis, we checked out his story every way we could, we knew he had gone to police, we weighed the arguments for and against publishing, and we made a decision. The reason this tape exists is because we took our role so seriously. We exercised our moral responsibility by checking out Davis' story as thoroughly as we could. That's more than anyone else can say until the last two weeks.

Fault our decisions, quarrel with our methods. We welcome the debate and the advice. But don't mistake us for an arm of law enforcement. Police have their job to do. We'll keep trying to do ours.

Take it or leave it, at least they came clean. Kinda like Boeheim...

Via an editorial, the Daily Orange has asked Syracuse University to make the entirerty of its 2005 internal investigation public.

The public has no use for the names of possible victims or corroborators, and these can be removed or abbreviated if they appear in the report. But the administration has a responsibility to restore faith, not with tall statements, but through fact, such as the plainest, legal document so far in existence.

Transparency is the big word for SU right now.

Finally, we turn to Dave Bing for a little guidance. The Detroit Mayor is arguably the best basketball player in SU history and just so happened to spend four years as Jim Boeheim's teammate.

"I don’t know how anyone can blame Jimmy for this," Bing said.

"If this is true, you feel badly for the kids involved, but we just don’t know what the truth is yet," Bing said.

As for the specific accusations, Bing said, "I’ve known Bernie since 1963 and we’ve been friends, close friends, and I’ve never seen that kind of character flaw."

  • Syracuse locals: What to believe?...ESPN
  • Jim Boeheim learns the price of loyalty in Bernie Fine scandal...Frank Deford
  • Podcast: Does/should Boeheim keep his job?...CBS Sports
  • Boeheim starting to sound more and more like Paterno...AOL Fanhouse
  • Community continues to support Boeheim...YNN
  • A Supportive Crowd at Syracuse...The Quad

And finally, proof that you should be absolutely terrified of what's still to come...

  • Which Syracuse Basketball Players Had Sex With Laurie Fine?...Deadspin
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