NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 13: Attorney Gloria Allred speaks at a news conference with Bobby Davis (not seen) and Mike Lang (R) at the Renaissance Hotel in New York Times Square on December 13, 2011 in New York City. The men are being represented by Allred in a suit against Syracuse University, and its former assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine, for his alleged sexual molestation of Davis and Lang over twenty years ago. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
Ever since the Bernie Fine scandal broke, I've been waiting for two things.
1. Bernie Fine supporters, especially those who spent their childhoods in the Fine home, to come forward with their stories.
2. Someone to openly question Mike Lang's recently-changed story that is a huge reason everything went down as it did.
Halfway through April 2012, John O'Brien at the Post-Standard is bringing the two together.
Years after Lang’s stepbrother,, accused Fine of sexual abuse, Lang reached out to Fine and renewed their social relationship, Fine’s friends say.
On top of that, Lang’s name has almost disappeared from recently filed court papers in a slander suit he and Davis filed against SU and coach Jim Boeheim. But Lang’s friends stand by his honesty.
Three people who attended a 60th birthday party for Fine in 2006 say Lang was among the 300 to 400 attendees. Lang hugged Fine in a ballroom at the Holiday Inn in Carrier Circle, according to the three supporters of Fine.
"Definitely it was Mike Lang," said Sam Carello, SU’s team manager in the mid-1980s who also knew Lang from Henninger High School. Carello said he talked to Lang at the party.
Correct me if I'm wrong but O'Brien is officially only the second journalist after Jason Whitlock to raise questions about just how truthful Lang is being about his recent accusations that Bernie Fine molested him as a child after denying it for over a decade.
O'Brien is quick to point out that none of these things are proof that Lang is lying and he's right about that. He points out that victims often do reconnect with their abuser and separate the past from the present. And he include quotes from abuse experts saying that Lang's past and present comments do fit the profile of an abuse victim.
But how bout the fact that Lang is being removed from the defamation lawsuit? That's a HUGE red flag. If you're trying to prove that Jim Boeheim slandered Mike Lang by calling him a liar, the last thing you would do is try to remove Mike Lang's statements and actions from the legal preceding. Especially with the potential of millions of dollars on the line.
O'Brien also includes a recording made in 2002 between a Post-Standard reporter and Lang, in which Lang says, "He never done nothing with me — never...I would tell you." Again, doesn't prove anything. And we already knew that Lang denied everything until recently. But it's still pretty interesting to hear Lang actually say it. Give the recording a listen because it's interesting insight into what was known at the time.
(And for anyone who might think the P-S was trying to squash the story back in 2002, it's obvious in the recording that that's not true at all. The reporter is practically urging Lang to come forward with information the entire time)
The article notes that Lang has refused to publicly discuss his comments and allegations. Doing so would go a long way towards possibly helping his cause. If he comes off credible discussing it, then it might squash a lot of this doubt.
Given Zach Tomaselli's recent (dubious) comments and now this, Gloria Allred may want to rally the troops, if for no other reason than to confirm their side of the story. And, of course, explain the lawsuit questions.