NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 13: Bobby Davis speaks in attendance with attorney Gloria Allred at a news conference with Mike Lang (not seen) 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)
An attorney I am not. Let me make this perfectly clear; the words that follow have no legal expertise whatsoever. In fact, there isn't any expertise at all.
This is strictly opinion, or at least I think it's opinion, on a story that I have followed intently but still don't understand. One thing I do know, Laurie Fine's lawsuit may finally may produce answers to all of our questions.
It was November when the allegations of Bernie Fine sexual abusing Bobby Davis (and then others) either first surfaced or resurfaced, depending on who knew what and when. Initially, I reacted as a fan. I pointed to Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim's defense of Fine and the University's investigation into the claims years earlier and finding nothing credible.
Then, somehow, the story took a turn (Actually, it took turn a turn and veered off a cliff and blew up on rocks. Only to survive the wreck and comeback with a Jason Voorhees like vengeance.) toward an even darker place. More alleged abusers popped up and almost as quickly as they appeared they were proven liars. Gloria Allred showed up and was promptly beaten by Boeheim in civil court.
Now, we watch Laurie Fine at a press conference at a castle near the shore of a lake. Sane in its complete craziness.
We hear Laurie defend herself, coming across forceful and at the same time beaten down. Both parts appealing and appalling.
She is suing ESPN with an attorney that may be in way over his head, or may be crazy like a fox waiting to pounce. Who knows? It's par for the course, really. When ever someone, think baseball players and steroids, says they are falsely accused, we all ask, 'Well, why don't you sue then?' So she's doing the only real thing she can to defend herself against lies, sue.
But then there's this;
@CapCarey 'her phone call on tape is more than enough'
The audio recording heard around the world. Bobby Davis and Laurie Fine. Either doctored or implicating Bernie as a sick predator.
That tape and the main characters won't let the story go away. We're in the glory years of Boeheim's career. We should be enjoying the legacy. Approaching 900 career wins, a legend amongst coaches, a hall of famer who's still producing at the highest levels. Still, the end is certainly closer for Boeheim than any of us would like to admit. His impending departure, whenever that may be, shouldn't be clouded with this ugly, tainted, soap opera of a story.
Yet, I want to know the truth even more. That's why, although it will certainly get uglier and more embarrassing for everyone, I am glad Laurie's not letting this go away. I don't so much care who is the subject of the suit, be it the media or otherwise, all I really want to know is, or at least have a better understanding of, what the hell happened.
Laurie and her attorney say she was defamed by liars and lies, but that supposed taped phone call of her talking to Davis still rings in everyone's ears. She can deny it all. Other accusers can be proven frauds. Time can pass. But in the end, that recording still exists.
Was it doctored? And if so what does that mean for journalism in general? If it can somehow be proven it wasn't doctored, then that certainly means guilt on Bernie.
This lawsuit could be thrown out, could just go away, or could make it to court. I have no idea. Its been the same since the fall. I read and I listen, but I still don't get it. This latest drama in a long horrible story could produce an answer or two. I'm hoping it does, because I'm sick of the endless questions.