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)
I feel bad for Mike Lang. While I never want to say that I don't believe him and his allegations against Bernie Fine, I've always had a wary eye on him because I thought he was a pawn in this game that belonged to someone else. Why did he just so happen to change his story now when he was so adamant for so long that nothing happened? Why did he change his story just as he started having money problems? Why did he seem to disappear from legal documents during the defamation trial and seem wholly uninterested during press conferences and public appearances?
Today we learn that Lang's heart was never really in the defamation suit against Jim Boeheim. He flat-out told the Post-Standard that he's "kind of glad (Boeheim) won that case. Why not? He was just sticking up for Bernie."
Lang does swear in that interview that he really was molested by Bernie Fine. Unfortunately for him, he goes on to describe what happened and that's where he starts making another problem for himself.
"Nothing really happened to me," Lang said. "That’s what the big thing is, or I would’ve never brought my little brother on. (Fine) grabbed me, it was nonchalant. I always felt a little weird. He tried to touch me in my penis on the outside of my shorts or whatever and I pushed his hand away. But nothing happened to me like it did to Bobby."
Here's what Lang said when he initially came forward with claims of sexual abuse.
Lang says Fine, 65, touched him inappropriately at least dozens of times over a 10 year period beginning in 1982. He told CNN that he used to tell Fine to stop touching him, but "you couldn't tell him no."
Actually, when asked by CNN how many times Bernie touched him, Lang said, "20, 30, 40...when do you stop counting?" That doesn't sound like "nothing" to me.
The most disconcerting part of the interview is where Lang confirms that he did indeed ask Bernie Fine to make his son a ball boy for the Syracuse Orange basketball team, even though he allegedly knew Bernie to be a sexual predator who molested young men. Lang says bringing attention to the allegations is a way of ensuring that no other kids are ever put in the position he and were in, and yet he was more than happy to send his own two sons into the care of the same man who apparently molested him and his step-brother for over a decade.
What do I always say? The more we learn, the more confused we get. I wanted answers and I ended up getting exactly what I expected...more questions.