NEW YORK - FILE: Assistant coach Bernie Fine of the Syracuse Orange looks on from the sidelines during their game against the Connecticut Huskies during the quarterfinals of the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden on March 12, 2009 in New York City. According to reports on November 27, 2011, Syracuse University has fired assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine over allegations of child molestation. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
On the day that Jerry Sandusky was convicted of his many crimes, I made the mistake of doing a Twitter search for "Bernie Fine." While it wasn't an overwhelming amount of tweets, there were two basic themes of the people who did mention him.
No. 1 - Now it's Bernie Fine's turn
No. 2 - Whatever happened to Bernie Fine, I haven't heard anything in months.
I expected to see both reactions but it's the second one that concerned me. Outside of the Syracuse community and the few people paying attention to the details, most folks are probably unaware of the myriad complexities, contradictions and questions that have come up since then.
I have two fears in regards to Bernie. The first is that there is still some bombshell piece of evidence that is yet to come out (if ESPN has it, they're probably waiting to lock up an advertiser first). The second is that no one cares that the case against Fine is shaky. All they remember is that "Jerry Sandusky = Bernie Fine" and "Penn State = Syracuse" and what happened to one should happen to the other. In theory, it could be true, but no one's proven that just yet, and the evidence doesn't suggest the latter by a longshot.
Of course, the one real shady thing about SU's handling has been the previously-locked 2005 internal investigation. The Syracuse Board of Trustees released a report today basically affirming what you already knew. That while the investigation into Bobby Davis' accusations against Bernie Fine was done in good faith, it should have ended with the notification of Syracuse Police and handing over of findings.
Here's the whole write-up and report, courtesy of Syracuse.com.
Cue the "SU tried to cover it up" comments and to be fair, it's never going to look good that SU didn't go to the police with this report. The BOT saying this publicly doesn't really do anything, but I hope it makes some take a look at the report, which includes interviews from various people who have very unkind things to say about ' character. Like everything else, it makes a case for both sides and leaves us with more questions than before. What else is new.