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Bernie Fine Allegations: Boeheim, Fine Relationship Strained, According To Sources

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Notice a pattern today? First, we hear that Mike Hopkins and Bernie Fine didn't really get along all that well.

Now comes news that Jim Boeheim and Bernie Fine weren't really on great terms for a long time either.

"Several people close to the program told ESPN.com that Boeheim and Fine were very close for the first two-plus decades of their tenure but that the friendship has not been the same since Fine was essentially demoted in 2000. Recruiting had waned in the late 1990s and Fine's new title of associate head coach basically took him off the road and often relegated him to running the team's camps... It got to the point where Boeheim wasn't even recommending Fine for head-coaching jobs.

"The relationship, even among the families, deteriorated. When the Fines moved across the street from the Boeheims, multiple sources say it greatly irritated Boeheim's wife, Juli. She doesn't like Laurie Fine and made no secret of it."

I worked in PR for a short-while but I worked in it long enough to know that in a situation like this, you separate yourself from the crisis as quickly and as much as possible. That's not to say the things written above aren't true. I'm just sayin...

If it's a play, it's an interesting play. To me, what makes Boeheim's initial comments defendable was that he was a strong, longtime friend to Fine. By saying that's not true, it adds confusion.

On the flip side however, for those trying to figure out how Boeheim never knew what was going on with Fine and his alleged victim, this provides some good answers.

"He had no idea [about Fine's alleged criminal acts]. I can tell you that. He had no idea. He made sure we were [NCAA] compliant, but he didn't order everyone around. He expected the players to do their job, go to class and come to work. That's how he rolls."

As Brent Axe said on the radio today, Syracuse fans probably already knew most of this. But this article is for the national audience who are just learning who Jim Boeheim is and how he works.