Jeff Cornish, the former employee of the Tri-Valley YMCA that reportedly offered extra benefits to student-athletes in 2005, has come out of the woodwork and spoken publicly for the first time since Friday's allegations.
"Beyond fundamentally disagreeing with the various characterizations of my actions that have appeared in the press and the NCAA report, I choose not to dignify them with any further comment," Cornish said in a written statement.
Cornish's words come come directly from a Syracuse.com story written by John O'Brien, who also reports the Oneida native is saying he never used funds he took from the YMCA and placed into bank account he'd set up using the organization's not-for-profit tax ID number for personal benefit.
"That suggestion is patently false," Cornish wrote. "I neither 'misappropriated' nor 'diverted' a penny from the Oneida YMCA. That was confirmed in discovery during the civil suit filed against me in 2008 by the Oneida YMCA."
The YMCA's lawsuit accused Cornish of using the bank account for "unjust enrichment" through "the diversion of funds."
Meanwhile, former Syracuse quarterback Perry Patterson admitted Monday, on Facebook, he was one of the three football players paid by Cornish for what he called "a job." (The Daily Orange.)
"Well I got paid through the YMCA of Oneida," former Syracuse quarterback Perry Patterson said Monday in a Facebook message. "And I was on payroll for doing small jobs like mentoring a troubled teen, coaching and helping with basketball tournaments, like setting up the gym, coaching, etc."
"For me it was just a job," he said. "No different than working for this hotel or at the car auction that some of us used to work at."
Patterson said he remembers being interviewed by who he believes was the NCAA in 2007 or 2008, but added that he didn't recall anything coming from the interview.
Much like in the aftermath of the Bernie Fine saga, there's going to be a lot of mud flung back-and-forth and who you believe is going to be up to you. For right now, Cornish is on the defensive and Patterson's testimony seems to back up his argument. At least, for now.