Bernie Fine Allegations: After All the Twists and Turns, We're Back to the Beginning
By Michael McAllister
The Bernie Fine situation had been quiet for awhile. Then came news about who Jim Boeheim was hiring to defend the defamation suit brought by Bobby Davis and Mike Lang. Sure that was newsworthy, but nothing really earth shattering. But today there were major developments. The fourth Bernie Fine accuser, Floyd VanHooser, admits he lied about the sexual abuse allegations he made against Fine. This brings a new twist to the ever twisting roller-coaster ride of the Bernie Fine situation.
The Bernie Fine allegations have taken strange twist after strange twist. Remember when the audio tape first came out? Or third accuser Zach Tomaselli? Or when there were rumors of Laurie Fine sleeping with players (nothing ever came of those rumors by the way)? Then there was the odd coverage by ESPN and The Post-Standard, leaving many to question their journalistic integrity. There was the backlash against Mark Schwarz, with many feeling he had a personal vendetta. Jim Boeheim was called to resign by many given his initial statements, and there were Boeheim's several press-conferences addressing the issue. Twist, after twist, after twist.
But through all the minutia and developments that toyed with our emotions in many different ways, it appears we are back to where we originally started. Two accusers, Bobby Davis, and Mike Lang. Zach Tomaselli's credibility has taken a severe hit, and he may not have any left, after reports came out that there was no bus to Pittsburgh, and about the possibility school records were obtained showing he was in school during the time in question. Fourth accuser VanHooser has admitted he lied
due to being mad at Fine for not hiring a lawyer for him.
So where do we go from here? Do these developments change the public perception of Davis' and Lang's credibility? Their credibility has been questioned already
. The most responsible action that fans and the public can take is to wait for the investigation to be complete, wait for the defamation lawsuit to finish, and see where things stand at that point. Given these latest developments, that seems to be the prudent response.
But isn't it amazing how we're back to where we were three months ago? With everything that has happened, we're back to just Davis and Lang. For those hoping the Fine allegations are false, the latest developments should be viewed as a positive sign. However, for those who think Fine is guilty, this does not necessarily exonerate him. This is exactly why overreacting to new developments can be dangerous. We are all guilty of it. I'm no different. It's hard to keep your emotions in check when a program you've grown up loving has seemingly been attacked in such a demonstrative way. But keep them in check we must as we go forward. This part of the ride is over, but we can see forward that more loops, twists, and turns are on the horizon.