Bernie Fine Allegations: Do Tomaselli Developments Implicate Davis, Schwarz?
By Michael McAllister
Back when third Bernie Fine accuser Zach Tomaselli's accusations first came out, it was noted that ESPN's Mark Schwarz put Bobby Davis in touch with Tomaselli
. It was shortly after that when Tomaselli spoke with police officers and investigators. There was a lot of backlash at the time regarding Schwarz's involvement in putting those two accusers in touch. Many found it unprofessional, and said it could be construed as tampering with witnesses. Fox Sports' Jason Whitlock, who has been critical of Schwarz's conduct throughout the investigation, accused Schwarz of potentially witness tampering.
Given that we now know Tomaselli lied and doctored e-mails that he sent to The Post-Standard, does this implicate Schwarz and Davis? Is it possible that Davis spoke with Tomaselli and in some way coached him on what to say in order to make his accusations appear credible, and further strengthen his case? Is it possible that Schwarz was partially involved in this type of discussion? That's not to say either of those things happened. No one knows except those three parties. But it's worth asking the question. It could speak directly to Davis' motives and/or credibility going forward. It could merely be a coincidence. Many have questioned Schwarz all along. His handling of the investigation has left many to feel he's had an agenda, and reported things in an intentionally slanted way. Given these latest developments, it's fair to ask what role Schwarz played in Tomaselli's lies. Did he know about them? Did he encourage them? Did he ignore them? Or is he learning about this for the first time as well all are? We may never know the answers to those questions, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't be asked. Also keep in mind, ESPN's justification for airing the audio tape was Tomaselli coming forward. And, Schwarz wanted to run Tomaselli's story on ESPN, but the higher ups told him no. Schwarz then contacted The Post-Standard in order to get Tomaselli's story out there, and then the audio tape was released. That sequence of events seems very odd.
The point is, the longer this thing goes, the more this has the appearance of a set-up on some level. Maybe that set-up was simply Tomaselli and VanHooser looking to help their own situations by jumping in on the accusations. That's very possible, and that should not be dismissed as a possibility. Nor should Davis still potentially being a victim of molestation be dismissed. But being skeptical of the remaining accusers at this point is not unreasonable given the latest developments. And the only way to find the truth is to openly ask these types of questions. I get it. We all want to be sensitive to potential victims of horrific crimes. And we absolutely should. However, we also need to be able to ask questions as to the credibility of such accusations. There's no reason that can't be done in a respectful, and sensitive manner.