SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said Tuesday that "what happened on my watch" will be revealed once police complete their inquiry into child molestation accusations against his former longtime assistant.
"I never worried about my job status in 36 years," Boeheim said at his first postgame news conference since Bernie Fine was fired Sunday. "I do my job. What happened on my watch, we will see. When the investigation is done, we will find out what happened on my watch."
Advocates for sex abuse victims said Boeheim should resign or be fired for adamantly defending Fine and verbally disparaging two former Syracuse ballboys who accused Fine of molesting them.
"Based on what I knew at that time, there were three investigations and nothing was corroborated," Boeheim said. "That was the basis for me saying what I said. … I supported a friend. That's what I thought I did."
Fine has denied the allegations.
Boeheim received a standing ovation when he walked onto the court that bears his name for the game against Eastern Michigan. Fine's seat on the bench wasn't vacant this time. It was at the last home game 10 days earlier.
Asked to comment on Boeheim's status earlier Tuesday, Syracuse chancellor Nancy Cantor said, "Coach Boeheim is our coach. … We're very pleased with what he said Sunday night, and we stand by it."
After initially saying Fine's first two accusers were lying to make money in the wake of the Penn State child sex abuse scandal, Boeheim backed off those comments.
"What is most important is that this matter be fully investigated and that anyone with information be supported to come forward so that the truth can be found," Boeheim said in a statement released Sunday. "I deeply regret any statements I made that might have inhibited that from occurring or been insensitive to victims of abuse."
One of the accusers, Bobby Davis, first contacted Syracuse police in 2002 about Fine, but there was no investigation because the statute of limitations had passed. Syracuse spokesman Kevin Quinn said police did not inform the university of Davis' allegations then.
Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler said Dennis DuVal, a former Syracuse player, was police chief in 2002 and knew of Davis' allegations.
NO. 2 OHIO ST. 85, NO. 3 DUKE 63: Jared Sullinger scored 21 and three teammates were close behind as the host Buckeyes (7--0) roared out to an 11-0 lead and never trailed in routing the Blue Devils (7-1) in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge.
NO. 4 SYRACUSE 84, E. MICH. 48: James Southerland had 19 points to match his career high for the host Orange (7-0) in its first game since Fine was fired.
NO. 7 BAYLOR 90, PRAIRIE VIEW A&M 54: Perry Jones III had 27 points in his season debut, and the Bears wrapped up a season-opening six-game homestand undefeated. Jones sat out the first five games to complete an NCAA suspension for accepting improper benefits.
UVA 70, NO. 14 MICHIGAN 58: Mike Scott had 18 points and 11 rebounds, and the host Cavaliers used a 19-2 second-half run to take command against the Wolverines (5-2) in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge.
LOYOLA MARYMOUNT 75, NO. 23 SAINT LOUIS 68: LaRon Armstead scored a career-high 22 to help the host Lions snap a six-game winning streak that had the Billikens (6-1) ranked for the first time since 1993-94.
PURDUE 76, MIAMI 65: Robbie Hummel had 17 points and five rebounds to help the Boilermakers beat the Hurricanes (4-2) in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge. At halftime, Purdue dedicated a banner honoring JaJuan Johnson, hanging his No. 25 in the Mackey Arena rafters.
UF 72, BELMONT 45: Jennifer George had 15 points for UF (6-1), which turned 29 Bruins turnovers into 44 points.
NO. 8 TENNESSEE 82, MTSU 43: Cierra Burdick had 14 points and 10 rebounds for the host Vols (3-2).
NO. 10 LOUISVILLE 105, MURRAY ST. 62: Monique Reid had 18 points for the host Cardinals (7-1), who opened with a 16-0 run.
NO. 7 DUKE: Coach Joanne P. McCallie suspended guard Shay Selby indefinitely for violating unspecified team rules.