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Fine out after 3rd accusation

Bernie Fine has been accused by three men of molestation.

Associated Press

Bernie Fine has been accused by three men of molestation.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Bernie Fine was fired Sunday by Syracuse after a third man accused the assistant coach of molesting him when he was a child.

"At the direction of Chancellor (Nancy) Cantor, Bernie Fine's employment with Syracuse University has been terminated, effective immediately," Kevin Quinn, the school's senior vice president for public affairs, said in a statement.

Fine, 65, was in his 36th season at his alma mater. He had the longest active streak of seasons at one school among Division I assistant coaches.

Zach Tomaselli, 23, of Lewiston, Maine, said Sunday that he told police that Fine molested him in 2002 in a Pittsburgh hotel room. He said Fine touched him "multiple" times in that incident.

He was the third accuser to come forward in the investigation of child molestation allegations against Fine, who was put on paid administrative leave when accusations surfaced.

Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said he supported the university's decision and expressed regret for his initial statements that might have been "insensitive to victims of abuse."

"The allegations that have come forth today are disturbing and deeply troubling," Boeheim said in a statement. "I am personally very shocked because I have never witnessed any of the activities that have been alleged. I believe the university took the appropriate step (Sunday).

"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."

Tomaselli, who faces sexual assault charges in Maine involving a 14-year-old boy, told the Associated Press that he signed an affidavit accusing Fine after a meeting with Syracuse police last week in Albany. Tomaselli's father said his son is lying.

Two former Syracuse ball boys were the first to accuse Fine, who has called the allegations "patently false."

Bobby Davis, now 39, told ESPN that Fine molested him beginning in 1984 and that the sexual contact continued until he was around 27. A ball boy for six years, Davis told ESPN that the abuse occurred at Fine's home, at Syracuse basketball facilities and on road trips, including the 1987 Final Four.

Davis' stepbrother Mike Lang, 45, who also was a ball boy, told ESPN that Fine began molesting him while he was in fifth or sixth grade.

On Sunday, ESPN played an audiotape, obtained and recorded by Davis, of an October 2002 telephone conversation between Davis and Fine's wife, Laurie.

Davis told ESPN he made the recording, which also has been given to Syracuse police, without her knowledge because he knew he needed proof for the police to believe his accusations. Davis also acknowledged that he and Laurie Fine had a sexual relationship when he was 18, and that he eventually told Bernie Fine about it.

During the call to the woman, Davis repeatedly asks her what she knew about the alleged molestation. The woman says "there might have been others" and she knew "everything that went on."

Sunday's games

NO. 13 ALABAMA 72, VCU 64: JaMychal Green scored 16 of his 21 in the second half and had 14 rebounds for the host Crimson Tide, 7-0 for the first time since 2006-07.

NO. 17 PITT 81, ROBERT MORRIS 71: Ashton Gibbs scored 21 and Cameron Wright added a career-high 13 as the host Panthers (5-1) won their third straight.

NO. 21 MISSOURI 88, BINGHAMTON 59: Kim English scored a career-high 29 and made 7 of 10 3-pointers for the host Tigers (6-0).

NO. 24 MISS. STATE 82, N. TEXAS 59: Arnett Moultrie had 20 points for the host Bulldogs (7-1), who took a 30-10 lead and cruised.

LATE SATURDAY: Chace Stanback had a career-high 28 points and added 10 rebounds to help UNLV beat top-ranked North Carolina (5-1) 90-80 in the championship game of the Las Vegas Invitational.

Fine out after 3rd accusation 11/27/11 [Last modified: Sunday, November 27, 2011 11:55pm]
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