Thursday, December 14, 2017
Sports

Case dropped vs. ex-Orange assistant Fine

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Federal authorities dropped their investigation into one of the sexual abuse claims that cost a Syracuse assistant basketball coach his job and threatened the career of Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim.

After an investigation of nearly a year, U.S. Attorney Richard Hartunian said Friday that there wasn't enough evidence to support a claim that Bernie Fine had molested a boy in 2002 in a Pittsburgh hotel room.

"The nature and seriousness of these allegations, which involved conduct typically committed in private with individuals who are reluctant to come forward, warranted a thorough federal investigation," Hartunian said.

It wasn't clear whether Fine, 66, could get his job back.

His lawyers, Karl Sleight, Donald Martin and David Botsford, said in a statement they were not surprised: "The damage inflicted upon Bernie and his family is simply immeasurable. Bernie hopes and prays that the lesson learned and remembered is that a rush to judgment has irreversible consequences."

Two former Syracuse ball boys, Bobby Davis and Michael Lang, came forward Nov. 17 and accused the longtime assistant of fondling them when they were teens. But their claims happened too long ago to be prosecuted.

Then 10 days later Zachary Tomaselli, 23, of Lewiston, Maine, went public with an accusation that Fine had molested him in 2002 at a Pittsburgh hotel. The same day, ESPN aired an audiotape in which Fine's wife, Laurie, apparently acknowledged to Davis she knew about the molestation he alleged.

Fine, who denied the allegations, was fired Nov. 27, and the government began investigating Tomaselli's claim, the only one that fell within the statute of limitations.

Tomaselli was himself accused of sexually abusing a boy at a camp in 2010. He was convicted of sexual abuse and started a prison sentence in April.

Fine, who put his Syracuse home on the market in March, has been in Florida and was hired as a consultant for an Israeli team. Laurie Fine has sued ESPN, alleging defamation.

Comments
Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 4

Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 4

The Rays are still talking about a lot of things as the winter meetings wrap up today, most importantly the potential trade of closer Alex Colome – and perhaps others, including Evan Longoria – to the Cardinals.First up is the Rule 5 draf...
Updated: 4 hours ago
NFL Power Rankings, Week 15: Carson Wentz's injury drops Eagles out of top five

NFL Power Rankings, Week 15: Carson Wentz's injury drops Eagles out of top five

What follows below is a ranking of all 32 NFL teams. To build this list, we consulted five objective measures of team strength: Pro Football Reference’s Simple Rating System, Football Outsiders’ Defense-adjusted Value Over Average ratings...
Updated: 4 hours ago

North shuts out South squad in Pinellas All-Star Football Classic

CLEARWATER — The players had so much fun, officials at Clearwater High School literally had to turn off the lights post-game to get everyone to go home.With more than 60 talented and motivated seniors participating in Wednesday's 23rd annu...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Does UCF have a shot at a split national championship?

Does UCF have a shot at a split national championship?

Reader Ken Kueker asked a great question yesterday:"If UCF beats Auburn in the Peach Bowl, what do you think of voting them #1 in your AP ranking?"My short answer is the obvious cop-out: It depends on how UCF looks (is it a triple-overtime win o...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Marchand rallies Bruins by Wings

Marchand rallies Bruins by Wings

DETROIT — Brad Marchand assisted on the tying goal late in regulation and scored the winner 35 seconds into overtime to give the Bruins a 3-2 victory over the Red Wings on Wednesday.The Bruins managed only two shots on goal in the first period but tw...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Tampa Bay Rays making progress in trade talks

Tampa Bay Rays making progress in trade talks

Without getting into specifics – especially the who and the where – Rays officials are for the first time talking optimistically about making a trade before the winter meetings end Thursday.Speaking at around 5:15, senior VP Chaim Bloom s...
Updated: 10 hours ago

Winter meetings journal: Rays trade for money to sign top international free agent

LAKE BUENA VISTA — While most of the business conducted at the meetings impacts the big-league team one way or another, the Rays are working to finalize a move they hope pays off big sometime in the 2020s.In trading Wednesday to acquire $1 million in...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 3 – updated with news

Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 3 – updated with news

UPDATE, 5:55: Trade talks apparently picked up this afternoon, perhaps related to previous activity by other teams, and for first time Rays officials sound like something could happen tonight."At this point today, some of those conversations are movi...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Market starting to set itself as Rays’ trade talks intensify

Market starting to set itself as Rays’ trade talks intensify

LAKE BUENA VISTA — Alex Colome claimed he was just showing good social media manners Tuesday night in following four Cardinals-related Instagram accounts since they were saying nice things about him.In doing so, whether for that reason or another mor...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Market starting to set itself

Market starting to set itself

LAKE BUENA VISTA — Alex Colome claimed he was just showing good social media manners Tuesday night in following four Cardinals-related Instagram accounts since they were saying nice things about him.In doing so, whether for that reason or another mor...
Updated: 10 hours ago