SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Syracuse assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine says allegations that he molested two former ball boys for years are "patently false."
The school placed Fine on administrative leave Thursday "in light of the new allegations" and an investigation by the Syracuse City Police.
In a statement released by one of his attorneys Friday, Fine said the allegations have been thoroughly investigated multiple times and he has fully cooperated with past inquiries.
"Sadly, we live in an allegation-based society and an Internet age where in a matter of minutes one's lifelong reputation can be severely damaged," Fine said. "I am confident that, as in the past, a review of these allegations will be discredited and restore my reputation. I hope the latest review of these allegations will be conducted expeditiously.
"Finally, I appreciate (Chancellor Nancy Cantor's) statement that I should be accorded a fair opportunity to defend myself against these accusations. I fully intend to do so. There should never be a rush to judgment when someone's personal integrity and career are on the line."
ESPN reported the accusations were made by former ball boys Bobby Davis, 39, and Mike Lang, 45, who is Davis' stepbrother.
Davis told ESPN that Fine molested him beginning in 1984 and the sexual contact continued until he was around 27. A ball boy for six years, Davis told ESPN the abuse occurred at Fine's home, at Syracuse basketball facilities and on team road trips, including the 1987 Final Four. Lang told ESPN that Fine molested him starting while he was in the fifth or sixth grade.
Fine is in his 35th season as a Syracuse assistant. No one answered the door at his home Friday.
Former Syracuse star Gerry McNamara will fill in on the coaching staff while Fine is on leave.
Around the nation
No. 3 Ohio St. 85, Jackson St. 41:
NO. 6 DUKE 82, DAVIDSON 69: Mason Plumlee had 16 points and 13 rebounds, and combined with brother Miles to score 10 straight during a decisive 25-4 run in the second half for the host Blue Devils (4-0). Austin Rivers and Seth Curry, the younger brother of former Davidson star Stephen Curry, finished with 17 points for Duke in its first game since Mike Krzyzewski broke the record for most coaching victories in men's Division I history.
NO. 13 XAVIER 66, MIAMI (OHIO) 60: Mark Lyons scored 11 of his 18 points in the first half as the host Musketeers (3-0) held on. There were seven ties and 14 lead changes, with neither team leading by more than six points until Xavier put on a late push and built a lead to 60-51.
MISS. ST. 67, NO. 15 ARIZONA 57: Arnett Moultrie had 19 points, 10 rebounds and an MVP trophy to celebrate his 21st birthday as Mississippi State upended the Wildcats to win the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer at Madison Square Garden in New York. The Bulldogs (4-1) closed on a 10-2 run. Solomon Hill had 12 points and nine rebounds for Arizona (4-1).
NO. 16 ALABAMA 70, WICHITA ST. 60: Tony Mitchell had 26 points and the Crimson Tide posted a tournament-record 14 blocks to reach the Puerto Rico Tip-Off final in San Juan. Alabama (4-0) avenged its loss to the Shockers in last year's NIT title game and faces Purdue in Sunday's championship game.
NO. 19 TEXAS A&M 58, ST. JOHN'S 57: The Aggies won despite shooting only three free-throw attempts (making two) to 38 for the Red Storm at Madison Square Garden. St. John's made 22 free throws, and Nurideen Lindsey missed two with 2.3 seconds left in the Coaches vs. Cancer third-place game.
NO. 21 MARQUETTE 95, WINTHROP 73: Vander Blue had 26 points and was one of five players in double figures for Marquette at the Paradise Jam tournament in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Blue made his first nine shots from the field, including two 3-pointers, for the Golden Eagles (3-0).
UCF 84, HIGH POINT 72: Marcus Jordan had 21 points and Keith Clanton added 20 points and 15 rebounds for the host Knights (2-1).
NO. 4 CONNECTICUT: Freshman point guard Ryan Boatright has been suspended for six games for receiving improper benefits.
Hazzard dies at 69
Walt Hazzard, a stellar point guard who helped John Wooden win his first national title at UCLA and became the fifth coach to follow the legend, died Friday. He was 69. Mr. Hazzard died at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center after a long illness, the university announced. He had complications after heart surgery, his family told the Los Angeles Times. Mr. Hazzard, who played 10 seasons in the NBA, including three for the Lakers, was a scout for the team until suffering a stroke in 1996.
NO. 8 DUKE 73, AUBURN 50: In her home debut, freshman Elizabeth Williams had 18 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks for the Blue Devils (2-0).
NO. 24 OHIO ST. 70, TEMPLE 66: Tayler Hill scored 24 and Samantha Prahalis 20 as the host Buckeyes (2-0) withstood a rally by the Owls, who got within 66-63 with 32.3 seconds to go.
NEBRASKA 68, NO. 23 USC 50: Lindsey Moore scored 15 of her 22 in the second half to help the host Cornhuskers (2-0) protect a 13-point halftime lead. Briana Gilbreath had 18 points for Southern California (1-1).