Syracuse (WSYR-TV) – Students and administrators in the Syracuse University community had mixed reactions to the firing of longtime Orange men’s basketball assistant Bernie Fine on Sunday night.
Fine was fired hours after ESPN aired a taped conversation
between his wife – Laurie Fine – and one of the former assistant coach’s three accusers, Bobby Davis. During the conversation, Laurie Fine confirms that she was aware of the alleged sex abuse her husband was engaged in with Davis. She also suggests that there “might have been others.”
Board of Trustees member and former Syracuse University player George Hicker was disturbed by the recording’s revelations.
"Having watched those tapes today, it’s pretty amazing that he’s accused of these things prior to today and now on this tape, this fellow came out and said he [Bobby Davis] was sleeping with his wife. So I don’t know what more to say than it’s lurid,” said.
Hicker played in the 1960s when Fine was a student manager.
The students that NewsChannel 9 spoke with were more ambivalent.
Shelby Jacobs said she is upset that Fine is leaving the program.
“I think it’s going to be a sad thing to see him go,” she said. “But if these allegations are true, it would be bad for our reputation.”
Sophomore Derek Barocas said he wasn’t concerned about Fine’s firing, noting that he didn’t know who he was prior to the scandal that led to the firing of the longest tenured assistant coach in college basketball.
“It doesn’t affect me that much, to be honest,” Barocas said. “I never knew Bernie Fine. I didn’t know the name of Bernie Fine – I don’t think most students did – before this.”
On Sunday, SU men’s basketball head coach Jim Boeheim and Chancellor Nancy Cantor both issued statements
on Fine’s firing.