The cover of USA Today featured a story comparing the sexual abuse scandals at Penn State and Syracuse, with a picture of Jim Boeheim beneath the headline. I did not even bother to read the article. In my eyes–and in the eyes of many–there can be no comparison between the two scandals.
While Jim Boeheim definitely acted insensitively by dismissing Bernie Fine’s accusers as liars seeking money, there has been no proof that he was actually informed by anyone that may have witnessed Fine behaving inappropriately with children as was the case with Penn State and Joe Paterno.
Boehiem took a step in the right direction on Friday by apologizing for his initial remarks about the scandal and saying, “I believe I misspoke very badly about the accusations that have been made. I regret any harm that I caused.”
As Chancellor Nancy Cantor and the university administration stand behind Boeheim, they are also defending the university’s reputation. From our knowledge, the university conducted its own investigation several years ago and today are fully cooperating with the authorities. Understandably, every SU student hopes that no university official had proof of any of the illegal activities Fine has been accused of committed. It would mean that a child has suffered and no one did anything to find that child justice. But that is one of the distinguishing factors that makes the case at Syracuse different from Penn State.
The media has every right to cover this story but should exercise caution when comparing this situation to the one at Penn State. It seems as though everyday a new event surrounding this case is unfolding. A friend of mine that goes to college in Boston recently asked me what is going on in Syracuse, and I told her everyone at SU is asking the same question.
- Brysan Brown