The recent scandal at Syracuse regarding assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine is not welcome news for students, faculty, alumni and the school administration, especially in wake of the debacle at Penn State University. These allegations are extremely serious and the actions taken by the university cannot be compared to those by officials at Penn State. It does not seem as though the accusing victims told officials about this nor does it appear as though any university officials witnessed any inappropriate behaviors by coach Fine. The police contacted the university and subsequently conducted their own investigation and found no wrongdoing on the part of the coach.
The difference between the allegations regarding Jeff Sandusky and the allegations concerning Bernie Fine is that school employees at Penn State actually saw Sandusky abusing children, did not report it to police and sought to cover up the crime. The accusations regarding Bernie Fine are extremely serious and have been taken as such by the university. Chancellor Nancy Cantor in her letter to the university is correct that the school has an obligation to ensure that the allegations are true and that Fine is not being falsely accused. Placing Fine on administrative leave does not conclude that he is guilty, but allows for his presence not to be a distraction for the university or basketball team.
The accusations, if true, would be detrimental not just for the university, but would mean that innocent children were victimized. But we do not have all the answers and should let the police conduct its investigation. It is important that the university fully cooperates even if the investigation sheds a harsh light on the university.
Do you think the university is handling the scandal properly?