Posts Tagged ‘Bernie Fine’

For all my outspokeness about politics, I rarely actually get to be part of any real political protests. I support the Occupy movement wholeheartedly, but sadly my work schedule at Newhouse negates me from being able to participate as much as I’d like. However, I recently had the opportunity to participate in a political protest against the Westboro Baptist Church last weekend.

For those of you who have not heard of the Westboro Baptist Church, they are a church group who believes that because America tolerates homosexuality, that is why God has let X happen. Over the years, X has included soldiers’ deaths, Hurricane Katrina, 9/11, etc. For those of you who are unaware of their existence, I envy your ignorance. I myself had the displeasure of finding out about these guys when they decided that the entire city of Syracuse was going to Hell for worshipping Bernie Fine–a guy I’m sure most of us didn’t even know about until the scandal broke.

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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

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?

-Brysan Brown

What I do know, based on Schwarz’s juvenile “reporting,” is the Worldwide Leader didn’t have nearly enough evidence to air such a reputation-damaging story. Schwarz acquired just enough information — two vague, mumbling on-camera interviews from Fine’s accusers — to protect ESPN from a lawsuit. Schwarz did the legal minimum.

Was his story sound journalism? Was his story remotely fair? No, and hell no.

Let me repeat: I’m not exonerating Bernie Fine. I don’t know him. I don’t know what he’s capable of doing and/or hiding.

What I know is you don’t destroy a person’s reputation with two highly flimsy accusations.” – Jason Whitlock, Fox Sports