Man says Syracuse coach's wife had sex with players

Reuters News
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Posted: Jan 31, 2012 5:23 PM
Man says Syracuse coach's wife had sex with players

By Aman Ali

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A man who accused a former Syracuse assistant basketball coach of abusing him as a boy filed a statement in court saying that the assistant coach's wife had sex with several Syracuse basketball players, and Hall of Fame head coach, Jim Boeheim, should have known.

Former Syracuse ballboys, Bobby Davis, 39, and his stepbrother Mike Lang, 45, accuse longtime assistant coach Bernie Fine of sexually abusing them as juveniles. Prosecutors have said they believe the two men but cannot prosecute Fine because the statue of limitations has run out since the alleged abuse. Fine was fired after the accusations surfaced last year.

When Davis and Lang first went public with their accusations, Boeheim called them liars. Boeheim subsequently apologized for the remark, saying he was only defending a coach he had worked with for decades.

Davis and Lang filed a defamation lawsuit against Boeheim last month in a New York City court.

Davis filed a new sworn statement to that lawsuit on Monday saying that Laurie Fine bragged about performing oral sex on several players and discussed the "specific size and physical attributes" of their genitals.

"For years, Bernie Fine's wife Laurie Fine had sexual relationships with basketball team players. Players used to talk openly about it as a known fact," said the affidavit, who also said she had sex with him.

Fine's attorneys have repeatedly denied the sexual abuse took place and no formal charges have been filed against him. It is not illegal for Fine's wife to have consensual sex with adult basketball players.

But celebrity attorney Gloria Allred, who is representing Davis, said in an email to Reuters on Tuesday that both Boeheim and the university should be held accountable for any inappropriate behavior that occurred on campus on their watch.

"If Laurie Fine was having multiple sexual relationships with basketball players, then the university must explain how this could have been taking place for years right under Coach Boeheim's nose without his being aware of it and without the university's doing anything about it," Allred said.

Davis said in the affidavit that Boeheim must have known about what Bernie Fine and his wife were doing.

"At a bare minimum, Boeheim chose deliberately not to" learn about the "fundamentally dysfunctional relationships that the Fines maintained," Davis said in the affidavit.

Laurie Fine's attorney Ed Menkin called the allegations false rumors peddled by Allred.

"This is both desperate and disgusting, an example of an irresponsible and unprofessional lawyer flailing about to keep a dying lawsuit in the public eye," Menkin said.

Syracuse University, which is also named in the suit filed by Davis and Lang, said it would respond "at the appropriate time."

Federal investigators are probing accusations from a third accuser, Zach Tomaselli, who said Fine molested him in a Pittsburgh motel room when he was 13 in 2002. But Tomaselli's story has been questioned by prosecutors and Tomiselli recently pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a boy in Maine.

Boeheim is one of the most celebrated coaches in college basketball. His team has 22 wins and only one loss so far this season and was ranked No. 1 in the nation until a recent loss to Notre Dame.

(Editing By Barbara Goldberg and Greg McCune)