Syracuse assistant coach on leave during probe
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Just two weeks after Penn State was rocked by a child sex-abuse scandal, ESPN reported Thursday that police were investigating an assistant basketball coach at Syracuse University on allegations of child molestation.
Shortly afterward, Syracuse placed longtime assistant coach Bernie Fine on leave "in light of the new allegations and the Syracuse City Police investigation," the school said.
ESPN reported that Mr. Fine is accused of molesting a former Syracuse ball boy, who is now 39. The alleged victim told ESPN the abuse occurred at Mr. Fine's home, at Syracuse basketball facilities and on team road trips, including the 1987 Final Four.
ESPN said it first investigated the accusations in 2003 but decided not to run the story because there was no independent evidence to corroborate the allegations. Recently, a second man contacted ESPN, alleging that Mr. Fine also molested him. That person said he decided to come forward after seeing the Penn State coverage.
Penn State police and their counterparts in State College said they had no record of former graduate assistant Mike McQueary reporting a sexual assault by former coach Jerry Sandusky on a 10-year-old boy in a campus shower, a detail that runs counter to claims made in an email to former teammates.
Mr. McQueary, who is now an assistant coach but has been placed on administrative leave, wrote in the email given to The Associated Press that he had "discussions with police and with the official at the university in charge of police" about what he saw.
In the email, Mr. McQueary did not specify whether he spoke to campus or State College police.
State College police Chief Tom King said Mr. McQueary didn't make a report to his department. Penn State spokeswoman Annemarie Mountz said campus police also didn't have any record of a report filed in 2002 by Mr. McQueary.
Ms. Mountz noted that the 23-page grand jury report was the state attorney general's summary of testimony, so it's unclear what Mr. McQueary's full testimony was.
First Published November 18, 2011 12:00 am