The allegations surrounding Bernie Fine, former associate head coach of the Syracuse University men's basketball program, broke rapidly while the campus was vacant because of Thanksgiving vacation. While the team continues to push on without Fine, even adding Gerry McNamara to the coaching staff, take a look at how these tumultuous 12 days unfolded.
1963-1967: While attending Syracuse as a personal and industrial relations major, Fine also student-manages the basketball team. It is here he meets current head coach Jim Boeheim for the first time.
1976: Bernie Fine is hired by Jim Boeheim as an assistant coach. He is joined by Rick Pitino, who would go on to coach at Boston University, Providence College, the University of Kentucky – where he won a National Championship in 1996 – and the University of Louisville where he coaches today. The two shared an office at Manley Field House.
Fall 1999: Syracuse gives Fine a Letterwinner of Distinction. The yearly award is “the highest honor awarded by the Athletics Department to a former student-athlete letter winner.”
2000: Fine is promoted from assistant coach to associate head coach, somewhat removing him from the recruiting trail. He is replaced by Troy Weaver and current assistant and Boeheim-successor-in-waiting Mike Hopkins. Their recruits are credited with helping lead the Orange to the 2003 National Championship.
December 4, 2001: Syracuse defeats Hofstra 91-65 with Fine at the helm. This would be the first of three games in which he coached the team while Boeheim received treatment for prostate cancer. The Orange would go on to lose their last two games under Fine – against NC State and Georgia Tech, respectively – before Boeheim triumphantly returned 16 days later against South Florida.
Nov. 17, 2011: Amid allegations of sexual abuse directed at Fine, Syracuse University Chancellor Nancy Cantor places him on paid administrative leave “pending a new investigation by the Syracuse Police Department.” The allegations directed at Fine arose from Bobby Davis, the team’s former ball boy, who accused Fine of molesting him starting in 1984 and ending in the late 90s. His stepbrother Mike Lang also says he was molested by Fine.
Nov. 19: With Fine on leave, a chair is left empty on the Syracuse bench in a win against Colgate in the Carrier Dome.
Nov. 23: Zach Tomaselli of Lewiston, M.E., a third accuser, tells Syracuse police that Fine molested him in 2002 when he was 13. That night, Fine’s seat on the bench is vacant again as the Orange beat Virginia Tech in Madison Square Garden in the Dick's Sporting Goods NIT Season Tipoff.
Nov. 25: Syracuse police, state troopers and US Secret Service agents spend seven hours searching Fine’s home. Per the Syracuse Post-Standard, they seize three filing cabinets while Fine watches the search. That evening Syracuse defeats Stanford in New York City, again with a vacant seat left in place of Fine.
Nov. 27: Fine is fired. In an email sent to the university community, Cantor announces that legal counsel has been obtained by the University Board of Trustees from Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. Cantor wrote “We do not tolerate abuse. If anything good comes out of this tragedy, it will be that this basic principle is reinforced.” The announcement was delivered after ESPN's Outside the Lines released a recorded a phone conversation from Oct. 8, 2002 between Bobby Davis and Laurie Fine – Bernie’s wife – which revealed Laurie had concerns about her husband's behavior. The tape also revealed David and Laurie allegedly had an affair. Fine told Davis that her husband “thinks he’s above the law,” according to the tape.
Nov. 29: In the first game in the post-Fine era, Syracuse defeats Eastern Michigan, coached by former Syracuse assistant Rob Murphy, 84-48. There is no longer a seat left in place of Fine.