Syracuse Sex-Abuse Scandal: Does ESPN Bear Culpability in Delaying Justice with Handling of Tape?

Syracuse Sex-Abuse Scandal: Does ESPN Bear Culpability in Delaying Justice with Handling of Tape?

Syracuse : NY : USA | Nov 28, 2011 at 6:47 AM PST
Views: Pending
The Daily Orange: On The Beat 01/27/11

One can’t help but wonder whether ESPN staff ever listened to that taped telephoned conversation between Bobby Davis and Laurie Fine from 2002. Davis handed it over to them in 2003. ESPN had an independent voice-recognition expert verify a match with that of Bernie Fine’s, wife, Laurie. Watching ESPN news replays closely yesterday, they never mention when the comparison and verification was done, leaving the impression it was done recently. With the recording in hand it seems there should have been more in depth investigative reporting before ESPN put it on the shelf to gather dust for 8 years! It’s usually that kind of proof which helps make allegations more believable, even without a “second corroborating witness”.

On location, reporting from Syracuse, Mark Schwarz was very careful to point out that Ms. Fine denied the allegations, calling them lies, and reiterated their inability to corroborate Davis’ story, in the university’s 2005 investigation. If they listened to the tape wouldn’t it have sounded just as damning as it did when they aired it yesterday? It would have certainly made a difference in the university’s investigation had it been provided. It would also have put Ms. Fine’s denial in a different perspective, since her voice is heard on the tape admitting to taking advantage of Davis sexually, herself.

In a statement sent to the “SU Community” in advance of it being released to the media, announcing the firing of Bernie Fine, Chancellor Nancy Cantor acknowledged the university was not aware of the recording during its investigation in 2005. Head coach Jim Boeheim made a statement to the public supporting Fine’s firing and apologizing for his prior support of his long-time friend sounding insensitive to the apparent victims. Unless the local U.S. Attorney’s Office found something which has not yet been divulged in the search of the Fines’ property on Friday, it appears that no law enforcement agencies knew of the tape’s existence.

More murky details have been published this morning in The Daily Orange, the student-run newspaper, and the Jason Whitlock column on Predictably, updated details of the story have been blasted all over morning television and radio news programs. All of them lead to the need to ask more questions. If ESPN and The Syracuse Post-Standard knew of the audio-tape’s contents, how could they sit on it for so long? The reasonable person is left with the feeling that ESPN really didn’t listen to the tape prior to the Penn State story hitting the fan. Media entities have a good citizenship role to play and responsibility to bear in the world. This is the story strand that I want to follow to see how it plays out and whether any of them were remiss.

Sources: The Daily Orange/,,,

1 of 2
The Syracuse "S" emblem has become an icon Central New Yorkers identify with.
James A. Hamilton is based in Somerset, New Jersey, United States of America, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
Report Credibility
  • Clear
  • Share:
  • Share
  • Clear
  • Clear
  • Clear
  • Clear

News Stories

  • Syracuse Fires Bernie Fine

    Syracuse University announced Sunday night that it had fired assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine in the wake of child sexual abuse allegations leveled against him. "At the direction of Chancellor [Nancy] Cantor, Bernie Fine's employment with...
  • Syracuse fires coach in child abuse case

      United Press International
    Embattled Syracuse University assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine, accused of child sex abuse, has been fired, school officials announced Sunday. A statement released by the school and carried by Syracuse cable news broadcaster YNN indicated Fine...
  • Bernie Fine Fired by Syracuse in Wake of Molestation Allegations

      The New York Times
    Women Syracuse made the announcement Sunday night in the wake of news that the third accuser spoke to the police and that a graphic taped phone conversation between Fine's wife, Laurie, and another accuser became public. In a news release, Syracuse's...
  • Syracuse assistant fired as investigation widens

      Las Vegas Review-Journal / Sun
    Bernie Fine was fired Sunday by Syracuse University after a third man accused the assistant basketball coach of molesting him nine years ago. "At the direction of Chancellor Cantor, Bernie Fine's employment with Syracuse University has been...
  • 'We Do Not Tolerate Abuse,' Syracuse Chancellor Says As She Fires Coach

      National Public Radio
    The news from Syracuse University concerning child molestation allegations against assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine which he denies took several dramatic turns Sunday. Outside the Lines program, "reported that Fine's wife, Laurie, admitted in a...
  • Lupica: Signs of scandal were there at Syracuse

      NY Daily News
    His name is Matt Michael , and he used to be a reporter for The Syracuse Post-Standard newspaper, and he started working in the fall of 2002 on a story about a former Syracuse University ball boy accusing a Syracuse assistant coach, Bernie Fine , of...





More From Allvoices

Related People

Report Your News Got a similar story?
Add it to the network!

Or add related content to this report

Use of this site is governed by our Terms of Use Agreement and Privacy Policy.

© Allvoices, Inc. 2008-2014. All rights reserved. Powered by PulsePoint.