- Associated Press - Friday, November 18, 2011

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) - Syracuse police spokesman Tom Connellan says Syracuse University did not contact police in 2005 when the school was informed of allegations of “inappropriate contact” by an associate men’s basketball coach.

The school placed longtime assistant coach Bernie Fine on administrative leave Thursday night after old child molestation allegations resurfaced just two weeks after the Penn State scandal.

ESPN said the accusations were made by two former ball boys.

In an email Friday morning to students, faculty and staff, Syracuse Chancellor Nancy Cantor repeated that the school was contacted in 2005 by “an adult male who asserted that he had reported allegations in 2005 of abuse in the 1980’s and 1990’s to the police” and that the accuser told the school police had declined to pursue it because the statute of limitations had expired.

She says the school conducted its own four-month investigation at that time, including interviews with people the accuser said would support his allegations, but that all of them “denied any knowledge of wrongful conduct” by the associate coach.

In an email to The Associated Press, Kevin Quinn, the school’s senior vice president for public affairs, says that when the school learned of the allegations in 2005, “it had already been reported to the Syracuse City Police and was already addressed within the criminal justice process.”

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

Syracuse Chancellor Nancy Cantor vowed Friday that the school will not turn a blind eye to child molesting allegations against a longtime assistant basketball coach that resurfaced just two weeks after the Penn State scandal.

The school placed Fine on administrative leave Thursday night “in light of the new allegations” and an investigation by the Syracuse City Police.

ESPN said the accusations were made by two former ball boys.

Bobby Davis, now 39, told ESPN that Fine allegedly molested him beginning in 1984 and that the sexual contact continued until he was around 27. A ball boy for six years, Davis told ESPN the alleged abuse occurred at Fine’s home, at Syracuse basketball facilities and on team road trips, including the 1987 Final Four.

Davis‘ stepbrother, Mike Lang, 45, who also was a ball boy, told ESPN that Fine molested him starting while he was in fifth or sixth grade.

“We hold everyone in our community to high standards and we don’t tolerate illegal, abusive or unethical behavior _ no matter who you are,” Cantor said in an email Friday morning to students, faculty and staff.

“At this time, all we really know is that a terrible tragedy is unfolding for both the accuser and the accused. I want you to know that we will do everything in our power to find the truth.”

A teenaged boy who answered the door at Lang’s house outside Syracuse said he was not home.

Story Continues →