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Syracuse fires Fine

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The Funster

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Francesa just had a guy on from the Post-Dispatch. He said that both the P-D and ESPN sat on the tape is because they had no corroboration and if they went with the tape it would have exposed them to a lawsuit. Evidently, since Laurie Fine never witnessed any abuse, anything she said would have been classified as hearsay. If Lang had corroborated Davis story, they could have run with the tape but Davis denied it up until Penn State broke.
 
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Francesa just had a guy on from the Post-Dispatch. He said that both the P-D and ESPN sat on the tape is because they had no corroboration and if they went with the tape it would have exposed them to a lawsuit. Evidently, since Laurie Fine never witnessed any abuse, anything she said would have been classified as hearsay. If Lang had corroborated Davis story, they could have run with the tape but Davis denied it up until Penn State broke.

Never witnessed abuse? The tape has Fine witnessing abuse.
 

huskyharry

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Wow. Then the next question would be if the police/DA pressured ESPN to sit on the recording and why ESPN would acquiesce.
Comes back to JB, though...if the police, DA & likely some higher ranking officials at SU were in collusion to cover it up then it would be extremely unlikely that JB would not know about it and even more damning to JB that he 100% took Fine's side over Davis's, not just recently with the inflammatory statements but more importantly when he concluded in 2002 that the allegations were crap and he left Fine in a position where othervchildren & young men were at risk for the following 9 years
 
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Francesa just had a guy on from the Post-Dispatch. He said that both the P-D and ESPN sat on the tape is because they had no corroboration and if they went with the tape it would have exposed them to a lawsuit. Evidently, since Laurie Fine never witnessed any abuse, anything she said would have been classified as hearsay. If Lang had corroborated Davis story, they could have run with the tape but Davis denied it up until Penn State broke.

That is laughable. ESPN wouldn't have been exposed to any lawsuit if they turned over a tape to the police. I would agree that if ESPN ran with the story based on a tape that suggested incidents that could not be corroborated by anything more than the statement of the accusers then they may be subject to a lawsuit...but explain to me how that is any different from the current situation??????? The Penn State scandal does not legitimize another person's accusations against someone else. Let me be clear, I am not questioning whether Fine did it or not, I am simply saying ESPN is full of Stop. Nothing has changed factually since they first got the tape other than the Sandusky scandal.
 

Edward Sargent

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I noticed in all of ESPNs stupid talking head shows (PTI etc) the Fine issue and their posible complicity were not discussed. It is very odd that ESPN sat on the tape and also that the DA and the SU police are in court over "data". Feds have now taken over the case.
 

The Funster

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That is laughable. ESPN wouldn't have been exposed to any lawsuit if they turned over a tape to the police. I would agree that if ESPN ran with the story based on a tape that suggested incidents that could not be corroborated by anything more than the statement of the accusers then they may be subject to a lawsuit...but explain to me how that is any different from the current situation??????? The Penn State scandal does not legitimize another person's accusations against someone else. Let me be clear, I am not questioning whether Fine did it or not, I am simply saying ESPN is full of Stop. Nothing has changed factually since they first got the tape other than the Sandusky scandal.

I agree, for the most part. However, one thing has changed. Because of the Sandusky scandal, Lang recanted his denials and had now corroborated Davis accusations. Supposedly, that corroboration gave ESPN enough to release the tape. I'm no lawyer but it still doesn't smell right to me. You still have an accuser and the accused's wife discussing the accusations. How did ESPN know that Laurie Fine never witnessed the abuse, making any comment of hers hearsay? Also the conversation also reveals that Davis and Laurie Fine had a sexual relationship. That fact alone makes the tape newsworthy. Couldn't they have just released those bits of the tape? Wouldn't that have forced national attention and thus, a more thorough investigation?

ESPN handled this pretty timidly, IMO. I can see why the lack of corroboration would have made them hesitate but I still think they should have found a way to make this tape public when they first received it.
 
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That is laughable. ESPN wouldn't have been exposed to any lawsuit if they turned over a tape to the police. I would agree that if ESPN ran with the story based on a tape that suggested incidents that could not be corroborated by anything more than the statement of the accusers then they may be subject to a lawsuit...but explain to me how that is any different from the current situation??????? The Penn State scandal does not legitimize another person's accusations against someone else. Let me be clear, I am not questioning whether Fine did it or not, I am simply saying ESPN is full of Stop. Nothing has changed factually since they first got the tape other than the Sandusky scandal.

This is wrong on several counts.

The ESPN explanations are totally plausible.

What's changed?

1. More accusers.
2. An investigation of Fine began a couple weeks ago PRIOR to the initial ESPN report.
3. The Syracue Post-Standard started reporting on this independent of ESPN. In fact, the PS reports have contained a lot more incriminating information than what you'll get on ESPN. For instance, ESPN claims there's never been a witness to the acts, yet PS has been reporting that Fine's wife witnessed him molesting Davis.
 
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From what I've already heard, I think Boeheim has already sunk himself. He shivved his own legacy. In this respect, he's like Paterno (I'm not saying Paterno = Boeheim) but for me, the words and actions of both men are deplorable.

It's not necessarily Boeheim's cries of liar that get me, but how in the world does he never confront or ask Fine about the allegations? The university conducts a full-scale 4-month investigation. They interview Boeheim, and never once does he talk to Fine about it to gauge whether he has a possible abuser on staff? That's negligent.

This is how these things work. I have a strong feeling that people like Boeheim are advised to break the communication between them and their subordinates. They try to create plausible deniability, and that precisely is the reason Boeheim (supposedly) never talked to Fine about the allegations. You see this same thing when Graham Spanier, PSU's Prez, was offered a tape by a victim of abuse (not a Sandusky victim). He told the man to keep the tape, he didn't want to see it. The thing these people are most concerned with is not involving themselves legally in any mess which puts them in the position of sticking up for victim's rights or potentially violating an employee's labor rights. I realize that's a tough position to be in, but when the S hits , you end up losing your job.

Boeheim isn't at that point yet, BUT if it's found that Fine has been abusing other children, then not only does Boeheim have to resign but upper level administrators should as well, including possibly the President (though she wasn't around apparently during the 2005 investigation, she was no doubt aware of it).

"I didn't know" is not a defense in this day and age when you are a superior in charge of an employee who has been accused of something like this. It's your responsibility then not to sweep it under the rug, not to establish plausible deniability, but to try as best you can to ask all the questions, even if it means you're put in a tough spot, or if you ruffle some feathers, or if you find nothing at all.

I relate this back to Paterno only because I imagine him sitting in his office when McQueary comes in, and Paterno throwing up his palms, and telling McQueary, "Say no more. Stop right there. I'm going to report this to the head of campus police, and you'll tell him what you saw and heard."
 

The Funster

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I agree upstater. Long time coaches at major programs wield a lot of influence and know everything they want to know when it comes to what happens within their program. I find it hard to believe that someone like a Paterno or a Boeheim or a Calhoun wouldn't know that something is going on unless they knowingly distance themselves from a particular situation. Plausible deniability just doesn't fly in those situations because it goes against the grain of the standard the coach has set for all other areas.
 
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http://www.cnycentral.com/news/story.aspx?id=691743#.TtUP-0pOJ2o

The current police chief says the police were never informed of a tape.

But his timeline is open to questions.

1. According to the victim, his conversation with the cop lasted less than 5 minutes. He was told no investigation could be launched.
2. The DA at the time said they had procedures in place that required all sex abuse be investigated whether it was beyond the statute of limitations or not.
3. The current chief is washing his hands of what protocols and procedures were back then. Either he doesn't know or is keeping it hidden.
4. Between the time that the victim's friend called police with Fine's name and the victim's call, a month had elapsed. In that month, Duval, the police chief and an ex-Cuse bball player, had been informed about the accusations.
5. This begs the question: did the officer ignore the police procedures the DA said were definitely in place OR was his quick dismissal due to an order from his superior?

When you combine this story with the Feds moving in because the DA and Police went to war, and you combine that with the fact that this is an incestuous mess (the DA is buds with Boeheim and serves on boards together), and then you realize that when Cuse conducted an investigation, Boeheim never even asked Fine if the allegations were true, you see the cover up start to take shape.
 
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More funkiness:

How much faith can we put in Fowler's statement when it conflicts with the Post-Standard? Fowler says the PS contacted police about Fine in 2003. A PS article dates the conversation with police to 2002. It's not a big deal, but between the whitewash of whether they followed proper procedures under Duval and the basic disregard for details, this statement does not give me great faith that they cared about Davis's allegations or worse, that university connected police officials decided to sweep things under the rug. They had a whole month between the first and second phone call to decide how to handle things. The DA even says they did not follow proper procedure in dealing with sex abuse allegations.

Something is very very rotten here.

Here's the kicker: the police detective told him that he needed to meet in person with a list of names if they were to open an investigation.

The accuser lived in Utah!!!!!!!!!!! The police knew this because his friend called prior to that and told them the accuser lived in Utah.
 
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Francesa just had a guy on from the Post-Dispatch. He said that both the P-D and ESPN sat on the tape is because they had no corroboration and if they went with the tape it would have exposed them to a lawsuit. Evidently, since Laurie Fine never witnessed any abuse, anything she said would have been classified as hearsay. If Lang had corroborated Davis story, they could have run with the tape but Davis denied it up until Penn State broke.

I would hope that your summary is missing some additional points because that explanation is Stop. First off, newspapers generally cannot be held liable for accurately reporting third party accusations. Remember all of those successful lawsuits against media corporations that reported false accusations against the Duke lacrosee team members? Me neither. The media is allowed to report accusations of sexual abuse.

Secondly, hearsay is a rule of evidence that has no effect outside the courtroom. Newspapers and ordinary human beings rely on hearsay---meaning an out-of-court statement offered at trial to prove the truth of the matter asserted---all of the time. As they should. Hell, even juries are allowed to consider hearsay statements: there is a whole host of rules governing when hearsay can and cannot be offered into evidence at trial.

The it-was-only-hearsay defense is Stop, and impressive only to those who understandably don't know what the legal term "hearsay" conotes.
 
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All Cuse fans are desperately trying to force the attention onto the media right now... Which I guess I can understand... Though it's not going to work... media outlets are never going to pay the price that an individual will pay... And even if ESPN was negligent in some form (legal or non-legal), the story here is still the potential negligence of the Syracuse basketball team and administration...
 

fleudslipcon

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I agree, for the most part. However, one thing has changed. Because of the Sandusky scandal, Lang recanted his denials and had now corroborated Davis accusations. Supposedly, that corroboration gave ESPN enough to release the tape. I'm no lawyer but it still doesn't smell right to me. You still have an accuser and the accused's wife discussing the accusations. How did ESPN know that Laurie Fine never witnessed the abuse, making any comment of hers hearsay? Also the conversation also reveals that Davis and Laurie Fine had a sexual relationship. That fact alone makes the tape newsworthy. Couldn't they have just released those bits of the tape? Wouldn't that have forced national attention and thus, a more thorough investigation?

ESPN handled this pretty timidly, IMO. I can see why the lack of corroboration would have made them hesitate but I still think they should have found a way to make this tape public when they first received it.
They held onto the tape eight years because they knew it was important. Why didn't they turn it over to the Feds?
 
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All Cuse fans are desperately trying to force the attention onto the media right now... Which I guess I can understand... Though it's not going to work... media outlets are never going to pay the price that an individual will pay... And even if ESPN was negligent in some form (legal or non-legal), the story here is still the potential negligence of the Syracuse basketball team and administration...

I am extremely sympathetic to the Cuse fans' position here. With the major caveat that more might come out that will change my opinion, I find ESPN's actions much worse than Jim Boeheim's. Boeheim defended a friend against accusations that previously had been investigated and found wanting. ESPN withheld evidence that may have altered the results of that previous investigation. Which conduct was worse? I know how I feel.
 
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They held onto the tape eight years because they knew it was important. Why didn't they turn it over to the Feds?

The Feds? Why the Feds? You turn it over to local police. If you turned it over to the Feds, they'd tell you to contact the locals.

Since the locals didn't follow protocols when Davis first sought them out, one could argue that ESPN should have aired the tape.

Who knows why they didn't. We'll probably never really know. I wonder how many Cuse grads at ESPN knew about it.

If this was a tape of, say, a UConn assistant's wife, would there be any doubt that ESPN would play it?
 

fleudslipcon

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I am extremely sympathetic to the Cuse fans' position here. With the major caveat that more might come out that will change my opinion, I find ESPN's actions much worse than Jim Boeheim's. Boeheim defended a friend against accusations that previously had been investigated and found wanting. ESPN withheld evidence that may have altered the results of that previous investigation. Which conduct was worse? I know how I feel.
At this moment of time, with the information we have available, I echo your position. If upstater is correct, then the university, the Syracuse police department, the DA's office and even JB may be proven just as much at fault. But ESPN had the tape, kept it for eight years, and didn't think it was important to turn over the tape to the Feds. There was no law suit involved in that action. It was the appropriate action which ESPN failed to take.
 
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I am extremely sympathetic to the Cuse fans' position here. With the major caveat that more might come out that will change my opinion, I find ESPN's actions much worse than Jim Boeheim's. Boeheim defended a friend against accusations that previously had been investigated and found wanting. ESPN withheld evidence that may have altered the results of that previous investigation. Which conduct was worse? I know how I feel.

Previously investigated by whom? The university? I can't figure out how you blame ESPN when Boeheim never even went to Bernie Fine and asked him about the allegations. That shows me that he had less than any interest in finding out the truth. At a minimum, Boeheim should have asked Fine about it. Now there's a claim in the news of a 4th victim who is very concerned about being branded a liar if he comes forward. He's already in touch with police. This is why people who work for institutions should not come out and slam accusers.

Put it this way. If this were an elementary school teacher defending a teaching assistant by calling an alleged victim a liar, that teacher would be fired. In fact, such a thing happened in Buffalo just two years ago.
 
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At this moment of time, with the information we have available, I echo your position. If upstater is correct, then the university, the Syracuse police department, the DA's office and even JB may be proven just as much at fault. But ESPN had the tape, kept it for eight years, and didn't think it was important to turn over the tape to the Feds. There was no law suit involved in that action. It was the appropriate action which ESPN failed to take.

ESPN didn't need to turn the tape over. They just needed to air it.
 

fleudslipcon

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The Feds? Why the Feds? You turn it over to local police. If you turned it over to the Feds, they'd tell you to contact the locals.

Since the locals didn't follow protocols when Davis first sought them out, one could argue that ESPN should have aired the tape.

Who knows why they didn't. We'll probably never really know. I wonder how many Cuse grads at ESPN knew about it.

If this was a tape of, say, a UConn assistant's wife, would there be any doubt that ESPN would play it?
They could have turned it over to the local police and the Feds. They were aware of Davis being taken out of state and some of the abuse crossed state lines. So they should have given it to the local police and the Feds.
 

fleudslipcon

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ESPN didn't need to turn the tape over. They just needed to air it.
They are arguing they couldn't air it without corroboration for fear of a law suit. I don't buy that any more than you do, but even if they were afraid of a lawsuit, what moral platform do they have for not turning over potential evidence to the law?
 
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They could have turned it over to the local police and the Feds. They were aware of Davis being taken out of state and some of the abuse crossed state lines. So they should have given it to the local police and the Feds.

First, it's not clear what Davis revealed about state lines, because so far we only know that he told police and SPD about the abuse in Fine's basement. But I don't blame ESPN for not contacting local police since they knew that local police had already given Davis the SOL brush-off. To me, that absolves ESPN from turning the tape over to police. It's a police problem at that point. But it doesn't absolve ESPN from airing the tape.
 
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They are arguing they couldn't air it without corroboration for fear of a law suit. I don't buy that any more than you do, but even if they were afraid of a lawsuit, what moral platform do they have for not turning over potential evidence to the law?

The law said there would be no investigation because of statutes of limitation. Nor does the actual tape prove anything other than that Fine's wife thinks he's a child molester, and that's OK with her, as long as she gets some action too!
 

fleudslipcon

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First, it's not clear what Davis revealed about state lines, because so far we only know that he told police and SPD about the abuse in Fine's basement. But I don't blame ESPN for not contacting local police since they knew that local police had already given Davis the SOL brush-off. To me, that absolves ESPN from turning the tape over to police. It's a police problem at that point. But it doesn't absolve ESPN from airing the tape.
We're quibbling in that we both feel ESPN handled this wrong. But I was under the impression that ESPN had knowledge that Davis was taken to Hawaii as a ball boy and that information was available to them in 2003. And given ESPN knew the tape was important to hang onto it for eight years, and given that ESPN could not trust the local police's handling of the situation, because they were aware of that as well, they should have either aired the story or given the tape to the Feds or both.
 
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We're quibbling in that we both feel ESPN handled this wrong. But I was under the impression that ESPN had knowledge that Davis was taken to Hawaii as a ball boy and that information was available to them in 2003. And given ESPN knew the tape was important to hang onto it for eight years, and given that ESPN could not trust the local police's handling of the situation, because they were aware of that as well, they should have either aired the story or given the tape to the Feds or both.

Everything I've seen so far about the 2002 and 2003 claims mentions only that Davis was molested in the basement. But you could be right about the rest.
 
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