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More flaws and an interesting apology found in Syracuse’s secret report on Bernie Fine

Bernie Fine

In this Monday, Nov. 14, 2011, photo, Syracuse basketball assistant coach Bernie Fine watches a college basketball game against Manhattan in the NIT Season Tip-Off in Syracuse, N.Y. ESPN reported Thursday, Nov. 17, that police were investigating Fine on allegations of child molestation. Shortly afterward, Syracuse placed Fine on administrative leave “in light of the new allegations and the Syracuse City Police investigation,” the school said. (AP Photo/Kevin Rivoli, File)


While things had been generally quiet in regards to the allegations levied against former Syracuse assistant coach Bernie Fine, the Syracuse Post-Standard brought to light the school’s secret report on Fine.

One of the more interesting aspects of the 15-page report was the presence of an apology from accuser Bobby Davis to Fine from 2004.

The report about the university’s investigation into the then-assistant basketball coach — which SU refuses to release — includes a cryptic reference to a phone message Fine says his accuser, Bobby Davis, left for him in October 2004.

“Fine played the message in which Davis indicates he is calling to apologize; indicates what he did was wrong; and says that he is sorry,” says the report, which The Post-Standard has obtained.

The report mentioned the message, but left key questions unanswered: What was Davis apologizing for? What did he mean when he said he was wrong? Did SU officials ask Davis about it?

Davis and his lawyer won’t comment on the phone message, which apparently has been lost. Neither will SU or Bernie Fine’s lawyers.

That will likely be the aspect of the report that sticks out for many and rightfully so, especially with the vague nature of the phone message.

But in a case that’s had many inconsistencies come up since the charges were made public in the fall, this is just one more piece of evidence that will need to be figured out.

Apparently the report, which can be read on the Post-Standard website, shows that none of the people interviewed believed Davis’ story that he’d been sexually abused by Fine.

Seven statements were taken, with Laurie Fine, current assistant Mike Hopkins, Ludwig Vita (one of nine boys who were said to have visited Fine’s home), Florida businessman Paul Missigman and former strength coach Corey Parker providing statements along with Davis and Fine.

With inconsistencies that also include the stated length of the investigation (the report shows that it was three months instead of the stated four) to figure out, it may be some time before there’s a final resolution to the case.

Raphielle is also the assistant editor at and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.