Syracuse Fires Coach in Sex Abuse Allegations

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[National: Comment]

Editor's Note: In a new development in the case of alleged sexual molestation against Bernie Fine, the Syracuse University assistant basketball coach, by former ball boys, including Bobby Davis, the following letter was sent to the Syracuse University community by the school's chancellor.

Tonight, in the wake of troubling new allegations that emerged in the
media today, I am writing to let you know that Bernie Fine's employment
at the University has been terminated effective immediately.

Frankly, the events of the past week have shaken us all. The taped
phone call that ESPN  revealed today was not provided to the university
by Mr. Davis during the 2005 investigation by our legal counsel.  Like
the media review of the case a few years earlier, no other witnesses
came forward during the university investigation, and those who felt
they knew Bernie best could not imagine what has unfolded.

Since I last wrote to you, we have been cooperating fully with the
authorities.  On Friday, November 18th, as the District Attorney has
noted, we turned over to his office the results of our 2005 months-long
investigation. Also on November 18, our Board of Trustees retained an
independent law firm, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP,
to review our procedures in responding to the initial allegations when
they first came to the University's attention.

I fully supported that
decision and it is vital that we examine our protocols and actions in
dealing with such serious allegations.  We need to learn all we can from
this terrible lesson.

All of us have the responsibility, individually and collectively, to
ensure that Syracuse University remains a safe place for every campus
community member and everyone with whom we interact on a daily basis on
campus or in the community as part of our learning, scholarship, or
work. We do not tolerate abuse.  If anything good comes out of this
tragedy, it will be that this basic principle is reinforced.

Nancy Cantor is chancellor of Syracuse University

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