Syracuse University chancellor Nancy Cantor released a statement claiming that the school was unaware of a 2002 audio recording of former assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine’s wife regarding allegations in the child sex abuse case until it became public. Cantor said in the statement:
Had that tape surfaced in 2003, Fine would have been fired. Had we been given the tape in 2005, we would have gone straight to the authorities. Had we been given the tape on Nov. 17, there would have been no “administrative leave.” Fine would have been fired on the spot. When the tape emerged for the first time on Nov. 27, we fired Fine. Those who held onto the tape for nearly 10 years owe everyone an explanation.
ESPN’s Outside the Lines broke the news of the audio conversation that included Fine’s wife acknowledging her awareness of the incident to one of the accusers. There are now three people who have accused Bernie Fine of sexual abuse.
The longtime coach was fired on Tuesday following the release of the audio recording.