Former Syracuse basketball coach Bernie Fine will not be charged by federal prosecutors

Jim McIsaac

After almost a year-long investigation federal prosecutors announced Friday it will not charge former Syracuse men's basketball assistant coach Bernie Fine with child molestation.

Former Syracuse Orange men's basketball assistant coach Bernie Fine will not be charged by a federal grand jury in the criminal investigation involving the child molestation of two former ball boys, Bobby Davis and Mike Lang, the Post-Standard is reporting.

The investigation, which lasted nearly a year and scoured through more than 100,000 pages of seized documents, found insufficient evidence that Fine molested his accusers, or, the two accusers fabricated their stories.

Fine, 66, was fired by Syracuse University 10 days after ESPN's Mark Schwarz filed a report, which made the long-time assistant to head coach Jim Boeheim out to be a child molester that used his position in the community to earn the trust of young boys, then, sexual abuse them -- much like former Penn St. Nittany Lions assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. (Sandusky was federally convicted on 45 counts of sexual abuse in June, and, sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison in Oct.)

The two men, Davis and Lang, admitted the Penn State scandal prompted them to come forward to Schwarz, who had known about the accusations since '03. However, Schwarz, along with the Post-Standard and Syracuse University, did not run with the story due to lack of corroboration and evidence.

Lang's willingness to come forward sparked Schwarz to run the story, which led to a federal investigation after secret audio recordings involving Fine's wife, Laurie, gave the accusers' claims more credibility.

Despite the decision by the grand jury, Syracuse University announced Friday the firing of Fine was the right one. Boeheim was also contacted by the Post-Standard, but was unwilling to give a comment.

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