Kevin Rivoli, Associated Press
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Syracuse men's basketball coach Jim Boeheim said Tuesday that "what happened on my watch" will be revealed once police complete their inquiry into child molestation accusations against his former longtime assistant.
"I never worried about my job status in 36 years," Boeheim said at his first postgame news conference since Bernie Fine was fired Sunday. "I do my job. What happened on my watch, we will see. When the investigation is done, we will find out what happened on my watch.
Advocates for sex abuse victims said Boeheim should resign or be fired for adamantly defending Fine and verbally disparaging two former Syracuse ballboys who accused Fine of molesting them.
"Based on what I knew at that time, there were three investigations and nothing was corroborated," Boeheim said. "That was the basis for me saying what I said. I said what I knew at the time."
"I supported a friend," he added. "That's what I thought I did."
Fine has denied the allegations.
Boeheim received a standing ovation when he walked onto the court that bears his name for the game against Eastern Michigan, beaten by the Orange 84-48. Fine's seat on the bench wasn't vacant this time, though it was at the last home game 10 days ago.
Asked to comment on Boeheim's status earlier Tuesday, Syracuse University Chancellor Nancy Cantor said:
"Coach Boeheim is our coach. ... We're very pleased with what he said Sunday night, and we stand by it."
After initially saying Fine's first two accusers were lying to make money in the wake of the Penn State University child sex abuse scandal, Boeheim backed off those comments.
"What is most important is that this matter be fully investigated and that anyone with information be supported to come forward so that the truth can be found," Boeheim said Sunday night. "I deeply regret any statements I made that might have inhibited that from occurring or been insensitive to victims of abuse."
One of the accusers, Bobby Davis, first contacted Syracuse police in 2002 regarding Fine, but there was no investigation because the statute of limitations had passed. Kevin Quinn, a Syracuse spokesman, said police did not inform the university of Davis' allegations then.
On Tuesday, Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler said Dennis DuVal, a former SU basketball player who was police chief in 2002, knew of the allegations against Fine.
Fowler said DuVal, who played for the Orange from 1972-74, was aware of Davis' accusations in 2002 that Fine sexually abused him.
Because Davis said the abuse stopped 12 years earlier, Syracuse Det. Doug Fox told him the statute of limitations had passed, meaning an arrest was not possible. Fox advised his supervisor in the abused persons unit, but didn't file a formal report. The detective is still with the department, but not in the same unit.
A phone message left with DuVal was not immediately returned.
On Nov. 17, Davis' allegations resurfaced.
Davis, now 39, told ESPN that Fine molested him beginning in 1984 and that the sexual contact continued until he was around 27. A ball boy for six years, Davis said the abuse occurred at Fine's home, at Syracuse basketball facilities and on team road trips, including the 1987 Final Four. Davis' stepbrother, Mike Lang, 45, who also was a ball boy, also told ESPN that Fine began molesting him while he was in the fifth or sixth grade.
But Boeheim said during his news conference that ballboys have never traveled with the team.
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