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As the investigation into the Bernie Fine child sex abuse scandal moves forward, one of the biggest questions will be determining what Syracuse University and head basketball coach Jim Boeheim knew, and when they knew it.But shouldn’t we ask why did ESPN know and not tell anybody?
Yesterday, ESPN aired a taped phone conversation between Bernie Fine’s wife and his accuser, Bobby Davis.
According to Syracuse University Chancellor Nancy Cantor, this was the first time the university had heard the tape. “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,” said Cantor.
This appears to be confirmed by ESPN, who says they “did not report Davis’ accusations, or report the contents of the tape, because no one else would corroborate his story.”
But doesn’t Laurie Fine corroborate the story in the taped conversation? That was all Syracuse needed to fire Bernie Fine. Well, ESPN says they only recently verified the voice on the tape.
But if the tape wasn’t good enough for broadcast without verification, why didn’t ESPN turn the tape over to Syracuse University? Certainly there are people at the university that would have recognised the voice as belonging to Laurie Fine.
Instead, ESPN apparently sat on the tape for eight years, and allowed an alleged child sex offender continue to work with children at Syracuse University. All in the name of journalistic integrity (and not wanting to get scooped).
And if that is true, then ESPN is just as culpable as anybody else that covered up Bernie Fine’s actions.