Yes, that is right. In the wake of assistant Bernie Fine's firing today, it makes sense to look at who else will become a casualty of college sports' latest sexual misconduct scandal. Jim Boeheim, who brashly (and rashly) came to the immediate defense of his long-time employee, will pay a steep price for his words; he is likely to be gone within a few weeks.
Why can I make such a brash prediction? It's true, this is only a prediction: I have no direct proof to suggest that Boeheim will be fired and I do not have evidence that he was aware of Fine's alleged activities. However, if recent history is any guide, Boeheim will be let go because he let these activities go on under his watch and was far too quick to defend his assistant before letting the investigative process play itself out.
Loyalty is a good, powerful thing. Boeheim undoubtedly felt compelled to be loyal to Fine, the assistant most responsible for his enduring success at Syracuse, and defend him when these accusations sprang up against him. However, he should have known that, as Jerry Sandusky proved, people are not always what they seem. Friends are not always who they appear to be and, clearly, it is important to let the investigative process play out before rendering judgment on one side or the other.
To attack Fine would have been to declare him guilty before due process but to defend him was to vilify his accusers (who are growing in number since a third alleged victim emerged this weekend). That was not only a tactical mistake-since a shrewd operator would have treated Fine like the plague the moment the accusations became public-it was the wrong decision on a moral level.
Fine may still be innocent. In my last piece on Fine, I wrote that it is important to let the investigation play out before passing judgment. However, the accusations are piling up and, to put it lightly, his firing (after statements of support and continued employment following an earlier investigation in 2005) suggests Syracuse University may have found damning information. Boeheim's support came too quickly and, with Fine now gone, he will soon pay the ultimate price.
Check out our Bernie Fine: Will We See An Allegations Snowball?
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