Syracuse Coach Boeheim Sorry for Slamming Accusers

He apologizes for downplaying abuse allegations against Bernie Fine
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 3, 2011 11:10 AM CST
Syracuse Basketball Coach Jim Boeheim Apologizes for Criticizing Accusers in Bernie Fine Abuse Allegations
Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim makes his apology last night.   (AP Photo/Kevin Rivoli)

(Newser) – When allegations surfaced that Syracuse assistant coach Bernie Fine molested boys, head coach Jim Boeheim defended his longtime friend last week by questioning the motives of his accusers. Now he's walking that back. "I believe I misspoke very badly in my response to the allegations that have been made," he said after last night's game. "I shouldn't have questioned what the accusers expressed or their motives. I am really sorry that I did that, and I regret any harm that I caused."

The university has fired Fine, and three men have come forward to allege abuse while they were minors. “What I said last week was out of loyalty,” Boeheim said. “I reacted without thinking. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I’m trying to learn from my mistake, and this has been a hard time. That’s all I can say.” He also promised to work toward raising awareness of child abuse. (Read more Syracuse University stories.)

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