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Timeline: How the Bernie Fine investigation unfolded

Allegations of abuse were leveled against former Syracuse University assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine nearly a year ago. The case captured national attention and the investigation expanded beyond Central New York. This timeline retraces the headlines from the moment we first learned of the allegations, to the end of the Federal investigation.
Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - Allegations of abuse were leveled against former Syracuse University assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine nearly a year ago.

The case captured national attention and the investigation expanded beyond Central New York.

This timeline retraces the headlines from the moment we first learned of the allegations, to the end of the Federal investigation.


Bernie Fine Timeline

Nov. 17, 2011: Bernie Fine is placed on administrative leave by Syracuse University after ESPN reports that two former ball boys, Bobby Davis and Mike Lang, claim they were molested by Fine in the late 1970s through the 1990s.

Nov. 17, 2011: In an interview with ESPN, head coach Jim Boeheim responded to the allegations of abuse by Bobby Davis as "it is a bunch of a thousand lies he has told."  He went on to tell ESPN, "What are people looking for here? I believe they are looking for money. I believe they saw what happened at Penn State and they are using ESPN to get money. That is what I believe. You want to put that on the air? Put that on the air."

Nov. 18, 2011: In a statement through his attorney, Fine said the allegations are "patently false."

Nov. 18, 2011: Syracuse University Chancellor Nancy Cantor releases a statement stating the university conducted its own internal investigation in 2005 after learning of the allegations. "At the end of the investigation, as we were unable to find any corroboration of the allegations, the case was closed," she wrote.

Nov. 18, 2011: Jim Boeheim tells the Syracuse Post-Standard, "I'm not Joe Paterno. Somebody didn't come and tell me Bernie Fine did something and I’m hiding it. I know nothing. If I saw some reason not to support Bernie, I would not support him, but until then, I’ll support him until the day I die."

Nov. 21, 2011: Bobby Davis fires back at comments made by head coach Jim Boeheim, in an interview on ESPN. "Boeheim wasn't there with me and Bernie. I don't know how he could say that,” said Davis. “He wasn't there. Like how does he know what happened in Bernie's house at night? Maybe he thinks he knows Bernie like a lot of people do but they don't. How can he tell people that he didn't do that to me you know?"

Nov. 23, 2011: A third accuser, Zach Tomaselli, tells police he was abused by Bernie Fine in 2002, according to statements Tomaselli later made to NewsChannel 9. He would later admit that he fabricated the allegations.

Nov. 25, 2011: A search of Bernie Fine's DeWitt home is conducted by Syracuse police, State troopers, members of the Secret Service and the U.S. Attorney's office. Investigators took nearly 200 items, including metal filing cabinets.

Nov. 27, 2011: ESPN airs portions of a telephone conversation between Bobby Davis and Fine's wife Laurie that Davis recorded in 2002. In the recording, ESPN says Laurie Fine can be heard saying "I know everything that went on with him...Bernie has issues, maybe that he's not aware of, but he has issues... and you trusted someone you shouldn't have."

Nov. 27, 2011: Bernie Fine is fired by Syracuse University, hours after ESPN airs the Laurie Fine telephone recording.

Nov, 27, 2011: Shortly after Fine's firing, Jim Boeheim recants earlier comments saying he deeply regrets statements he made that may have been insensitive to victims of abuse, but reinforced his claim to know nothing of the alleged incidents.

Nov. 28, 2011: The Pittsburgh Bureau of Police says it will open an investigation into Zach Tomaselli's allegations assistant coach Bernie Fine alleged to have occurred in that city.

Nov. 29, 2011: At a post-game news conference, Jim Boeheim answers many questions about the Fine investigation, and says, "I supported a friend. I'm proud that I did."

Nov. 30, 2011: Federal authorities search Bernie Fine's office on the Syracuse University campus in the early morning, a law enforcement official tells NewsChannel 9.

Dec. 13, 2011: Bobby Davis and Mike Lang file a lawsuit against Syracuse University and coach Jim Boeheim. Attorney Gloria Allred says that after repeatedly telling the world that Davis and Lang were liars, it's time for the university and Boeheim to be held accountable.

Dec. 15, 2011:  Bobby Davis talks about the case and his lawsuit against the university and head coach Jim Boeheim, in an interview aired only on NewsChannel 9. "The first thing is to be called a liar and not to be believed, and that’s the worst fear as a victim," Davis said.

Jan. 15, 2012: Floyd "David" VanHooser, the fourth person to accuse former Bernie Fine of sexual abuse, says he lied about the allegations.  He made the admission in two letters, dated November 29, 2011, that were published by the Post-Standard.

April 13, 2012: Zach Tomaselli admits he fabricated his allegations of abuse against Bernie Fine. Earlier in the week, Tomaselli was sentenced to three years and three months in prison for sexually abusing a boy in Maine.

May 16, 2012: Attorneys representing Laurie Fine announce that she will sue ESPN and ESPN reporter Mark Schwarz for libel. To announce the lawsuit, Laurie Fine appears with her attorney, Lawrence Fisher, at Belhurst Castle in Geneva.

May 21, 2012: Laurie Fine's lawsuit against ESPN is officially filed.

Nov. 9, 2012: The US Attorney's Office announces that Bernie Fine will not be charged with a crime after a year-long investigation.

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