Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
‘Melo Says His Heart Goes Out to Fine’s Alleged Victims; Boeheim Talks for First Time Since Fine Firing
NEW YORK — Carmelo Anthony said he’s looking forward to playing for the Knicks this season, but brushed off any major comment on the future of Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim amid the Bernie Fine sexual molestation scandal.
“My heart goes out to the families and that’s it,” he said Tuesday at the Brooklyn Boys & Girls Club, where he appeared alongside LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul to promote the Carmelo Anthony Foundation.
“I have no comment about the Fine situation or the Boeheim situation. That’s a sensitive situation, sensitive topic that I don’t even want to go near that.”
Anthony led Syracuse to a national championship in 2003 during his only season on campus.
Syracuse Chancellor Nancy Cantor on Tuesday gave Boeheim a vote of confidence.
“Coach Boeheim is our coach; he’s getting the team ready tonight,” Cantor said after an economic development conference with state officials in Albany. “We’re very pleased with what he said Sunday night, and we stand by him.”
In his 36th season at his alma mater, Hall of Famer Boeheim ranks fifth all-time in wins in Division I and has a record 33 20-win seasons.
Boeheim received a standing ovation as he walked onto the court that bears his name on Tuesday night for the game against Eastern Michigan. Fine’s seat on the bench was not left vacant Tuesday as it had been for the last home game 10 days ago.
After initially saying Fine’s first two accusers were lying to make money in the wake of the Penn State University sexual abuse scandal, Boeheim backed off those comments in a statement Sunday.
“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 after the firing of Fine, who has denied the allegations. “I deeply regret any statements I made that might have inhibited that from occurring or been insensitive to victims of abuse.”
Some victims rights groups have called for Boeheim to resign or be fired.
“He’s not going to resign,” a Syracuse source told ESPN.com of Boeheim. “He’s like (UConn’s Jim) Calhoun — old warriors. He’ll get through this.”
(The AP contributed)
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.