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.
Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim has no intention of resigning amid the Bernie Fine sexual molestation scandal, a source told ESPN.com.
“He’s not going to resign,” the source said. “He’s like (UConn’s Jim) Calhoun — old warriors. He’ll get through this.”
Syracuse assistant Mike Hopkins was tabbed as Boeheim’s successor in 2007, and ESPN reported Hopkins’ contract was restructured two years ago when he flirted with the Charlotte job.
“His time frame [on retiring] should be whenever he wants,” Hopkins told SNY.tv of Boeheim last March during the Big East Tournament.
Yet Hopkins added that he would like to be a head coach at some point.
“You learn, you get an education and then at some point you want want that opportunity,” he said. “And that’s just human nature. That’s how we’re built.”
Boeheim adamantly defended Fine, his friend for close to 50 years, even as two accusers said he sexually molested them as ball boys. When the allegations first went public Nov. 17, Boeheim accused Bobby Davis of being a liar who was after money.
“It is a bunch of a thousand lies that he has told,” Boeheim told ESPN, referring to Davis. “You don’t think it is a little funny that his cousin (relative) is coming forward?”
After Fine was fired Sunday night amid allegations from a third accuser, Boeheim backtracked somewhat, saying his initial comments were “insensitive to victims of abuse.”
Rev. Robert Hoatson, president of Road to Recovery, a group that supports victims of sexual abuse, told ESPN Boeheim should step down.
“I think Jim Boeheim should be fired or resign as well,” Hoatson said Monday. “These boys were members of the basketball program. Jim Boeheim’s responsibility is to oversee that program, and the children were not safe on his watch.”
Michael McCann, Director of the Sports Law Institute and Professor of Law at the Vermont Law School, told SNY.tv that Boeheim’s case was different from that of former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno.
While Paterno was told by an assistant about a specific instance of alleged sexual abuse, Boeheim apparently never knew about Fine’s alleged activities.
“Based on what Boeheim has told the media — that he did not know Fine was allegedly committing abuse, Boeheim probably will avoid any kind of legal fallout,” McCann said.
“It’s possible the ballboys could argue that Boeheim, as the head coach, had a duty to protect them, but if Boeheim had no idea and had no reason to know that there was abuse taking place, then it would likely be hard to argue he broke any laws. If it turns out that he knew or should have known based on the situation, then the situation changes.”
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.