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      Cantor says Fine would TMve been fired if tape was presented in ~03

      Syracuse University Chancellor Nancy Cantor said on Thursday that if Syracuse University had known about the Laurie Fine audio tape in 2003 or 2005, the university would have fired Bernie Fine.

      In an article on USAToday.com, Cantor says, Had that tape surfaced in 2003, Fine would have been fired. Had we been given the tape in 2005, we would have gone straight to the authorities. Had we been given the tape on Nov. 17, there would have been no ~administrative leave. TM

      Numerous law enforcement agencies are investigating three separate accusations that Bernie Fine, former Syracuse University assistant basketball coach, sexually abused them.

      Recently, ESPN released an audio tape between one of the accusers, Bobby Davis, and Laurie Fine. The tape suggests that Laurie Fine was aware of her husband TMs involvement with underage boys.

      The full article, written by Nancy Cantor, published on USAToday.com, says:

      Late on Thursday, Nov. 17, ESPN contacted us regarding allegations of inappropriate behavior by Bernie Fine dating back to the 1980s. We placed Fine on leave so we could learn the facts and avoid unfair rush to judgment.

      When the allegations first surfaced to us in 2005 via an anonymous e-mail, we acted and engaged legal counsel. In their investigation, they interviewed Mr. Bobby Davis and people he said would support his claims. None of them did. We also learned that the police had been informed in 2002 of the allegations, and that the news media had also investigated the claims but could not confirm the story.

      We are being criticized for not going to the district attorney in 2005. Do I believe that we could have potentially done some things differently? Absolutely. In fact, our board has retained another outside law firm to review the initial work done by counsel and our response to it. We are a learning organization and, with 20/20 hindsight, everything can be improved.

      Why didn't we go to the DA? In our experience, the police and the DA are synonymous. We had no reason to believe differently in this case.

      What is missing from all of this, however, is that we were never told about the shocking audio tape that emerged this past Sunday. Mr. Davis didn't give it to us in 2005, nor did the media, which have acknowledged having it since 2003.

      Had that tape surfaced in 2003, Fine would have been fired. Had we been given the tape in 2005, we would have gone straight to the authorities. Had we been given the tape on Nov. 17, there would have been no "administrative leave." Fine would have been fired on the spot. When the tape emerged for the first time on Nov. 27, we fired Fine. Those who held onto the tape for nearly 10 years owe everyone an explanation.

      We have a responsibility to ensure that Syracuse University is a safe place for every campus community member. If anything good comes out of this tragedy, it will be that this basic principle is reinforced.

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