The fourth accuser of former Syracuse University assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine has admitting to lying about the sexual abuse allegations he made last year regarding the former coach.
The accuser, Floyd VanHooser, admitted to lying to police and in media interviews regarding allegations that the former coach sexually abused him. VanHooser, who Fine and his wife Laurie helped raise after he had lost his parents at the age of 13, said that he fabricated the allegations in order to punish Fine.
VanHooser claims that he was angry at Fine because the former coach did not hire a lawyer to aid him with a burglary conviction. VanHooser is currently behind bars.
“In the statement I gave, I told a lot of lies about Bernie Fine. None of what I said was true,” VanHooser wrote in a letter sent to The Post-Standard in Syracuse.
“Berine has been nothing but good to me over the years. He was the only thing I had close to a father. He never did anything wrong. He is a good man,” VanHooser added.
Fine was fired in November, 36 years after he began working with his alma mater in upstate New York.
Fine’s termination came following the release of a tape recording in which Fine’s wife openly discussed her husband’s sexual abuse with one of Fine's alleged victims, Bobby Davis.
“I know everything that went on, you know. I know everything that went on with him… Bernie has issues, maybe that he’s not aware of, but he has issues,” she said in the taped telephone conversation with Davis.
“It’s just wrong, and you were a kid. You’re a man now, but you were a kid then,” she added.
Two former ball boys and another victim also came forward last year claiming that Fine abused them for years, but the statute of limitations has expired leaving Fine without any criminal charges against him.