The SU men's basketball team played its first game following an ESPN story about accusations of child sex abuse against assistant coach Bernie Fine. YNN's Erin Clarke has reaction from fans and head coach Jim Boeheim in his first interview with television reporters since.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Coach Jim Boeheim, emerging from a team victory over Colgate and speaking to TV reporters for the first time since child sex abuse allegations were made public against his assistant coach.
“I’ve said everything I needed to say and probably more than most people would like me to say, but I am very confident that I have taken the right stance, said the right things and now we will let this thing play out," said Boeheim.
He didn't say much more, but the feeling from Boeheim about his team weathering this storm was one of confidence.
"We're going to get ready for New York. We're going to have hopefully a few good days of practice. We're looking forward to New York. It's a great tournament, "said Boeheim.
And fans echoed that confidence.
"They have a lot to deal with. It's a strong team. They're all veterans. They're seasoned veterans and I think that Syracuse and Boeheim is handling everything and they're not going to let this kind of thing get in their way," said SU fan Christopher Dopkowski.
Before the game, Orange faithful told us, they weren't worried at all about the team's focus following a week of negative media attention.
"Kids are used to dealing with a lot of distractions and adversity today. I think they're going to do just fine. They'll show up, they'll play the game. That's what they're trained to do," said SU fan Dan McIvor.
And regardless of the outcome of investigations into the allegations against Fine, fans say they'll stand by the team and players.
"They'll be very supportive. I think if it's a bad turnout, yes, there will be shocked people, but I think no matter what happens we're all still here to support it," said S.U. fan, Tina Burke.
Right now the team is focused on moving forward focused and doing what they do best. Play ball.
There is no timetable for how long the SU or Syracuse Police investigation will be. While Bernie Fine is on administrative leave, former player Gerry McNamara is filling his position.