The sexual molestation investigation against former Syracuse assistant Bernie Fine was already a muddled mess, but Sunday added another level to it.
The fourth accuser in the case, Floyd “David” VanHooser, now says he lied to police and subsequent interviews with the Syracuse Post-Standard and the Associated Press. VanHooser’s motivation was to retaliate against Fine because Fine, 66, did not hire a lawyer to help VanHooser fight a conviction.
VanHooser, 56, is currently serving a sentence at Clinton state prison for burglaries in the Syracuse area.
He had claimed that Fine began molesting him when he was 14 or 15, and that it continued until last summer.
“In a statement I gave, I told a lot of lies about Bernie Fine. None of what I said was true,” VanHooser wrote in copies of letters addressed to the paper. “Bernie 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.”
Read more about the Bernie Fine case
VanHooser also told the paper that his statement to police was only partially true.
“Some of it is and some of it isn’t,” he told the paper. “You’re going to tell everyone how sorry I am?”
VanHooser says he never saw Fine abuse children.
No charges have been filed against Fine.
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Illinois suffered another blow in what has already turned out to be a brutal season.
Mike Thorne is expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing his meniscus. He reportedly underwent surgery on Monday to repair the injury.
Thorne, a transfer from Charlotte, was starting at center for the Illini and doing a good job of it as well. He was averaging 13.4 points and 8.4 boards, although Illinois has started off the season 3-4.
The reason for that slow start has mainly been those injuries. Tracy Abrams is already out for the season after tearing his achilles, and the Illini training room looked like a M.A.S.H. unit. Kendrick Nunn just returned two games ago from surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament. LeRon Black is still getting back to speed after offseason knee surgery. Jaylon Tate is back after dislocating a finger. Jalen Coleman-Lands was slowed by a stress fracture.
John Groce entered this season on the hot seat, and dealing with all of these injuries certainly isn’t helping his cause.
We talk about a lot of stuff of the podcast today, mainly because a lot of stuff happened since we last spoke with you all.
For starters, we need to discuss the ‘realness’ of Syracuse and Xavier. Are they both truly top 15 teams, or do they just have top 15 resumes? We also dive into Chris Mack’s epic troll-job of Dayton at the Advocare Invitational final.
Other topics we touched on: Whether or not Scott is ever going to apologize to Wayne Selden, Wichita State’s tournament hopes, Texas A&M and whether we’d take Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn or Denzel Valentine today.
As always, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes right here. It’s the quickest way to get access on your cell phone or tablet.