Bernie Fine accusers Tomaselli, Lang back in the news

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Zach Tomaselli is changing his story again.

Just five days after he announced to the world that everything he said in regards to Bernie Fine was lie, that he “has never met Bernie Fine” in his life and that it “was all a game” to him, Tomaselli released a statement saying that all of that was the lie.

Apparently, his original statement was the truth. Or so he wants you to believe.

I think.

And that is precisely the problem here. Saying that Tomaselli lacks credibility as a witness is like saying that Mel Gibson lacks sanity. He’s not a witness or an accuser anymore, he’s a guy making outlandish statements to see his name in headlines while he’s preparing to do three years in prison for molesting a teenager. Whether or not he actually is a victim here is besides the point, because no one will ever believe a word that comes out of his mouth ever again.

The bigger issue here is that he is not only hurting himself, he is hurting the case that Bobby Davis and Mike Lang, Fine’s original accusers, have against Fine.

With Tomaselli obliterating every shred of his credibility in the last week, two of the four men that accused Fine have recanted their allegations. That makes it all the more difficult to trust Lang’s accusations has his credibility has been cast into doubt by Fine supporters. John O’Brien of the Syracuse Post-Standard explains:

Years after Lang’s stepbrother, Bobby Davis, accused Fine of sexual abuse, Lang reached out to Fine and renewed their social relationship, Fine’s friends say.

On top of that, Lang’s name has almost disappeared from recently filed court papers in a slander suit he and Davis filed against SU and coach Jim Boeheim. But Lang’s friends stand by his honesty.

Three people who attended a 60th birthday party for Fine in 2006 say Lang was among the 300 to 400 attendees. Lang hugged Fine in a ballroom at the Holiday Inn in Carrier Circle, according to the three supporters of Fine.

“Definitely it was Mike Lang,” said Sam Carello, SU’s team manager in the mid-1980s who also knew Lang from Henninger High School. Carello said he talked to Lang at the party.

At an SU game in the Carrier Dome in 2010, Lang sat next to Ludwig Vita and Kathy Rowe using tickets that Fine hands out to friends, they both said. It was eight years after Davis first made the allegations.

In that article, the Post-Standard released their interviews from 2002 in which Lang said that he was never abused by Fine. So at some point, he’s lied about what happened. That’s not exactly the best way to build up the public’s trust, especially when he would be the third accuser to have lied. But according to sexual abuse experts that O’Brien quoted, that’s not uncommon behavior for victims.

The fact that his name no longer appears on the affadavits being filed by Davis against Fine further muddies the waters.

All of that is a good sign for Fine. Maybe he didn’t actually molest anyone. The downside? It may also mean he’s that much closer to getting away with molesting children.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.