Feds Drop Sex Abuse Case Against Syracuse's Fine

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SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) - It isn't yet clear whether former Syracuse University assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine will be able to get his job back -- now that federal authorities have dropped their investigation into a sexual abuse claim against him.

After looking into the claim for nearly a year, a federal prosecutor says there's not enough evidence to get a conviction.

Two former Syracuse ballboys came forward in November of last year and accused Fine of fondling them when they were teens. One of them said the sexual contact continued for years. But those claims happened too long ago to be prosecuted.

Ten days later, though, a third man went public with an accusation that Fine had molested him in 2002 in a hotel room. And ESPN aired an audio tape in which Fine's wife apparently acknowledged that she knew about it.

Fine denied the allegations, but was fired several days later. The government began investigating that claim, the only one that fell within the statute of limitations. That investigation is now over.

Lawyers for Fine say they're not surprised. They say Fine hopes that the lesson will be that "a rush to judgment has irreversible consequences."