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Posted: Mar 12, 2012 6:08:20 am

SYRACUSE, N. Utah Jazz Jersey .Y. -- His top assistant missing from the bench, coach Jim Boeheim tried to keep his team focused on basketball, not scandal. It seemed to work. The Orange had an easy day on the court, even as their program was still trying to come to grips with molestation allegations against assistant coach Bernie Fine. Playing for the first time since Fine was accused of sex abuse, No. 5 Syracuse romped to a 92-47 win over Colgate on Saturday, capping a tumultuous week with a 40-minute break from the lurid headlines swirling around the team. Syracuse placed Fine on administrative leave "in light of the new allegations" that he molested two former ball boys for years. City police are investigating, while Fine has dismissed the allegations as "patently false," expressing confidence that he will be vindicated. Fines usual seat by Boeheim was left vacant. This is Fines 36th season working for the head coach. Boeheim again defended his friend against the claims. "Ive been friends for 50 years with coach Fine," he said. "That buys a lot of loyalty for me, and should." At the Carrier Dome, a subdued crowd came to watch hoops, not make protest signs or chant for the absent coach. While 21,084 fans dutifully dressed in orange, making the scene like any another Syracuse basketball game, troubling issues still loom large. Both of Fines accusers are now adults. Bobby Davis, now 39, told ESPN that Fine molested him beginning in 1984 and that the sexual contact continued until he was around 27. A ball boy for six years, Davis told ESPN that the abuse occurred at Fines home, at Syracuse basketball facilities and on team road trips, including the 1987 Final Four, when the Orange lost to Indiana in the national championship game. Davis stepbrother, Mike Lang, 45, who also was a ball boy, told ESPN that Fine molested him starting when he was in fifth or sixth grade. Syracuse said it conducted its own four-month investigation in 2005 when the allegations first came to the schools attention, including interviews with people the accuser said would support his allegations, but all of them "denied any knowledge of wrongful conduct" by Fine. There were no signs of Davis or Lang when AP reporters stopped by their houses on Saturday. At Langs Constantia Cove Diner, a worker locked the door and yelled "Closed!" when reporters and a photographer approached the door, even as an "Open" sign sat in the window and customers ate at the counter. Langs house, which is on the market for US$74,900, stood as a tribute to Syracuse hoops. Stickers were scattered over windows; basketballs, beer mugs, a clock, PEZ dispenser, and a plush mascot doll rested on the windowsill; a Gerry McNamara jersey also hung in the window. There was even a foam orange finger, signalling Syracuse is No. 1. At Fines house, three cars were parked in the driveway but no one answered the door. Orange centre Fab Melo honoured Fine by tapping his empty seat during the game "He treated me like a son and I treated him like a father," Melo said, his voice filled with emotion. "Of course, we miss him. It was different to be on the bench and dont see him there." Fine was listed as associate head coach in the game program and his photo and bio remained. Former Syracuse star Gerry McNamara filled in for him. He played on Syracuses 2003 NCAA championship team and was a four-year starter for the Orange. "I think of Bernie Fine as a role model, a mentor and a very dear friend," McNamara said. "When a friend tells you something, Ive always been taught to take your friend at your word. When they need you the most, you stick by their side. For right now, Im with Bernie. Hopefully, this can pass pretty quickly." Boeheim addressed the players after the allegations were made public and told them to remain focused on basketball. "Our program will be fine," he said. "Its been pretty good for 36 years. Weve been through a lot of different things. Well get through whatever happens in our program." Fine missed Syracuses 46th straight victory against Colgate, according to STATS LLC. The Raiders last win over the Orange was a 67-63 triumph on Feb. 24, 1962, a few months before Boeheim enrolled as a student at Syracuse. Dion Waiters scored 16 points, James Southerland had 14 and C.J. Fair 13 for the Orange (4-0). The Orange rolled to a 52-19 lead at the break, highlighted by Southerlands seven straight points in 17 seconds. "These players had nothing to do with anything," Boeheim said. "The coaching staff has to focus on these players, what they need from us, and thats what were going to do." Pat Moore led Colgate (1-2) with 19 points. "We didnt talk about what happened at all. We tried not to focus on that," Moore said of Syracuses troubles. The allegations at Syracuse come on the heels of the child sex abuse allegations against former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, a scandal that cost coach Joe Paterno his job. While Sanduskys defenders have been scarce, if any, Fine has received an outpouring of support from the Syracuse basketball community. Boeheim enjoyed the blowout, smiling at times and walking over to the stands to shake hands with a man he knew during a break. The Orange now move on to New York for the NIT Season Tipoff semifinals -- with their longtime assistant left behind. Jeremy Lin Jersey . 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The Hall of Famer took shots at Favre back in May and fired off a few more in a radio interview with Sirius NFL Radio. "I asked a few friends here, maybe 10 or 12 people we were out with last night. I said, What do you think about Brett Favre going back to the Vikings? You know who cared? Nobody. Its good news for you guys. Its good news for television and so forth but the last time I heard ... football was a team sport, isnt it? Its not just about the quarterback." To check out more of what Tarkenton had to say, click here. There is no telling how many more retirements or unretirements Favre has left and much like Jason from the Friday the 13th movies, I am not sure Ill ever really believe hes gone for good. At least with a reported two-year deal – Favres, not Jasons - we wont have to worry about anymore comebacks in the near future. Its time to focus on what he will do in the present during his current unretirement. Prior to Tuesday, the Vikings could boast a solid defence, the best running back and arguably the best player in the game in Adrian Peterson, but their quarterbacking options left much to be desired. The names Sage Rosenfels, Tarvaris Jackson and John David Booty do not exactly strike fear into the hearts of defensive coordinators. Enter Favre. The Vikings think they are close to being a contender and are willing to look past Favres late season struggles with the New York Jets last season. Brad Childress, the front office and most importantly the ownership all believe No. 4s arm will be the key to a Super Bowl championship. Time will tell if theyre right. Favre blames much of his troubles from last season on shoulder issues, he has had some work done and thinks hes ready for the grind of another season. While he is going to turn 40 on October 10, there are a few factors working in his favour this season. First, the Vikings run a more similar offence to the one run by the Packers than the Jets did in 2008, so he should be more comfortable. Secondly, the Vikings are Petersons team and the veteran quarterback does not have to be the focus. Pro sports are unpredictable, but that doesnt stop people from making predictions on what will happen. So we want your take on the Vikings "new" addition and what it will do to the balance of power in the NFL. So, aside from selling tickets and selling the odd jersey, what will Favre do for the Vikings? Drop us a line at (keep it between 50-200 words), include your name and city and maybe well put it up. If you like express comments, click the Your Call button below. I am so excited for Favre to join the Vikings! Why retire if you can still play? And Brett still has it, he just put a hole in the Vikings practice facility with one of his cannon throws. I think he is a great fit with Minnesota. He gets to play in a dome eight games a year, it will especially help at the end of the season when the temperatures are freezing. Every QB prefers nice weather over cold, even Favre. This is a perfect fit, because the Vikings have a bunch of skilled players including the best RB in the league in AP, when teams stack the box, Favre will do wonders against them, with speeders down the line like Bernard Berrian and Percy Harvin in the fold. Teams will have to pick their poison with that one. Theres going to be games where Favre might play bad, but they will still win because of a steller D, and AP. The addition of Favre will making the Vikings a way better team because he will bring out the best in everyone. The excitement is there, and every player on that team is more pumped up, so its going to improve everyones game, and thats scary when you have guys like AP, Jared Allen and the Williams bros. If the chemistry clicks right away, watch out NFC, because the Vikings will take the crown! Good luck Brett! And cant wait for that return to Lambeau. Michael Omelan As a long time fan of Green Bay, I am not happy that He signed with the Vikings. However, I am happy that he will be back on the frozen tundra of Lambeau field. I feel he was pushed out of GB. In 2007, his last year with the Pack, he passed for over 4,000 yds, 28 TDs, and took the Pack to OT in the NFC championship game. After all he had done for the green and gold, He deserved to go out on his own terms. Some sure bets, Brett will throw a lot of TDs, pass for over 3,000 yds, and throw a lot of interceptions.I want to ride the Favre roller coaster one more time. Don Moore - Cranbrook, BC As a long time Packers fan, I have to admit, I died a little inside when I heard the news. My bias as a fan aside, I think Favre could really do great things in Minnesota. Not to mention, the best way to get your #2 and #3 QBs a little experience is by watching a vetran quarterback do his thing. After two years of watching Brett Favre in the pocket, #2 may be ready to step it up… Just look at Aaron Rodgers. Ryan - Ottawa, ON I believe that Minnesota and Favre will fit together nicely. Favre will prosper from playing in NFC again, he is very familiar with the teams in the NFC north. He has probably played in Detroit, Minnesota and Chicago more times than 90% of the players on those teams have. He also plays well whenn filled with emotion so I believe the games against the Packers will also swing in his favor. Jaroslav Halak Jersey. I dont think Minnesota is a contender but they are definitely better off with Favre at the helm than any of the other three options. Im also curious to see how Adrian Peterson benefits, theres a lot more to worry about from the defensive coordinators point of view with a gun slinger like Favre and the best running back in football coming at you. The game plan for playing the Vikings just changed a whole lot. Steve Downey, Waterdown ON With the signing of Brett Favre, I thought this could be a total bust but I started thinking about the type of offence the Vikes run and it seems it is more suited to Brett than the Jets schemes were. Adrian Petersen is the future, so the pressure is not on Brett, its on the team! The team has to perform and I would rather have #4 running the offence in critical situations than the three QBs who have not proven they can be starters. (Tavaris Jackson could be that guy, but not just yet). You build on success and the Packers did with Brett…But dropped the ball when it was time to part ways. All it takes is the will to win and Bretts got it, he is a gamer, a hardnosed football player who wants to win and he does it with attitude and who better to stick it to your old team than him. Maybe all the facts of this story will never be known, but the bottom line is the business of winning and that is the measuring stick that all franchises use so if you get one more season (maybe two) and you are successful then that is what it is all about and all you Packer fans please “have some cheese with your whine” you didnt want him anyway! GO VIKES GO ! Gary Is this not the same QB that admitted that he was feeling "beat up and fatigued" during the second half of last year? He was TERRIBLE down the stretch especially in the final Jets game against the Dolphins where the Jets had the playoffs on the line. Wasnt any member of the Vikings brass watching/hearing any of this?Then there is the fact that he will now set back the careers of Rosenfels and Jackson by a year. Both of these guys worked their butts off and were given a much deserved opportunity to become the starter. Now with the reg season just around the corner, they find out they will become "Official Vikings Clipboard Holders."That is terribly selfish on Favres part as far as I am concerned. He ran Pennington out of town last year, and I can PROMISE you the Jets are regretting that decision. Theyll never admit it of course.Anyway, enjoy your 2-14 season Vikings fans. Dwight Roberts I dont think he will do squat! I think he will not be as good as people had hoped, or were hoping for, and he will fade to black and purple. The Vikings will have egg on their face for paying him so much money. A two-year deal? Didnt he have that with the Jets? I hope he falls flat on his face and the Packers hammer him into Lambeau Field. Terry Halloran - Boissevain, MB I opened this column to get your opinion (to help me developed an informed opinion). Copout or just a misleading headline? Rick (DC: The answer is both. Actually Rick, nobody ever cares what I think, but since you asked... while Favre is a future Hall of Famer and I still love watching him play, this is a bit of a desperation move by the Vikings. Both sides walked away from the table and then the Vikings panicked. Favre is an upgrade on what they have, but Im not sure he will give them enough to go all the way. As stated above he will benefit from knowing the system and having Adrian Peterson in the backfield, but he will always be prone to the costly error in judgment and it seems to be getting worse with age. He cant make all of the throws he did a few years back. Plus, his shoulder is still a bit of a question. I can see the Vikings making the playoffs and maybe, if Peterson is healthy all season, even getting to the NFC Championship game, but I dont think Favre is all the Vikings need to win the Super Bowl. Theyre closer, just not all the way there) I think everyone would agree, that even without Brett Favre, the Minnesota Vikings experience and skill level were such that they would be a contending team. Despite this, there has had to be prevailing underlying thoughts in the minds of all these veteran players that they likely could not win a Super Bowl with the inexperienced quarterback group that they had. Brett Favres presence changes that in an instant. His proven leadership skills and win at all costs attitude will eliminate these doubts. I foresee a new mindset throughout the organization, to the effect that they now can in fact win it all, and this will be reflected very positively in significantly improved play on the field from the entire team. Ron Hammerback - Lethbridge Ive been a Viking fan for 35 years and Im not happy at all with the Brett Favre signing. Yes he was great, was being the key word. And its also a slap in the face to Jackson and Sage. What are the rest of the Vikes thinking about Childress. Favre is gone now, then he is back. Another lost season in Viking land. Henry I think Brett will bring credibility to the Vikings BUT he will not take them to a Super Bowl. The Vikings are not quite there yet. Favre will be a good guiding light but it will take a new up and comer to make it to the Show. Gordon This is his job. His passion. No one can take that away, and he should play as long as- and wherever he chooses. Imagine playing a sport you love for a career of millions. People who get angry for a guy living his dream are just jealous. He has put in his time and work and deserves respect. Craig ' ' '

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