BOWLING GREEN — Bowling Green State University men’s basketball coach Louis Orr, a former Syracuse player and coach, said he is “deeply concerned” about the allegations that led to the firing of Syracuse assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine.
Fine, who spent 36 years as an assistant coach under Jim Boeheim, was fired Sunday amid charges of child molestation.
“I’ve been shocked, disturbed and deeply concerned about this situation,” Orr said Monday. “My heart has been heavy, and I’ve been in much prayer over the past few weeks for my Syracuse family.”
Orr was Boeheim’s first recruit to Syracuse, eventually earning All-American honors as a senior and earning a spot on the schools’ all-century team. Orr also served as an assistant coach with Fine under Boeheim from 1996-2000.
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“First of all, my prayers and my heart goes out to any victim of child abuse or sexual abuse. Any victim,” Orr said. “It’s a terrible thing. I have children and grandchildren, and this is a parent’s worst fear.
“I’ve know Bernie Fine for over 35 years as a coach, a co-worker, and a friend. I have never witnessed any of the alleged behavior in my 35 years around him and his family. It’s a very sad and disturbing situation, and I pray for him and his family and for all of those involved.
“I always reach back to my faith. I serve a God that knows all — he’s omniscient. And he sees all — he’s omnipresent. I serve a God of truth — He’s the way, the truth and the life. I pray that God will shout out the truth loud and clear.”
When asked about Boeheim, Orr said, “Coach is probably one of the most loyal guys I know. To his Syracuse family, he’s a loyal and caring guy.
“My prayers go out to everybody, because this touches everyone. I’m not there, and I don’t know everything that’s going on. I haven’t talked to coach, but I have talked to a few of my teammates and fellow alumni. It’s got to be a tough thing to go through. He’s in my prayers.”