At Syracuse, a Sudden Pivot

Sometimes scandals make the accompanying outrage easy. At Penn State, it was all but served on a platter complete with a doily and silverware. The child sexual abuse scandal of Jerry Sandusky came with an 18-month grand jury investigation and a university in full turtle mode. With Syracuse, even if you wanted to greet the for similar abuse allegations with the same sense of horror, even if it’s the right thing to do, it’s just more complicated.

There is no laying out the case for you. There are accusers who have gone on television, an audiotape of a phone call with Fine’s wife, a university that switched from obstinate to obsequious when a third accuser turned up, a head coach who drew his sword and charged at the windmills but who now has meekly put the sword down with a mumbled oops.

Do feel free to vent all relevant anger at Jim Boeheim for his wildly unwise and insensitive rant in Fine’s defense. And, sure, he could immediately be sentenced to coaching the season while wearing a dunce cap. But after that we are left with what to make of , and stopping to hope this isn’t some sort of unearthed sports epidemic with horrifying numbers of children left wrecked in its wake.

While that Syracuse has been more commendable in its handling of this than Penn State, argues that the truth is too slippery to commend anyone at this point. If there is one universal thought, it’s that Boeheim’s initial rant against Fine’s accusers was atrocious, , not to mention insensitive to child abuse victims everywhere. believes that alone is enough to warrant his being fired.

The weekend did have much to distract everyone from such things, what with the N.B.A. lockout ending in time for Christmas — claims at least they got something right — and Urban Meyer deciding that a year was enough time with his family before he with his credibility a bit tattered, . The N.F.L. chipped in by adding fuel to Tim Tebow’s Little Engine That Could.

Yes, Tebow did it again, this time . As , you can now spell Tebow with five Ws. that the rookie linebacker Vonn Miller should be getting a share of the credit, and we can all marvel at how badly a veteran referee but the Tebow bandwagon is plum full up these days, so feel free to just walk alongside with a bullhorn or something.

Meanwhile, the bandwagon of the Bills’ Steve Johnson is so empty it’s more like a Steve Johnson scooter. that he cost the Bills a victory with his ludicrous end zone celebration mocking the Jets’ Plaxico Burress and dropping what could have been the winning pass in the final seconds. Clearly, , he hasn’t learned much from his growing list of failures.

Most of the other great follies around the league were quarterback-based, with Houston adding a season-ending injury to Matt Leinart . The Bears found that life with Caleb Hanie under center is going to have its share of ridiculous moments, like , but that all is not lost. Yet. It did highlight why the Raiders’ big gamble on Carson Palmer was a wise one,

We are now waiting for the official league explanation of how a case of indigestion last week in Denver caused , or how Minnesota’s Percy Harvin can return a ball 104 yards.

Of course, we prefer any of that to thinking about what to think about Syracuse. Is it possible to howl at the injustices of the world, with an asterisk?

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