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Jim Boeheim supports Bernie Fine

NEW YORK -- Walking up to a throng of reporters, Jim Boeheim dryly noted that the last time Syracuse played in the NIT Season Tip-Off, nobody wanted to talk to him.

The Orange are in New York City, with the attention that brings, without longtime assistant coach Bernie Fine. He's on administrative leave after molestation allegations resurfaced last week that Fine has called "patently false."

More than a dozen reporters surrounded Boeheim on Tuesday as he sat at a small table in a hotel lounge. When the first question inevitably was posed about the investigation, Boeheim interjected, "This is all about basketball."

After saying he'd already made his statement and didn't need to repeat it, Boeheim reiterated it anyway.

"We have to see what happens. I support Bernie, as I said," Boeheim said. "Known him for 50 years. If something else happens, surfaces -- some factual thing -- then we'll have to adjust to that."

Asked if the media "jumped the gun," Boeheim replied. "That's not for me to say."

Even when the questions steered toward more basketball-related news, Boeheim still wasn't feeling chatty. Asked about Syracuse's planned move from the Big East to the ACC, he said, "That's another thing we're not talking about," then cracked, "We've got a lot of things we can't talk about."

The fifth-ranked Orange face Virginia Tech in an NIT semifinal Wednesday at Madison Square Garden in a tournament overshadowed by somber off-court news. Oklahoma State takes on Stanford in the other semi, its first game since women's basketball coach Kurt Budke, assistant Miranda Serna and two others were killed in a plane crash Thursday.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.