Bill Conlin: Will Anyone Believe Legendary Reporter's Tale?

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IDecember 22, 2011

Hall of Fame baseball writer and longtime Philadelphia Daily News columnist Bill Conlin faces allegations that he sexually molested three women and one man while they were children.

According to sister newspaper The Philadelphia Inquirer, the accusers say Conlin touched them and fondled them in the 1970s, when they were ages seven and 12.

But before the Inquirer came out with its story on Tuesday, Deadspin writer A.J. Daulerio published his story first, detailing a conversation he had had with Conlin before the Inquirer's story broke.

Now, after Conlin resigned from the Daily News and the Inquirer published its story, Daulerio has come out with the conversations he had with Conlin (via phone and email) before the bombshell.

The question now is, will anyone believe Conlin that he's innocent?

Let me first start off by saying that the Penn State scandal involving former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky works against Conlin's favor.

In fact, the scandal was the very reason Conlin's accusers came forward.

Kelley Blanchet, a niece of Conlin's and one of his accusers, said the Penn State scandal brought back painful memories for the alleged victims and reminded them of the secrecy that existed after their own assaults, via the Inquirer.

In that respect, many people throughout the nation don't have the patience right now regarding sexual molestation charges. The Penn State scandal was one of the ugliest stories in sports history.

When explaining his side of the story to Daulerio, Conlin reportedly said "a decades-old family vendetta" was probably the root of the accusations and even insinuated that the Inquirer was coming out with the story because of a turf war between the two sister newspapers.

"This is a helluva way to take out the top guy!" he reportedly told Daulerio.

Conlin made his contempt for the Inquirer and reporter Nancy Phillips known in one particular email to Daulerio.

Wrote Conlin:

If the piece this beatch writes paints me as a Jekyll-Hyde without identifying the "accusers," their names need to be out there next to mine—since they bought houses from my wife, drank my vodka the night of her viewing and decided after 40 years it was Sandusky Time to come out.

It is worth noting that when the editors of both newspapers got together with Deadspin before the stories were published on Tuesday, Conlin's attorney, George Bochetto, reportedly said that Conlin was claiming that he had never emailed Daulerio.

Why Conlin is saying this isn't clear, but it certainly doesn't look good.

None of it does, really. In addition to the Penn State scandal, there have also been accusations that former Syracuse assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine sexually molested two former ball boys at Syracuse.

If there was ever a time for "guilty until proven innocent," Conlin may be smack dab in the middle of it.

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