SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Syracuse University Chancellor Nancy Cantor gave men’s basketball coach Jim Boeheim a vote of confidence Tuesday amid an investigation of child molestation allegations against his former longtime assistant coach.

Some commentators and sex abuse victims’ advocates had said Boeheim should resign or be fired after three men, including two former Syracuse ball boys, accused former assistant coach Bernie Fine of molesting them and Boeheim verbally attacked the accusers.

“Coach Boeheim is our coach; he’s getting the team ready tonight,” Cantor said after an economic development conference with state officials in Albany, N.Y. “We’re very pleased with what he said Sunday night, and we stand by him.”

In his 36th season at his alma mater, Hall of Famer Boeheim ranks fifth all-time in wins in Division I and has a record 33 20-win seasons.

Boeheim received a standing ovation as he walked onto the court that bears his name Tuesday night for the game against Eastern Michigan. His seat on the bench was not left vacant Tuesday as it had been for the last home game Nov. 19.

After initially saying Fine’s first two accusers were lying to make money in the wake of the Penn State sexual abuse scandal, Boeheim backed off those comments Sunday.

“What is most important is that this matter be fully investigated and that anyone with information be supported to come forward so that the truth can be found,” Boeheim said in a statement after the firing of Fine, who has denied the allegations. “I deeply regret any statements I made that might have inhibited that from occurring or been insensitive to victims of abuse.”

Bobby Davis first contacted Syracuse police in 2002 about Fine, but there was no inquiry because the statute of limitations had passed. Kevin Quinn, a university spokesman, said police did not inform the university of Davis’ allegations then.

On Tuesday, the Syracuse police chief said Dennis DuVal, a former Syracuse basketball player who was police chief in 2002, knew of the allegations.

Police Chief Frank Fowler said DuVal, who played for the Orange from 1972-74, was aware of Davis’ accusations in 2002 that Fine sexually abused him. Fine, who has been fired, denies the allegations.

Because Davis said the abuse stopped 12 years earlier, Syracuse Detective Doug Fox told him the statute of limitations had passed, meaning an arrest was not possible. Fox advised his supervisor in the abused persons unit but didn’t file a formal report. The detective is still with the department but not in the same unit.

A phone message left with DuVal was not immediately returned. On Nov. 17, Davis’ allegations resurfaced.

Davis, now 39, told ESPN that Fine molested him beginning in 1984 and that the sexual contact continued for 15 years. Davis was a ball boy for six years.

Davis’ stepbrother, Mike Lang, 45, who also was a ball boy, also told ESPN that Fine began molesting him while he was in the fifth or sixth grade.

A third man, Zach Tomaselli of Lewiston, Maine, who faces sexual assault charges in Maine involving a 14-year-old boy, said Sunday he told police last week that Fine molested him in 2002, when Tomaselli was 13.

The university is working with authorities, Cantor stressed.

“We’ve gone through our due diligence when things came up, and we felt it was important both for Bernie Fine and for the university to move forward,” she said.