Lawsuit against Syracuse coach Boeheim thrown out
Syracuse, NY, United States (AHN Sports) – A judge on Friday threw out a defamation lawsuit brought against Syracuse University and men’s basketball coach Jim Boeheim.
Former team ball boys, Bobby Davis and Michael Lang filed the suit, alleging that Boeheim slandered them when he said their accusations of sexual abuse against former associate head coach Bernie Fine were financially motivated.
Davis and Lang accused Fine of sexually abusing them more than 20 years ago.
Boeheim vehemently supported Fine when the allegations first came to light in November. Fine has been a friend of Boeheim’s for more than 40 years and an assistant at Syracuse for 35 seasons. Boeheim told ESPN that Davis was telling ”a bunch of a thousand lies” and said he was looking to cash in on the publicity surrounding the Penn State sex-abuse scandal.
Supreme Court Justice Brian DeJoseph, a graduate of Syracuse University, ruled Friday that Boeheim’s comments were not statements of fact but were opinions that are protected from defamation suits.
”The content, tone and purpose of Boeheim’s statements would clearly signal to the reasonable reader that what was being said in the articles published in the days after the initial ESPN report were likely to be an opinion – a biased, passionate, and defensive point of view of a basketball coach – rather than objective fact,” DeJoseph wrote in his 30-page decision. ”It is clear to this court that Boeheim provided a factual basis for his opinion. He provided a … reasonably accurate version of those facts.”
Gloria Allred was hired by Davis and Lang in December and said she plans to appeal the ruling