Syracuse and Jim Boeheim scored a major victory on Friday afternoon when a judge dismissed a defamation lawsuit filed against him and the University.
Boeheim came to the defense of long time assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine in November after two former ball boys, Bobby Davis and Michael Lang, accused Fine of sexually abusing them more than two decades ago.
Boeheim said that the two were merely seeking money in the wake of the Penn State sexual abuse scandal and called the accusations “a thousand lies.”
In a 30 page decision, Supreme Court Justice Brian DeJoseph, a graduate of Syracuse University and Law School, explained his reasoning for dismissing the suit.
“The content, tone, and purpose of Boeheim’s statements would clearly signal to the reasonable reader that what was being read in the articles published in 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,” the decision read.
Gloria Allred, the attorney for Davis and Lang, will appeal the decision, she said in a release.
“We have had an opportunity to review the legal papers. We are gratified by the Court’s decision dismissing this lawsuit,” said Syracuse University Senior Vice President for Public Affairs Kevin Quinn.
Fine was fired in November after 36 years at Syracuse following allegations of sexual abuse. While four accusers came forward, two have since recanted.
No criminal charges have been filed against him. Previously, a statement issued by Fine called the allegations of the first two accusers “patently false.”