Slander lawsuit against Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim reinstated

0:40 | College Basketball
Slander suit against Syracuse University and Jim Boeheim reinstated
Tuesday October 21st, 2014

New York's Court of Appeals has ruled two former Syracuse ball boys will be allowed to sue head coach Jim Boeheim for slander, The Associated Press reports.

Boeheim refuted allegations by Bobby Davis and Mike Lang in 2011 that assistant coach Bernie Fine had molested them when they were children. Boeheim said the pair was only looking to make money and that the allegations were false. Davis and Lang claim Boeheim slandered them, and a court ruling on Tuesday will allow them to proceed with the case.

The Court of Appeals overruled two lower level courts that had ruled Boeheim's comments were merely opinions. From the AP:

The Court of Appeals ruled unanimously that they cannot conclude Boeheim's statements were "pure opinion" and there's "a reasonable view" that Davis and Lang would be entitled to recover damages for defamation

Syracuse fired Fine after the allegations were made public, but he never faced criminal charges. Fine denied the allegations.

In his 2011 comments, Boeheim said the two were looking to profit after the Penn State-Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal.

“Here's why,” he said. “The Penn State thing came out and the kid behind this is trying to get money. He's tried before. And now he's trying again. If he gets this, he's going to sue the university and Bernie. What do you think is going to happen at Penn State? You know how much money is going to be involved in civil suits? I'd say about $50 million. That's what this is about. Money.”
SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.