Ex-Syracuse Ball Boys Sue Basketball Coach Jim Boeheim and University for Defamation

Ex-Syracuse Ball Boys Sue Basketball Coach Jim Boeheim and University for Defamation

Two former Syracuse ball boys have sued the university and head basketball coach Jim Boeheim for defamation. Boeheim had accused the pair of lying after they charged former assistant coach Bernie Fine of molesting them.

Published December 14, 2011

In accusing former Syracuse ball boys Bobby Davis and Mike Lang of lying about being molested by ex-Orangeman assistant coach Bernie Fine, head coach Jim Boeheim famously said the two made the story up in the interest of suing for money in civil court.
Bet Boeheim didn’t think at the time the two men would be taking him to court.
But that is exactly what Davis and Lang have decided to do. They have filed suit against Boeheim and Syracuse for defamation. The amount of damages being sought has not been specified, but the stepbrothers have hired famed attorney Gloria Allred, and Tuesday morning they filed their lawsuit in New York State Supreme Court.
The two plaintiffs, both grown now, were ball boys in the 1980s when the alleged attacks occurred. The 65-year-old Fine will not face charges because the statue of limitations has passed. But the wounds Boeheim inflicted last month upon learning of the allegations are still fresh.
"It really hurt me to learn coach Boeheim had accused me of lying," Davis told the Associated Press.
Boeheim apologized after learning more details of the alleged attacks and hearing a recorded telephone conversation between Fine’s wife and one of the victims where the wife all but confirms the inappropriate actions against minors.
But Boeheim’s words continue to sting.
"The Penn State thing came out and the kid behind this is trying to get money," Boeheim told the Syracuse Post-Standard on Nov. 17. "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."
Now the intent is to make the longtime Syracuse coach pay for the accusations, despite his apology.
"Although Boeheim eventually acknowledged that he ‘misspoke,’ those words came too little too late," Allred said. "One of Syracuse's most respected individuals had already told the world repeatedly that Bobby Davis and Mike Lang were nothing but liars and out for money and nothing else.
"Boeheim has not suffered any consequences in his employment for using his position of power within the university to make these false, inflammatory and injurious statements about Bobby and Mike."
Contact Terrance Harris at terrancefharris@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @Terranceharris.


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(Photo: Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Written by Terrance Harris


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