When Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim vigorously defended his longtime assistant coach and friend Bernie Fine from allegations of child molestation – while harshly criticizing his accusers – it was clearly a risky move. If Boeheim was right, it was a triumph of loyalty. If he was wrong? That would be really, really bad. So when this tape surfaced…well, it looked really, really bad. Bad enough that Syracuse fired Fine, and Boeheim expressed regret for his previous comments.
And today, we got the latest manifestation of exactly what kind of limb Boeheim put himself on when Fine accusers Bobby Davis and Mike Lang teamed with prominent attorney Gloria Allred and announced they were suing Boeheim for defamation. While New York can’t bring molestation charges against Fine because the statute of limitations has expired, but that doesn’t mean there can’t be any lawsuits. Said Allred:
“[Boeheim’s apology] came too little, too late — once Syracuse’s most respected individual had already told the world repeatedly that Bobby Davis and Mike Lang were nothing but liars out for money and nothing else. As a result of Boeheim’s false statements against them, Bobby and Mike now find it necessary to file a defamation lawsuit.
“It is now time to make both Coach Boeheim and Syracuse University accountable to both Bobby and Mike.”
And so Davis and Lang “are seeking compensatory and punitive damages.” They have every right to do so, and if their accusations against Fine are true, they’ve been some horrible things and should receive damages. But at this point, the case is indeed in large part about money…and Boeheim might have to pay big for his original remarks. Video of Allred making a statement about the suit below.