Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 3/29/13
While the Syracuse Orange celebrates its big win over Indiana on Thursday night, a high-profile former coach is opening a legal battle in attempt to clear his name. In November 2011, ESPN published a damning story focusing on then-Syracuse head coach Bernie Fine, reporting the claims of two former ball boys — Bobby Davis and his stepbrother Mike Lang — saying that Fine sexually abused them over a period of more than a decade beginning in the late ’70s. Although a Syracuse internal investigation ended in Fine’s dismissal, police couldn’t prosecute due to lack of evidence and the expiration of the statue of limitations. Complicating the case were the apparently false claims of two others making similar accusations against Fine. Now, Fine is firing back in court. According to multiple reports, Fine is suing ESPN for defamation, saying that they published the story recklessly, and knowingly overlooked holes in their reporting. The original story was printed during the height of the Jerry Sandusky-Penn State scandal, although ESPN had been holding onto much of the information since 2003. Laurie Fine, Bernie’s wife, filed a similar lawsuit about a year ago, the libel portion of which was thrown out of court last month. Laurie was recorded in a phone call in 2002 with Davis where she essentially admits knowledge of her husband’s abuse of Davis and Lang, going so far as to discuss specific sexual acts that were allegedly committed. Syracuse fired Bernie Fine immediately after the tape of that phone call was released publicly. See a copy of the summons in Fine’s lawsuit below. Bernie Fine Summons

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Blake Griffin opts out of contract to become free agent

Report: Wolves targeting Kyle Lowry, Jrue Holiday, other point guards in free agency

Conor McGregor’s coach says tentative plans include a return to UFC in 2017

Report: Mets open for business on the trade market

Markelle Fultz believes the Sixers are already a playoff team

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Jimmy Butler’s attitude toward Fred Hoiberg made players ‘uncomfortable’

St. Louis Cardinals to hold first LGBTQ Pride Night

John Mara: Extending Odell Beckham Jr. isn’t team’s No. 1 priority

Mike Trout reportedly wanted to sign ‘lifetime deal’ with Angels

Blackhawks, Blue Jackets swap Artemi Panarin, Brandon Saad

Matt Forte expected to be ‘offensive workhorse’ for Jets?

Best of Yardbarker: Diana Taurasi makes history

The 'Finest running back from America’s Finest City' quiz

Players who need to turn around their season to save their teams

Sports & Politics Intersect: Washington gets a rare win

Three Up, Three Down: Flouting the written and unwritten rules of baseball

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Billy King Award for worst trade

Kicking it: David Villa isn't interested in a 'retirement tour'

Box Score 6/23: Philly continues to trust the process

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

The 'NBA Draft going back to school?' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Gary Payton Award for best trash talk of the year

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: Diana Taurasi makes history

The 'Finest running back from America’s Finest City' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Billy King Award for worst trade

Players who need to turn around their season to save their teams

Three Up, Three Down: Flouting the written and unwritten rules of baseball

Sports & Politics Intersect: Washington gets a rare win

Kicking it: David Villa isn't interested in a 'retirement tour'

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

The 'NBA Draft going back to school?' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker