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

Lionel Messi’s suspension puts Argentina in danger of missing World Cup

Report: Chris Long signs one-year deal with Eagles

Witten signs four-year extension with Cowboys

Stan Van Gundy: Georgetown should go all-out to hire Ewing

Hue Jackson: Browns are not interested in Colin Kaepernick

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: 'Strong belief' Jay Cutler won't play in 2017

Falcons GM wants to change OT rules after SB loss to Patriots

LaVar Ball reportedly shopping reality TV projects

Report: Cowboys likely to release Romo before OTAs

Report: Rule banning leaping FG blocks expected to pass

Top eight takeways from Raiders’ relocation to Las Vegas

Can the Padres' Christian Bethancourt really succeed at pitcher and catcher?

The Raiders will forever belong to Oakland

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Box Score 3/28: Wilt's last game

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Best, worst and hard to stomach MLB offseason moves

The 28 craziest ballpark foods for the 2017 season

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Box Score 3/24: Waiting on West Virginia

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

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

Can the Padres' Christian Bethancourt really succeed at pitcher and catcher?

The Raiders will forever belong to Oakland

Best, worst and hard to stomach MLB offseason moves

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

The NFL distraction playbook

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