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      Boeheim's lawyers try to use Gloria Allred's past against her in defamation lawsuit

      Lawyers for Syracuse University head basketball coach Jim Boeheim are taking a new approach in a defamation lawsuit. They are using celebrity attorney Gloria Allred's past case against her. Allred is representing Bobby Davis and Mike Lang.

      In November, the two accused former SU associate head coach Bernie Fine of sexual abuse. Boeheim publicly defended Fine, calling the accusers liars. Davis and Lang are suing Boeheim and Syracuse University for defamation.

      In court documents filed Monday, Boeheim's lawyers cite a recent case in which Allred represented the defendant. In Couloute v. Ryncarz, a group of women were sued for saying their ex-boyfriend "lied and cheated his way through his 40 years of life." In February the court determined those statements were opinion and were therefore protected.

      In a press conference after the case, Allred said the decision protected free speech, and "makes it clear that women have the right to express their opinions...without fear that they will be dragged into court."

      Boeheim's attorneys say the factors cited by the court in the Couloute case are similar to this one, "including the defendants' emotionally charged tone and obviously biased point of view."

      Lawyers say Boeheim was clearly defending his longtime friend and colleague. They say the statements were made in an emotional environment, and are "consistent with his public reputation for bluntly stating his views."

      Lawyers for Boeheim are trying to get the case dismissed.

      Earlier this month, Davis and Lang's attorneys filed paperwork defending the case, arguing the motion to dismiss should be denied.

      Davis and Lang's attorneys say, "The defamatory statements alleged here are precise, specific, and factual - and they are provably, demonstrably false."

      The filing goes on to say, "When two unknown former ball boys dared to come forward, albeit in quivering voices, to report that assistant coach Bernie Fine had sexually abused them as children, Coach Boeheim acted to protect Syracuse University and its prized basketball operation by lashing out at the Plaintiffs."

      Davis and Lang's attorneys say, "The defamatory statements alleged here are precise, specific, and factual - and they are provably, demonstrably false."

      The filing goes on to say, "When two unknown former ball boys dared to come forward, albeit in quivering voices, to report that assistant coach Bernie Fine had sexually abused them as children, Coach Boeheim acted to protect Syracuse University and its prized basketball operation by lashing out at the Plaintiffs."

      The case will be back in State Supreme Court in Onondaga County on April 27th. Judge Brian DeJoseph will hear arguments on the motion to dismiss the case.

      Fine has denied any wrongdoing. The federal investigation into the allegations is still ongoing.