Former Syracuse coach Bernie Fine drops libel suit against ESPN

Bernie Fine

Former Syracuse University assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine has dropped his $11 million libel lawsuit against ESPN.

According to a legal document obtained by CNY Central, Fineâ??s attorneys filed a motion in U.S. District Court asking for the lawsuit to be dismissed. The court subsequently dismissed the suit Tuesday without prejudice.

Fine was an assistant coach and associate head coach to Jim Boeheim for 35 years. He had claimed ESPN defamed him in November of 2011 when the network reported accusations by former team ballboys Bobby Davis and Mike Lang that Fine had sexually abused Davis.

Neither party would confirm a reason for the dismissal. A similar libel suit brought against ESPN by Fineâ??s wife Laurie is still pending.

Fine's attorneys, Harris Beach PLLC, issued a statement on his behalf. It reads:

"On Tuesday, July 2, 2013, Bernie Fine filed a voluntary Notice of Dismissal of his lawsuit against ESPN, ending all litigation. Although Mr. Fine and his attorneys are convinced that his legal claim has merit, Mr. Fine desires to finally put all of the turmoil of the past year and a half behind him, so that he may concentrate on his future as well as the future of his family. Mr. Fine has been and continues to be overwhelmed by the many, many friends who have stood by him and who provided him with the strength to get through the most difficult time in his life. He will be forever grateful for their support and friendship."

ESPN public relations director David Scott also responded to the dismissal, stating:

"Given the continued pendency of the Laurie Fine matter, which we will continue to defend vigorously, we will not discuss litigation. We can confirm this action is not the result of a settlement and that Bernie Fine or his lawyers would have to be contacted regarding their reasons for doing this."

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a copy of the notice of dismissal.