Lawyers for Syracuse University basketball coach Jim Boeheim are using the Hall of Fame coach's penchant for sarcasm as part of his defense requesting a judge toss out a defamation suit against him.
They say in court papers filed Wednesday that Bobby Davis and his stepbrother, Michael Lang, are filing needless motions. The argument being made to the New York County Court for dismissal is fairly simple. Lawyers say Jim Boeheim's remarks were opinion and therefore not actionable.
The 28 page Motion to Dismiss also informs the court about Jim Boeheim's apology ten days after the initial comments. It also acknowledges the severity of the allegations against Bernie Fine stating, "without question, plaintiffs' underlying allegations of abuse raise serious issues that deserve carefull attention by the university, law enforcement authorities and others."
Davis and Lang claim Boeheim defamed them by calling them liars out to make money with accusations that Bernie Fine, Boeheim's longtime assistant, molested them.
The 66-year-old Fine was fired Nov. 27th. He has not been charged and has denied wrongdoing.
Last week, the lawyer for Davis and Lang filed an affidavit claiming Fine's wife Laurie had sex with Syracuse players and seeking names and addresses for players from a five-year span. This week's court papers say the claims are headline-grabbing tactics meant to smear the university.
The Motion to Dismiss explains Boeheim's position, "HIs expression of opinion fell squarely within the absolute right to express one's thoughts without risking liability under defamation law, a protection guaranted by the New York State and Federal Constitution."
Syracuse expert defense attorney Emil Rossi told CNYCentral that it is possible that the New York City judge will dismiss this defamation case against Jim Boeheim and Syracuse University. Rossi said this lawsuit should not serve as a substitute for the suit Bobby Davis and his lawyers would really like to make: one against Bernie Fine.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.