New York, NY – Two men accusing former Syracuse University assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine of molestation announced Tuesday that they have filed a defamation lawsuit against head coach Jim Boeheim and the school.
Former SU ball boys Bobby Davis and Mike Lang, who alleged Fine molested them during the 1980's and 90's, announced the lawsuit in New York on Tuesday, along with civil rights attorney Gloria Allred.
In November, Davis told ESPN's "Outside the Lines" that he was molested by Fine for more than 12 years beginning in 1983, before he was in the seventh grade.
In response to the accusations, Boeheim defended Fine and questioned the accusers' motives, intimating they would sue for money.
He told The New York Times it was "a little suspicious" that a relative of Davis had decided to come forward in the wake of the Penn State child sex- abuse case.
"I've known Bernie Fine for 45 years," Boeheim told the paper, "and there's absolutely no way that I believe any of this could possibly have happened. ... That's the bottom line."
Boeheim has since apologized for his comments, but on Tuesday Allred insisted the long-time coach be held accountable.
"Boeheim's statement unequivocally conveyed that Davis and Lang were falsely accusing Fine of sexually molesting minors. A false accusation, particularly when reported to the police and to the school itself, would be a crime in New York," said Allred.
Fine, who was fired by the university in late November, has not been charged with a crime. Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick called the accusers credible, but also said the statute of limitations has passed and his office cannot file charges.