The two men claiming they were sexually abused by Syracuse assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine filed a defamation lawsuit Tuesday against the university and head Coach Jim Boeheim.
Bobby Davis and Michael Lang came forward in the wake of the similar Penn State scandal with allegations that Fine had abused them while they were ball boys. Davis and Lang have hired high-profile attorney Gloria Allred and filed their suit in New York State Supreme Court after the Boeheim said they were out to profit on the allegations.
Davis and Lang, who are stepbrothers, are seeking an unspecified amount for punitive damages.
“It really hurt me to learn that Coach Boeheim accused me of lying,” Davis said, reading a prepared statement at an afternoon news conference in New York City. “The coach has seriously hurt my reputation, but I want people to know the truth.”
The comments by Boeheim were made in a Nov. 17 interview with the Syracuse Post-Standard.
"The Penn State thing came out, and the kid behind this is trying to get money," Boeheim told the newspaper. "If he gets this, he's going to sue the university and Bernie. What do you think is going to happen at Penn State? You know how much money is going to be involved in civil suits? I'd say about $50 million. That's what this is about. Money."
Advocates for sexual abuse victims called for the Boeheim to be fired for his comments, leading him to recant his statement numerous times, though he said he did not regret defending Fine.
“Although Boeheim eventually acknowledged that he ‘misspoke,’ those words came too little too late," Allred said. “One of Syracuse’s most respected individuals had already told the world repeatedly that Bobby Davis and Mike Lang were nothing but liars and out for money and nothing else.”