Former Syracuse assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine, who was fired by the university in November of 2011 amid sexual abuse allegations, is preparing to sue ESPN for defamation for its part in reporting the story, according to the Associated Press.
ESPN's Mark Schwarz and Arty Berko were the first to break news of the allegations against Fine on Outside the Lines in November of 2011.
Schwarz and Berko reported that two former Syracuse ball boys claimed Fine, who served as an assistant at Syracuse from 1976 to 2011 under Jim Boeheim, had molested them over part of three decades, starting in the 1970s and going through the 1990s.
Amid allegations, Fine was first placed on administrative leave by the school and subsequently fired on Nov. 27—a mere 10 days after the initial report surfaced.
University chancellor Nancy Cantor made her decision following the tape of a phone conversation between Laurie Fine (Bernie's wife) and Bobby Davis (one of Fine's accusers) came to light. Laurie Fine had indicated in that taped conversation that she had an inkling her husband had molested Davis when he was young and felt powerless to stop it.
A subsequent police investigation followed in Pittsburgh, but the police ended their investigation last November without filing charges against Fine.
The police reportedly combed over 100,000 pages of documents and interviewed more than 100 witnesses before deciding to not go forth with the case, per The Post-Standard.
With the charges behind him, it seems Fine is preparing to fight back against his accusers.
Though it's unknown which branches of ESPN or who exactly is named in the lawsuit, it's safe to say this case that many thought was closed will be back to the forefront in the coming weeks and months.
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