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Bernie Fine Scandal: The Drama Continues to Confuse All

Andrew Pregler@ACPreglerContributor IIIDecember 15, 2011

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 13:  Attorney Gloria Allred speaks at a news conference with Bobby Davis (L) and Mike Lang at the Renaissance Hotel in New York Times Square on December 13, 2011 in New York City. The men are being represented by Allred in a suit against Syracuse University, and its former assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine, for his alleged sexual molestation of Davis and Lang over twenty years ago.  (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
Andrew Burton/Getty Images

There was a period when the Bernie Fine Scandal seemed to have hit a lull.

The District Attorney's statements indicated that Bobby Davis and Mike Lang would not see charges coming from his office due to the expired statute of limitations. Zach Tomaselli was looking at federal charges that would not involve local Syracuse offices. 

I wrote that this presser was not the end of this drama. No one could have predicted what happened next, as the scandal became a full-fledged TV drama. 

Davis and Lang, obviously not happy with DA Fitzpatrick's dismissal of their case, found a lawyer who would help them. Gloria Allred came to the defense of the two alleged victims of Bernie Fine, and now Syracuse University will be at the center of a lawsuit.

Gloria Allred is not new to this kind of situation, working with one of Tiger Woods' mistresses and the woman that alleges that former Republican Presidential candidate Herman Cain sexually abused her. 

The fact that Gloria Allred took this case now throws a huge plot twist into a drama that looked dead a few weeks ago. 

In the lawsuit Allred has filed on behalf of Davis and Lang, Men's basketball coach James Boeheim and Syracuse University are being sued for defamation and seeking damages. Some of the key passages that will more than likely decide the case are that:

"Boeheim made the statements knowing they were false or recklessly disregarding their truth or falsity...Plaintiffs have suffered economic damage as a result of Boeheim’s statements, including diminished career opportunities in the area around Syracuse, where both men now live.

Indeed, both Bobby Davis and Mike Lang are afraid to leave their homes for fear of retribution by area residents who believe Boeheim’s false statements and are unhappy with the negative attention now focused on the basketball team and the University."

NEW YORK - MARCH 12:  Assistant coach Bernie Fine of the Syracuse Orange looks on from the sidelines during their game against the Connecticut Huskies during the quarterfinals of the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden on March 12, 2009 in New Yo
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Why are these passages so important? 

To begin, as Albany lawyer Kevin Luibrand told Yahoo, "The truth is always a defense...The statements don’t necessarily have to be truthful but based on a belief they are truthful."

Essentially, Allred has to prove that Boeheim's initial statements defending Fine were said with the knowledge of Fine's alleged actions. This means that all of the history DA Fitzpatrick cannot touch because of the statute of limitations will be dug up in an effort to receive damages from Boeheim and Syracuse University. 

Another bit of the above lawsuit that will be hashed out is the alleged fear Davis and Lang have. According to SB Nation, there are several confirmed sightings of the two at the Carrier Dome for Syracuse sporting events. 

Now, I am not here to pass any judgements or predict this case, but everyone can see that the defamation suit will be the climax of this scandal. Almost all will be brought out on to the court floor and as Orange44 writes, the different legal tactics that will be used are worthy of a Law and Order episode. 

And the drama will not be limited to New York state. Remember Zach Tomaselli, the accuser who is actually going to court with accusations against Fine for molestation?

Mr. Tomaselli has now found himself in jail for a parole violation regarding his own child abuse case. 

Members of the Syracuse network have to be asking: Is this really happening?

The answer is yes, and it is just as twisted as any TV sitcom out there. Allred is trying to prove Boeheim was guilty of defamation for saying Davis and Lang wanted money in order to get damages for Davis and Lang. The only man left with legitimate charges against Bernie FIne is in jail. 

This is no longer a Greek Tragedy or epic downfall of a great program. This is now a modern day soap opera that should be coming to an end with the conclusion of the lawsuit. 

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