NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 13: Attorney Gloria Allred speaks at a news conference with Bobby Davis (L) and Mike Lang (not seen) 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)
The fact that I've ditched "Bernie Fine Allegations" as my leader and turned it into "Jim Boeheim Lawsuit" tells you how far off course we've gotten here. And yet, here we are and here we go...
The lawsuit was filed yesterday by and Mike Lang and all I'm going to say is, while I think Davis and Lang have the right to seek justice for themselves, the court of public opinion is starting to turn against them and I think they should be aware of that.
The simple fact is, they've gone off message. I don't think they were doing this for the money. Then Boeheim said they were doing it for the money. Now, they're doing it for the money. How ridiculous is that?
Whether they are truly looking for a money grab (I don't think that was their initial intention) or they're just a pawn in a bigger game than themselves, things are about to get a lot harder for them.
All those rumors. All those financial documents floating around the Internet. All those theories about their intentions and pasts and even their present... The longer this goes on, the more likely all of those things will come out. And as they do, faith in their side will erode.
My guess is that Allred is hoping for a quick solution from a University and a basketball coach who want to move past this as quickly as possible. The question now is...does SU think there's true merit here and, if not, do they call the bluff?
ESPN's own legal expert Roger Cossack called the lawsuit "without merit" and that should tell you something. In the same piece, Mark Schwartz says that Davis had no idea who Gloria Allred was until a few days ago and has no idea what he’s getting himself into.
That's the power of Gloria Allred, she can turn ESPN into the voice of concern and prudence with one press conference.
Yahoo! spoke with a defamantion lawyer in New York who shined some lights on what it will take for Davis & Lang to win the lawsuit:
Albany lawyer Kevin Luibrand, who has two pending defamation cases, said it always comes down to the exact words someone used. Luibrand, who was unfamiliar with Boeheim’s precise quotes, said the coach could argue that he made the statements based on what he thought was true.
However, acknowledging later he was—or may have been—wrong, as Boeheim did, doesn’t undo the initial false statement.
"The truth is always a defense," Luibrand said. "The statements don’t necessarily have to be truthful but based on a belief they are truthful."
In other words, if Boeheim can make a solid argument that he honestly believed Davis & Lang were liars and had absolutely no idea that this abuse was happening, he did not in fact defame them.
While Davis and Lang initially said they appreciated Boeheim's apology, that's gone out the window. Now, Boeheim's apology is "too little too late." That SU and Boeheim were "totally wrong." Davis even said that he wished Boeheim could feel a little bit of the pain Bernie Fine inflicted on him.
Then there's this nugget which I just find strange...
Lang on if JB should be fired: It's not for me to say. I hope not. He did a lot of damage by calling us liars when he didn't know the facts.
So, you think Boeheim was 100% wrong here, you think he should pay, you think he should pay consequences...but you DON'T think he should be fired?
I gotta ask, between the SU Shrine in his house, the fact that he's been spotted at SU games this whole time by various people, his mentioning of the fact that SU is No. 1 in the press conference and now this...what is going on?
Speaking of the SU games, I've had three different people tell me they have seen Davis & Lang in the Carrier Dome during football & basketball games. I can't personally confirm that but that's a pretty good amount of eyeballs. That seems to counter-act the note in the lawsuit that "both Bobby Davis and Mike Lang are afraid to leave their homes for fear of retribution by area residents." I can't think of a WORSE place for either of them to be than the Carrier Dome during an SU sporting event. And yet...
Anyway, that's about all I can muster at the moment. Breathe, take a moment and move forward...