WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 26: Head coach Jim Boeheim of the Syracuse Orange reacts to call during a college basketball game against the Georgetown Hoyas on February 26, 2011 at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC The Orange 58-51. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Jim Boeheim already won more this season than any other season in the history of Syracuse Orange basketball.
You can add one more victory to the total. Supreme Court Justice Brian DeJoseph today threw out Bobby Davis and Mike Lang's defamation suit against Boeheim over the comments he made defending then-assistant Bernie Fine.
Boeheim’s calling former SU ball boys Bobby Davis and Mike Lang liars who were only out for money weren’t statements of fact but opinions that were protected from defamation claims, state Supreme Court Justice Brian DeJoseph said.
"The content, tone, and purpose of Boeheim's statements would clearly signal to the reasonable reader that what was being read in the articles published in the days after the initial ESPN report were likely to be an opinion - a biased, passionate, and defensive point of view of a basketball coach - rather than objective fact," DeJoseph wrote in the 30-page decision released at 3:15 p.m. today.
To me, it always came down to the fact that Boeheim clearly seemed to be saying what he honestly believed and that he was not trying to cover up for something he knew.
Gloria Allred says she plans to appeal the decision, which one would expect. No word on whether or not Mike Lang will buy a suit for future press conferences or trials.
Cuse Nation just let out a collective "whew." This isn't behind us totally, but, it's a huge relief off our shoulders. For the moment, it's another layer of this past season's onion that we no longer have to smell.
It also means that Allred and her team won't now get their mitts on any internal SU documents, like the reports from 2005's internal investigation, that could been damning to Jim Boeheim or the University.
If Bobby Davis and Mike Lang truly are victims, Jim Boeheim is not the criminal. He was just doing what he always does, for better or worse...being honest. As we all know by now, that's never going to change. If this past basketball season didn't change him, nothing ever will.
Davis and Lang won't get money from the guy who said they were just doing this for money after they said they weren't doing this for money. If they do indeed deserve justice, I hope they get it one day. If not, they just did.