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Jim Boeheim Slander Suit Reinstated by Court of Appeals

Bobby Lang and Mike Davis will have their day in court with Jim Boeheim.

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Kevin C. Cox

Jim Boeheim's 2014-2015 basketball season hasn't gotten off to the best of starts.

An early leak of his book said Boeheim reveals Carmelo Anthony's poor grades while at SU, which doesn't sound all that great. Then came news that the Syracuse Orange basketball program will find out what the NCAA discovered during an investigation and it doesn't sound good. Bad news comes in threes and the news that the New York State Court of Appeals has reinstated the slander suit against Boeheim just puts the frosty icing on his cake.

State Supreme Court Justice Brian DeJoseph two years ago threw out the lawsuit on the grounds that Boeheim's comments were opinions, not assertions of fact. A mid-level appeals court affirmed that ruling.

But the Court of Appeals, in a decision written by Justice Jenny Rivera, ruled that the lower courts erred in calling Boeheim's comments pure opinion.

"The context further suggests to the reader that Boeheim spoke with authority, and that his statements were based on facts," Rivera wrote. "Boeheim was a well-respected, exalted member of the university and the Syracuse community-at-large, and as head coach of the team appeared well placed to have information about the charges."

What happens now? Now the case will return to a trial court where Lang & Davis will seek damages. Between this and news that SU will have to turn over more documents in the Laurie Fine defamation suit against ESPN, it sounds like all of Syracuse's dirty laundry is about to get aired.

Maybe he should have held off on that biography another year...