Syracuse, N.Y. -- A lawsuit alleging defamation against Syracuse University men’s basketball coach Jim Boeheim has been dismissed.
The suit was tied to the sexual abuse claims against former assistant coach Bernie Fine.
When two former ball boys, Bobby Davis and his stepbrother Mike Lang, accused Fine of sexually abusing them more than 20 years ago, Boeheim vehemently supported Fine, a longtime friend.
Boeheim said Davis was telling "a bunch of a thousand lies" and called him an opportunist looking to cash in on the publicity surrounding the Penn State sex abuse scandal.
Supreme Court Justice Brian DeJoseph, a graduate of Syracuse University and its law school, ruled Friday that Boeheim's comments were not statements of fact but were opinions that are protected from defamation suits.
In his decision, Judge 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."
Davis and Lang's attorney, Gloria Allred, said she will appeal the decision.
In a statment, she said, "It is difficult enough for victims of childhood sexual abuse to come forward. This decision sends the message that you can attack the alleged victim and call him a liar with impunity. It makes it even harder for victims to come forward."
You can read the judge's entire decision here