Former Syracuse assistant Bernie Fine drops suit against ESPN

By Matt Norlander | College Basketball Writer

The Associated Press is reporting Bernie Fine is dropping his $11 million defamation lawsuit against ESPN.

Fine, the former Syracuse men's assistant basketball coach who was fired in November 2011 after two former ball boys alleged he sexually molested them in the 1980s and '90s, formally filed the lawsuit against ESPN on April 4.

Fine's wife, Laurie, has a separate defamation lawsuit targeted at ESPN that is still ongoing and pending in federal court.

"Although Mr. Fine and his attorneys are convinced that his legal claim has merit, Mr. Fine desires to finally put all of the turmoil of the past year and a half behind him, so that he may concentrate on his future as well as the future of his family," Fine's attorneys wrote in a statement, according to "Mr. Fine has been and continues to be overwhelmed by the many, many friends who have stood by him and who provided him with the strength to get through the most difficult time in his life. He will be forever grateful for their support and friendship."

There are no reports of a settlement between Bernie Fine and ESPN. A spokesman for the network has declined to discuss the case, citing Laurie Fine's pending suit.

The 67-year-old Bernie Fine continues to live in Florida, having moved there in the immediate aftermath of the firestorm of news that came about, primarily via ESPN's reporting, more than a year-and-a-half ago. Fine was never charged with a crime in connection with this case. He has not spoken publicly about the ordeal but has continually maintained his innocence via his lawyers.

Bernie Fine Dismissal

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