Back in March, we told you about a defamation lawsuit that former Syracuse assistant Bernie Fine filed against ESPN. Fine was the subject of an ESPN report indicating him in sexual abuse allegations, but was not charged after a yearlong investigation.
The details of Fine's lawsuit at the time were a bit vague, but now CBSSports.com is reporting that Fine is seeking $11 million dollars and has expanded his suit to include ESPN as a whole, rather than Mark Schwartz, the reporter who covered the story.
CNYCentral.com broke this latest development:
"Fine's attorneys initially brought the action in New York State Supreme Court, but after a legal exchange that questioned which parties should be included as defendants ESPN emerged as the only remaining defendant. ESPN is based in Connecticut and has no other legal connection to New York State. Fine is considered a resident of New York although he has been living in Florida."
Fine was fired in the wake of the ESPN report filed in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. As the story developed, it was clear ESPN's reporting against Fine and role in the case should have received much more scrutiny than it originally did. The interesting development here is the former coach going after ESPN as a whole, which of course makes sense for someone looking to profit from a lawsuit. Whether or not Fine wins this lawsuit (and it's hard to say how the questions of ESPN's reporting will make the leap to a court of law), I hardly think it will bring him the peace he is ultimately looking for and the restoration of his public image. While $11 million can buy a lot, it cannot buy that.