Today in sports media feuds, a Lansing, Michigan sports radio host is suing a rival from Grand Rapids for defamation after a post on a third-party website claimed he had courted a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl.
The ordeal seems to have begun with a February post on the blog Detroit Sports Rag titled, “Ryan Schuiling wants to infiltrate Bill Simonson’s 17-year-old daughter’s inner circle.” The post is long and somewhat convoluted, but the basic gist is that Ryan Schuiling of the Lansing-based 92.1 The Team desperately wanted to take down his former colleague Bill Simonson of 107.3 FM in Grand Rapids and was willing to go to extreme lengths to do so. Detroit Sports Rag shares screen shots that seem to show Schuiling strategizing over whether he might be able to “crack into the daughter’s inner circle” at Central Michigan University, noting that “10 years from now, that age gap will mean nothing to you.”
On Wednesday, Schuiling filed a lawsuit Wednesday alleging that Simonson defamed him in emails and on social media, citing the Detroit Sports Rag post, which he says Simonson emailed to one of Schuiling’s sponsors and referenced on Twitter. The lawsuit reportedly claims that the Detroit Sports Rag post makes “numerous false allegations against Mr. Schuiling, including that Mr. Schuiling attempted to orchestrate some alleged sexual interaction with Mr. Simonson’s daughter.”
According to the Lansing State Journal, the suit targets Simonson, as well as 107.3 and its parent company Cumulus Media. Detroit Sports Rag is not named as a defendant, and the site’s owner Jeff Moss told the State Journal he is not being sued by Schuiling.
Per the State Journal, the lawsuit goes on to accuse Simonson of violating a non-disparagement clause in a non-compete he signed after leaving 107.3 in 2015. Here are some of the specific claims, again via the State Journal:
- “Simonson has defamed Mr. Schuiling in an effort to intimidate, embarrass, harass, damage his reputation, damage his business opportunities, and… create unfavorable and unwanted publicity for Mr. Schuiling.”
- On May 10, Simonson emailed a link to the aforementioned “Detroit Sports Rag” blog post to IBEW Local 665, which sponsors Schuiling’s show.
- Simonson tweeted that Schuiling “preaches about MSU and victims of sex violence but wanted someone to have sex with my daughter in college and talk about it.”
- Simonson posted on Facebook that Schuiling “wanted someone to have sex with my daughter and have online blogger Jeff Moss write about it,” and “These are my fricking children! This won’t be an on air war. This will be done with lawyers. This is the same Ryan Schuiling who’s preaching about sex violence on the MSU campus. What a hypocrite.”
So to summarize: Schuiling attempted to use Detroit Sports Rag to go after Simonson, but the website turned on him and shared some unsavory texts he apparently sent. Simonson used that post to discredit Schuiling, so Schuiling sued Simonson.
We have seen a lot of local sports media feuds over the years. This is easily one of the weirdest.