SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) _ Former Syracuse assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine's defamation lawsuit against ESPN is being moved to federal court, according to court papers.
In a filing in state Supreme Court last week, Fine also dropped legal action against co-defendants named in the original summons filed in November, which included reporter Mark Schwarz, producer Arthur Berko, the Walt Disney Co. and the Hearst Corp. ESPN, Inc. will be the sole defendant.
Fine, who was fired in November 2011, is suing for defamation stemming from broadcasts aired by ESPN in November 2011 that reported claims by two former ball boys that Fine had molested them more than two decades ago. The 67-year-old Fine was never charged and has maintained his innocence.
ESPN had no comment when contacted Tuesday night by The Associated Press.