Former Syracuse assistant coach Bernie Fine is dropping his $11 million defamation lawsuit against ESPN, according to a report. Fine had filed the suit on April 4 against ESPN. He was fired in November 2011 after alleged sexual misconduct with two former ball boys for the men's baseketball team in the 1980s and '90s, "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 published by Syracuse.com. "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." ESPN refused to comment on the suit or indicate whether the two sides might have settled out of court. Fine's wife, Laurie, also sued ESPN for defamation and that case is pending in federal court. Fine, 67, has lived in Florida since he left Syracuse. He was never charged with a crime in the case that was reported by ESPN. Throughout the ordeal, Fine defended his innocence but refused to speak publicly about it.
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