THE WIFE of fired Syracuse assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine claimed Wednesday that ESPN maliciously trampled her reputation by broadcasting salacious stories about her and about claims that her husband molested ball boys.
Laurie Fine held a news conference and threatened to file a libel lawsuit in federal court against the cable network and two employees. ESPN in November broke the story of two former Syracuse ball boys, Robert Davis and Michael Lang, who claimed they were molested by Bernie Fine decades ago.
"I'm here today as a wife and a mother who has had to endure the trauma of being smeared in the public as a monster," she said, reading quickly from a statement. "My life has been destroyed."
Laurie Fine's lawyer, Lawrence Fisher of Pittsburgh, repeatedly declined to answer specific questions and said he was discussing the complaint with Bristol, Conn.-based ESPN. He has not yet filed a lawsuit.
ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz said the complaint is without merit and the network stands by its reporting.
Bernie Fine has denied wrongdoing and hasn't been charged.
Laurie Fine said she was the victim of "treacherous lies" and said the attention has forced her to live in seclusion for the past 6 months and give up charity work she enjoyed.
In other college news:
* Notre Dame linebacker Carlo Calabrese has been charged with a misdemeanor count of intimidation for allegedly making threatening remarks to a police officer after quarterback Tommy Rees was arrested. Rees was pepper-sprayed and arrested May 3 after allegedly running from an off-campus party and resisting arrest.
Sport Stops *
A Texas judge has ordered Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders to pay $10,550 in monthly child support as part of his divorce. Sanders and his estranged wife, Pilar, agreed to share custody of their three children for the summer.
* Fresh off a title in Madrid and back at No. 2 in the rankings, Roger Federer defeated Carlos Berlocq, 6-3, 6-4, in his opening match at the Italian Open in Rome. In women's play, Serena Williams rallied past Nadia Petrova, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, to extend her win streak to 15 matches.