Source: Mark Cooper/Tulsa World
Time Inc. and the two reporters who wrote Sports Illustrated’s series on the Oklahoma State football program filed a 31-page motion to dismiss in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma on Tuesday. They claim the lawsuit filed against them by John Talley on July 10 “fails to state a plausible claim.”
Talley, a Fellowship of Christian Athletes representative, alleges in the lawsuit that Sports Illustrated and reporters Thayer Evans and George Dohrmann painted him in a false light and published “malicious allegations” against Talley with “reckless disregard for the truth” in their series, “The Dirty Game.”
Time Inc.’s motion to dismiss claims “the light in which Talley alleges he has been placed by the article is not provably false or highly offensive.” It also states Talley “has not alleged sufficient facts to support an allegation of actual malice.”
Sports Illustrated published “The Dirty Game,” a five-part series looking into OSU’s program by Evans and Dohrmann, in September 2013.
The lawsuit claims the series of stories painted Talley in a false light as “an overzealous ‘booster’ and not a legitimate Christian college outreach leader.” It also alleges the reporters “knowingly and intentionally” published false claims by OSU players.