The defendants in a lawsuit filed against Sports Illustrated magazine for its 2013 investigative series into the Oklahoma State football program have filed a motion to dismiss the case, said Gary Richardson, attorney for the plaintiff.
The motion to dismiss claims the plaintiff — John Talley, an Oklahoma Fellowship of Christian Athletes representative — fails to “state a plausible claim.”
“It’s not that unusual,” Richardson said. “It isn’t often there is a motion to dismiss before discovery, but nothing surprises you.”
Richardson says he will file a response to the motion to dismiss within the next 15 days.
A notice of removal was also filed by the defendants — Time Inc., George Dohrmann and Thayer Evans — on Aug. 12 to move the case from Payne County District Court to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma in Oklahoma City, according to online court records.
In the lawsuit, Talley said claims made against him in the magazine’s September 2013 five-part series called “The Dirty Game” were false, “lacked factual basis and were printed and published with actual malice.”
Talley was reported in the series to have overpaid former OSU football players for jobs they did or did not do. The lawsuit states Talley is seeking more than $75,000 in damages.