Today, Gary Parrish has this piece in which he argues, quite convincingly in my view, that the Davises will not actually sue the Chicago Sun-Times over their article last week claiming Anthony Davis' father was shopping his son around for money among various college programs.
Even if Davis files it, he won't pursue it to the point of trial because he'll soon learn such would only make a bad situation worse. He'll also learn that there's little chance of winning given that he would -- as the father of a high-profile prospect whose name has appeared in countless publications -- likely be considered a "public figure" for the purposes of the suit, at which point it would have to be proven that the paper knowingly published false allegations or operated with reckless disregard for the truth. That the story was wrong -- if the story was in fact wrong -- wouldn't alone be enough to win anything. Once Davis understands as much, I presume he'll drift into the background just like Eric Bledsoe.
I don't recall Bledsoe's family actually threatening a lawsuit against the New York Times, but it may have happened.
Anyway, I think Parrish makes a compelling case here, and as I explained in this post right after the second Sun-Times piece was published, the Sun-Times did what it did to inoculate itself from just such a suit. It raised the bar to actual malice, and almost unprovable standard, in my opinion.
Maybe I'm wrong. Like Parrish, I really, really hope so. I would love to see all this play out in a dramatic trial with college coaches as witnesses against each other. I think it would be good for the sport. I don't know what would come out of it, but certainly a better understanding of the recruiting process would be a good candidate, and recruiting is something that I think really needs a good dose of sunshine.
But Parrish is probably right. The suit will likely never happen, and if it does, it will never go to trial. The odds against winning are too great, and it's just frankly impossible to sue a media outlet successfully unless you are independently wealthy. The only time we ever really see it happen is when Hollywood celebrities (independently wealthy) go after rumor rags. If Mr. Davis were a millionaire, this might have a chance. If he could prevent his son from being declared a limited public figure, this might have a chance.
But I don't think Mr. Davis is wealthy, and I don't think they have a chance in hell of avoiding having the younger Davis declared a public figure. So the odds are, this suit will a) never happen, and b) never end up at trial if it does.