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Report: FBI investigates possible extortion attempt at Rutgers

The SportsXchange

The FBI has launched an investigation into possible extortion surrounding the Rutgers basketball video scandal that has cost head coach Mike Rice and athletic director Tim Pernetti their jobs.

At the center of the FBI investigation is the former director of player development under Rice, Eric Murdock. It was Murdock who provided the video showing Rice kicking and shoving players, throwing basketballs at players and taunting them with homophobic language.

According to the New York Times, Murdock approached the university in December asking for $950,000. The university declined to pay Murdock who subsequently released the video, setting off a firestorm at Rutgers.

On Thursday, the Star-Ledger reported an FBI agent was on the Rutgers campus last month and spoke with university officials, but it was unclear if the agent was seeking to determine whether claims of blackmail were valid.

On Friday, Murdock filed a wrongful-termination lawsuit against Rutgers, claiming he was let go for being a whistle-blower. The university said it did not renew his contract after the 2012 season because he left Rice's basketball camp early and without permission, among other factors.
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