Posted April 06, 2013

Report: FBI investigating former Rutgers assistant Eric Murdock

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating whether former Rutgers assistant Eric Murdock tried to extort money from the university, reports the New York Times.

Murdock, whose practice videos led to the firing of Rutgers head coach Mike Rice and the resignation of athletic director Tim Pernetti, wrote a letter to the school demanding $950,000 in December, according to the paper.

Murdock filed a wrongful-termination lawsuit against the school on Friday, claiming that he was fired for being a whistle-blower.

From the New York Times:

In December, a lawyer representing the former assistant, Eric Murdock, a retired N.B.A. player, sent a letter to the university demanding $950,000, according to a copy of the letter. The letter — which was first reported by ESPN on Friday — was sent two weeks after Rice was suspended for three games for the abusive behavior that eventually led to his firing Wednesday.

The university declined to pay the money demanded in the letter, and Murdock eventually publicized video footage that showed Rice kicking his players, throwing basketballs at them and taunting them with homophobic slurs. The footage has touched off a scandal that has led to the resignations or dismissals of at least four Rutgers officials.


14 comments
James C
James C

There are going to be a lot of potential issues with this case that still need to be resolved. In regards to Murdock. The fact his contract was not renewed may end up being the same as being fired when it comes to his wrongful termination lawsuit. When did he bring this to the attention of the administration. If he brought it to the attention of the administration prior to his contract not being renewed, he likely has grounds for his wrongful termination suit. The school will need a lot of issues with his performance to overcome the appearance that he was terminated for bringing up the pathetic treatment of players by the coaching staff. If the non-renewal came up first, then he brought up the videos, then he is SOL with the lawsuit, and is likely going to be charged with extortion. He can attempt to say he was negotiating with the school if he really has a wrongful termination claim. If he doesn't now he has both a thrown out lawsuit, but will also lose his defense to the extortion charges he likely will be charged with. 

 

The different between Pitino's woman and this was the criminal activity of the school employees caught on tape. Some of that was just tough coaching, but other aspects were assault and battery. I am actually shocked the prosecutor hasn't stepped in and reviewed this for possible criminal charges. 

 

The other thing that shocks me is the NCAA has investigated the lack of institutional control that has been going on over the last couple years while Rice was the coach. Beating and berating athletes is not the same as what happened at PSU, but the NCAA opened the door for penalizing schools for things that don't impact the performance of the team on the field when they heavily penalized PSU. They need to follow their own lead and investigate the Rutger's athletic department and penalize them for the actions of their employee.  

Nunya
Nunya

reminds me of the woman now serving time who said pitino raped her.

Tim44
Tim44

Firstly, Eric Murdock was not fired rather his contract was not renewed. Secondly, if the actions Mike Rice disturbed him so much why did he not release the tapes after they were made. I do not condone Mike Rice's actions but I was confused as to why this just came out in December when this has been going on for two plus years. It is just greed on the part of Eric Murdoch. He will never get another coaching, except for on the high school level,  after this.

Tim44
Tim44

Firstly, Eric Murdock was not fired rather his contract was not renewed. Secondly, if the actions Mike Rice disturbed him so much why did he not release the tapes after they were made. I do not condone Mike Rice's actions but I was confused as to why this just came out in December when this has been going on for two plus years. It is just a greed on the part of Eric Murdoch. He will never get another coaching, except for on the high school level,  after this.

TonyC
TonyC

He was not in a position of authority to stop it at the time of occurence.  And, we do not know if he took it up with Mike Rice before going to the AD or not.  I assume he did.  But even if he didn't, his failure to act (assuming he did not) at the time of the occurence could easily be attributed to being in a hostile environment and nervousness about losing his own job, which he eventually lost anyway.  The fact remains that he reported the incident to the AD and that is definitely doing something about it.

unknown75
unknown75

So this guy films the incidents (I assume did nothing to stop or intervene, I didn't see anyone intervening on behalf of the players) then wants money from the university and is now filing a lawsuit against the school for wrongful termination. This guy should have the lawsuit filed against him for neglecting his duties as an employee of Rutgers Univeristy. I think filming the incidents and not intervening does not make him the victim here. Sorry Pal.

EricSmith1
EricSmith1

 @unknown75 He didn't record it. All of the basketball practices are automatically recorded. He just had access to the tape.

joeshine730
joeshine730 like.author.displayName 1 Like

Mike Rice is the one to be investigated for abuse and terror charges. Check Rice's miserable home life and get his kids away from this demented demon.

JoeScott
JoeScott

 Shine this, ignorant troll.

TonyC
TonyC

This is certainly not extortion.  It is a legal manuveur to ensure his reputation is not tarnished, that he distances himself from the former Rutgers coach, recoup lost wages due to his illegal firing, recoup lost wages during the time he is looking for a new gig, the cost of looking for a new gig, pain and suffering.....  Should I go on?  Please, give it a break (for example, Dennis and Callahan on WEEI accusing him of extortion).  Eric saw an unjustice, tried to correct it by going to his supervisors who turned away from him to cover it up.  Go Friars!

JoeScott
JoeScott

 @TonyC Exortionist loser who will never work again.

BryanCustard
BryanCustard

 @TonyC his wages as reported last year were 70k, how is asking for 950,000k "getting lost wages from the firing." While I hear you on needing to distance himself from the coach, situation, etc. this is a little ridiculous. While extortion may be too strong a word, especially considering he tried to get rid of the coach months ago, and the letter was probably a legalese notification that suit would be filed, the money is a little ridiculous, and releasing the tape to the media was a ballsy move that has really paid off in the court of public opinion.

James C
James C

 @BryanCustard  @TonyC  It will be interesting to see where the lawsuit ends up going. I am not a legal expert, but I do know a couple people who have been invovled in wrongful termination and whistle blower cases. IIRC if the employer fires someone wrongfully in a whistle blower case they are not only entitled to lost wages, but also a certain level of punitive damage as well. 

joeshine730
joeshine730 like.author.displayName 1 Like

The FBI should look into Murdock if he asked for money in payment for his silence. The good thing is that Murdock brought down Rice and Mini  midget Martelli which is great destroying thier careers forever.