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FBI investigating possible extortion at Rutgers

04/08/2013 12:58 PM ET
By Matt Hughes

The investigation into the Rutgers men's basketball scandal is continuing with former assistant Eric Murdock.(AP)
The FBI is investigating whether former Rutgers assistant Eric Murdock tried to extort the university before alleging abusive behavior in the men's basketball program.

As first reported by The New York Times, the FBI recently visited the office of former athletics director Tom Pernetti to inquire about a letter Murdock's lawyer sent to the university demanding $950,000 to settle employment issues in December. The letter said that if the university did not comply by January 4, Murdock would file a lawsuit. Rutgers refused to pay the money requested in the letter and Murdock eventually released video that showed the abusive behavior that led to the dismissal of head coach Mike Rice on Wednesday and Pernetti's resignation on Friday. 

Murdock was fired in 2012, but the circumstances around his dismissal remain unclear. The university is claiming he was fired for missing a 2012 basketball camp without permission but Murdock claims he was targeted for speaking to university officials about Rice's abusive behavior. Murdock's lawyer formally filed a lawsuit on Friday but no settlement has been reached.

Murdock, a New Jersey native, spent nine seasons in the NBA He was hired to be the director of player development at Rutgers in 2010.

Follow Matt Hughes on Twitter: @hughesmatt

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