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Last week, Eric Murdock was considered a hero for revealing the ugly abuse taking place inside the Rutger’s Men’s Basketball program. His unveiling of video footage of coach Mike Rice abusing players led to national outrage, causing the coach to be fired just two days after the report was released on ESPN’s “Outside the Lines.”
But Murdock himself may be going down with Rice. An internal email to the university allegedly reveals Murdock requesting $950,000 from the university in exchange for his decision not to reveal the video footage to the public. Oddly enough, the letter was sent by Murdock’s attorney, so it may or may not be what it seems.
The university refused to pay the money and that’s when the tape went public. Also, this week, Murdock filed a lawsuit against the university and several school officials claiming that he was wrongfully terminated.
“Efforts to get Rutgers to address their problems were ignored for months,” Murdock said at a press conference. “Instead I was removed from my position. That is wrong and why I filed a lawsuit.”
The lawsuit says that Murdock was fired for being a whistle blower and that the university chose to get rid of him rather than deal with the abuses directly.
“Despite having been in possession of such video footage, the university and its representatives inexplicably chose to ignore Defendant Rice’s unlawful conduct,” the lawsuit said.
Raj Gadhok, Murdock’s attorney, says that his client didn’t try to extort anyone.
“There’s no extortion. It’s not where we gave it to them and said, ‘Hey, give us this or we’re doing this or that’” Gadhok told USA Today.
“Frankly, it was a response to their request for a settlement demand. There’s nothing atypical about it. It’s a settlement discussion to resolve the case.”
The university, still attempting to live behind a lie, has said that the tape had nothing to do with their decision to get rid of Rice. But the public can see the writing on the wall.
The school, Rice, University Athletic Director Tim Pernetti, university President Robert L. Barchi and former President Richard L. McCormick were all being sued by Murdock. Pernetti says that he wanted to fire Rice last year, but higher-ups were the ones who forced him to keep him around.