NEWARK (CBSNewYork) — A videotape of former Rutgers basketball coach Mike Rice physically and verbally abusing his players unleashed a messy wave of firings, resignations, and back office intrigue this week.
Now, the latest twist in the messy scandal has emerged in the form of a New York Times report that the FBI met with Rutgers officials with questions about original whistle-blower, ex-assistant coach Eric Murdock.
In a letter to Rutgers in December, Murdock reportedly asked for nearly $1 million, a request that some people have viewed as a possible shakedown. Murdock’s lawyer has rejected those suggestions as ‘nonsense’, CBS 2’s Dave Carlin reported.
“That’s clearly not true, Mr. Murdock acted without any motivation for money when he brought this to the attention of Rutgers in June of 2012. It’s Rutgers who didn’t act,” said attorney Barry Kozyra.
The scandal has continued to grow, as athletic director Tim Pernetti resigned on Friday.
Reports have surfaced that Rutgers knew about Rice’s behavior for months before any video surfaced.
Former Rutgers football player Eric LeGrande, who was badly hurt in 2010, said Pernetti should not have been fired.
“Terrible, watching Tim Pernetti go like this was almost worse than pretty much my injury. I never felt so upset before seeing someone like him go. I’ve had so much respect for him and everything,” LeGrande said.
School president Robert Barchi wound up not seeing the now-infamous video of Mike Rice abusing his players until it aired on ESPN because the DVD player on his laptop was not working, according to a Star-Ledger report.
There have been calls for Barchi to step down as well.
CBS 2 reached out to Rutgers representatives about the New York Times report and were referred to the FBI’s Newark Office; calls to that office have not yet been returned.
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