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FBI interested in ex-Rutgers basketball employee Murdock

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By The Associated Press
Sunday, April 7, 2013, 7:21 p.m.

The FBI is investigating whether a former Rutgers basketball employee tried to extort the university before he made videos that showed ex-coach Mike Rice shoving and kicking players and berating them with gay slurs.

Meanwhile, Robert Morris University is expected to report in coming days what it has learned in its own inquiry on the three years Rice spent as head coach there.

A person familiar with the FBI's probe told The Associated Press on Sunday that investigators are interested in Eric Murdock, who left his job as the men's basketball program's player development director last year and later provided the video to university officials and ESPN.

A December letter from Murdock's lawyer to a lawyer representing Rutgers requested $950,000 to settle employment issues and said that if the university did not agree by Jan. 4, Murdock was prepared to file a lawsuit. The letter was obtained last week by the AP and other media outlets.

No settlement has been made. The video became public last week, and Murdock on Friday filed a lawsuit against the university, contending he was fired because he was a whistleblower trying to bring to light Rice's behavior.

University's president Robert Barchi will hold a town hall meeting Monday at the school's Newark campus, where he is expected to face some students and faculty who say they lost confidence in him even before the controversy over Rice's firing.

Robert Morris officials said athletic director Craig Coleman could speak about the matter Monday or Tuesday. Rice coached there before leaving for Rutgers in 2010.

Murdock told ESPN in an interview last week that coaches brawled with players during Rice's time at the Pennsylvania college. Robert Morris officials initially said that the video of Rice at Rutgers was not representative of how he acted at Robert Morris.

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