Nov 23, 2012, 9:15 AM EDT
One day before Robert Griffin III took the field on Thanksgiving Day, the case of a former Baylor basketball player found guilty of attempting to extort the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner was resolved.
Richard Hurd, who was a walk-on at Baylor from 2005 to 2008, was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine for threatening to release damaging information about the quarterback in June.
Hurd could have been sentenced for up to three years in prison on charges of threatening to injure the reputation of another person and receiving the proceeds of extortion, and after being sentenced made a brief statement to the court.
“I messed up, and I’d like to apologize to my family,” Hurd said during a brief hearing before U.S. District Judge Walter Smith. “I’ve embarrassed myself and them as well.”
According to prosecutors Hurd contacted Griffin III’s agent and demanded $1 million, threatening to release damaging information on the quarterback to the media if his demand wasn’t met.
After informing the FBI of the extortion attempt, Griffin III’s agent was able to get Hurd to drop his asking price to $120,000 in exchange for signing a non-disclosure agreement. Authorities arrested Hurd at a Waco law office on the day he picked up the check and signed the agreement.
During a conference call with reporters Tuesday, Griffin referred to Hurd as his fiancee’s ex-boyfriend, noting that anyone who gains fame and money can be vulnerable.
“People do things like that when they’re angry at you or for whatever reason,” Griffin said. “For me, it’s extremely unfortunate, and you’ve just got to move on from it. It’s not anything I’m afraid of. It’s just sad.”
Hurd’s legal guardian and coach at Heritage Christian Academy in Cleveland, Texas was Jerome Tang, who joined the coaching staff at Baylor in 2003, and brother Lamar played four seasons at Oregon State.
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