DALLAS (AP) – A former Baylor basketball player is facing a federal extortion charge for allegedly threatening to release “derogatory information” about Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III unless he was paid.
Richard Khamir Hurd, 25, was arraigned Monday in federal court in Waco. His bond was set at $25,000.
A person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press that Griffin, the Baylor quarterback who was the No. 2 overall draft choice of the Washington Redskins, was the target of the alleged extortion attempt. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because authorities had not disclosed the fact.
Griffin was at an NFL rookie symposium Monday in Ohio, where players were not made available to reporters.
Court documents say that last week, Hurd contacted a representative from a St. Louis agency, threatening to publicize derogatory information about a client unless he was paid a “substantial sum” of money. The representative is identified in documents only by the initials B.D.
Griffin’s agent is St. Louis-based Ben Dogra, who didn’t respond to messages Monday. The documents don’t name Griffin.
According to court documents, Hurd met at a Waco business Friday with someone who agreed to handle the transaction. After signing a non-disclosure agreement, handing over the information and receiving a check, Hurd was arrested by an undercover FBI agent, documents said.
Hurd’s attorney did not return calls seeking comment.
Hurd’s mother, Marlene Hurd, told The AP on Monday she’d heard that her son was in jail but wasn’t aware of the details.
“Whatever it is, I pray by the grace of God that he’s innocent,” she said.
Griffin’s Heisman Trophy, the first in the history of the world’s largest Baptist university, came after he led the Bears to only their second 10-win season in 112 years. In his three-year career, Griffin set or tied 54 school records.
Washington traded three first-round picks and a second-rounder to the St. Louis Rams to move into the No. 2 slot to draft Griffin.
The past year also saw Baylor win the NCAA women’s basketball championship with a 40-0 record and reach the round of 16 for the second time in three years in the men’s tournament.
However, less than a week after the Lady Bears won the title, the NCAA put the Waco school on three years’ probation after an investigation turned up hundreds of impermissible telephone calls and text messages sent to prep recruits by coaches and assistants on the two basketball teams.
Hurd played basketball at Baylor as a walk-on, from the 2004-05 season through the 2007-08 season, after a high school career at Heritage Christian Academy in Cleveland north of Houston, according to Baylor sports information. His brother, Lamar Hurd, also played at Heritage Christian and later at Oregon State.
The brothers helped Heritage Christian become one of the top private school programs in Texas, and the school’s former coach, Jerome Tang, is now a Baylor assistant.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)