WACO, Texas — A former Baylor basketball player was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison Wednesday for trying to get $1 million from Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III through extortion.
U.S. District Judge Walter Smith also ordered Richard Hurd, 26, to pay a $1,000 fine for threatening to release damaging information about Griffin last June.
“I messed up, and I’d like to apologize to my family,” Hurd said during a brief hearing. “I’ve embarrassed myself and them as well.”
Hurd could have been sentenced to as many as three years behind bars after pleading guilty in September to two charges relating to the scam — threatening to injure the reputation of another person and receiving the proceeds of extortion.
Griffin won the Heisman Trophy at Baylor last year, and he signed a contract worth more than $21 million after the Redskins made him the second player selected in the 2012 draft. The Redskins play at Dallas today, the rookie’s first pro appearance in his home state.
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.”
Ward upset with fine
Browns safety T.J. Ward is appealing a $25,000 fine for a hit he maintains was legal under the rules on helmet-to-helmet contact.
Ward received a letter from the league informing him of the penalty for hitting Dallas wide receiver Kevin Ogletree on Sunday. Ward said replays conclusively show he did not touch any part of Ogletree’s head. Ward was called for unnecessary roughness, a 15-yard penalty that helped the Cowboys’ drive that set up a game-tying field goal in the closing seconds of regulation. Dallas won 23-20 in overtime.
“It was completely legal,” Ward said. “I hit him in the chest as he was falling forward. No part of my helmet hit his helmet. No part of my shoulder pad hit his helmet. I think it was a blown call and a blown punishment.”
Tebow battling injury
Backup quarterback Tim Tebow and wide receiver Jeremy Kerley are among several New York Jets players listed as questionable for the team’s game against the Patriots tonight.
Tebow has a rib injury and Kerley has a sore hamstring.