Mike Rice Whistleblower Eric Murdock Files Wrongful Termination Lawsuit Against Rutgers
In the wake of the Mike Rice firing, Eric Murdock has filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against Rutgers University as a result of the school allegedly trying to sweep the Mike Rice player abuse under the rug.
Eric Murdock, the ex-director of player development for the Rutgers basketball program, reported directly to head coach Mike Rice. Murdock reportedly gave the footage of Rice bullying players at practice to ESPN that led to the downfall of both Rice and Athletic Director Tim Pernetti this week.
Murdock’s lawsuit filed today alleges violations of New Jersey’s whistleblower law, discrimination, and breach of contract among other charges. Murdock, who had a nine-year NBA with seven different teams, essentially claims he was let go by Rutgers after officially complaining about Coach Rice’s behavior. “The termination was the direct result of Mr. Murdock’s complaints and report of Defendant Rice’s unlawful conduct.” Murdock insists that he notified university officials in writing about Rice’s bullying behavior and gave them footage of it last year. Named as defendants in the Murdock lawsuit are Rutgers itself, as well as Mike Rice, Tim Pernetti, President Robert Barchi, former President Richard McCormick, and other as-yet unnamed Rutgers employees. Rutgers is the state university of New Jersey.
In an interview with Mike Francesa on WFAN earlier this week (before either he or Rice got the axe), Pernetti said flatly that Murdock never came to him to complain about the head coach. He also insisted that Murdock wasn’t terminated; instead his contract was not renewed. This apparently was in part the result of a scheduling snafu involving a motivational talk Murdock attended at his son’s high school basketball camp when he was supposed to be on the clock for Rutgers.
In late December, Murdock’s attorney sought a nearly $1 million payout from the school to settle his contract dispute.
Although all the facts have yet to come out, do you think that Eric Murdock has “clean hands” as the law calls it in this dispute with Rutgers University over his alleged firing?