Was RG3 victim of extortion?

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Was RG3 victim of extortion?

From Comcast SportsNet
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.

A's spring training Day 8: Top pick AJ Puk attracts a crowd

A's spring training Day 8: Top pick AJ Puk attracts a crowd

MESA, Ariz. — The A’s are excited about 2016 top pick A.J. Puk, that much was apparent by the crowd the lefty attracted for his first “live” bullpen session Tuesday.

Among those watching closely were executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane, general manager David Forst, manager Bob Melvin and pitching coach Curt Young.

Puk, who shaved about 20 pounds off his 6-foot-7 frame over the winter, looked strong against a group of hitters that included touted infield prospects Franklin Barreto and Yairo Munoz.

Melvin in particular liked the way Puk, the No. 6 overall pick out of the University of Florida, worked his curve ball into the mix. That’s a pitch he hadn’t used since high school, but he dusted it off back in the fall instructional league with some encouragement from minor league pitching coordinator Gil Patterson, and he’s working to sharpen it this spring as a complement to his fastball, slider and changeup.

“It’s just nice to have another pitch that’s slower than my other three pitches,” Puk said before Tuesday’s workout.

“It’s a four-pitch mix,” Melvin said. “He’s really starting to distinguish between this slider and curve ball. It was quite a crowd around his cage too. When you’re a young kid you tend to notice that, but I thought he responded really well.”

Puk, 21, is rooming with shortstop Richie Martin, a teammate at Florida whom the A’s made their top pick in 2015. They also lived near each other in Tampa this offseason and worked out together.

Puk comes off very quiet upon meeting him, but Martin warns against being fooled.

“It takes him a while, but once he feels comfortable he’ll break out. You’ll see.”

Melvin was impressed with Puk’s physical shape, saying he’s fielded his position well in pitchers’ fielding drills.

CAMP BATTLE Jesse Hahn will start the A’s Cactus League opener Saturday against the defending World Series champion Chicago Cubs. It’ll be a chance for Hahn to make an early impression in his bid for the fifth starter spot.

“After the year he had (in 2016), it’s important for him this year. We have to show some faith in him,” Melvin said. “He performed well for us the year before. Last year wasn’t really consistent. We’ll try to get him out there and get him off to a good start.”

Kendall Graveman will take the ball in Sunday’s spring home opener against the Angels. Sonny Gray and Sean Manaea both will pitch Monday against the Giants and Jharel Cotton and Andrew Triggs will be among the group throwing Tuesday against the Indians.

PROSPECT WATCH: Sean Murphy, the A’s third-round pick in June, has shown a very strong throwing arm early in camp. Is it any wonder Melvin, an ex-catcher, was impressed?

“The kid can throw, it’s special,” Melvin said. “We really like him.”

NOTEWORTHY: Still no word on when reliever Santiago Casilla will arrive at camp from the Dominican Republic. Melvin said he isn’t concerned at this stage, and noted that Casilla has been working out at the team’s complex in the Dominican Republic and gave a motivational talk to the younger players there.

Cousins thanks Sacramento: 'Wouldn't trade it for anything'

Cousins thanks Sacramento: 'Wouldn't trade it for anything'

The Kings traded DeMarcus Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday, prompting the All-Star big man to post a heartfelt message on his Instagram account.

Words can't even express how hard it is for me to have to leave the city of Sacramento and all of the amazing people that I have met while out here. I gave it my all for you and you gave it right back. The most amazing fans on the planet and I just want you to know that your support has meant everything to me. It's hard to believe that it was seven years ago that this young kid from Alabama showed up in Sacramento scared and not knowing a soul. As I look back upon my time here, I wouldn't trade it for anything. I have met so many amazing people, many of whom went out of their way to make me feel right at home from day one. Each and every one of you have played such an important part in my life and helping me become the person I am today. I don't just consider you all as fans, you all are my family...and a couple thousand miles aren't going to change a thing. Thank you Sacramento. 
#LoyaltyisLove #sactownkingforever

Cousins, 26, averaged 27.8 points, 10.7 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 1.4 steals, 1.3 blocks and 34.4 minutes per game for the Kings this year.

Words can't even express how hard it is for me to have to leave the city of Sacramento and all of the amazing people that I have met while out here. I gave it my all for you and you gave it right back. The most amazing fans on the planet and I just want you to know that your support has meant everything to me. It's hard to believe that it was seven years ago that this young kid from Alabama showed up in Sacramento scared and not knowing a soul. As I look back upon my time here, I wouldn't trade it for anything. I have met so many amazing people, many of whom went out of their way to make me feel right at home from day one. Each and every one of you have played such an important part in my life and helping me become the person I am today. I don't just consider you all as fans, you all are my family...and a couple thousand miles aren't going to change a thing. Thank you Sacramento. #LoyaltyisLove

A post shared by DeMarcus Cousins (@boogiecousins) on