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. 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.
"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."
According to federal authorities, Hurd contacted Griffin's agent and said he wanted $1 million. Otherwise, he would provide the media with information that would damage the former Baylor star's reputation.
Many of the court documents in the case have been sealed, and it's unclear what information Hurd wanted to reveal.
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."
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 the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday, the rookie's first pro appearance in his home state.
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press