The final touches on a contract between Rutgers alum and current Los Angeles Lakers assistant Eddie Jordan and the Scarlet Knights are currently being hammered out. Barring a complete surprise, the official announcement of Jordan’s hiring is expected Tuesday, April 16, according to USA Today.
Rutgers University is taking a big step towards moving past the debacle that was the physically and emotionally abusive tenure of now-fired basketball coach Mike Rice.
On Friday, it was confirmed that former Sacramento Kings, Washington Wizards, and Philadelphia 76ers head coach and current Lakers assistant Eddie Jordan has accepted an offer to coach at his alma mater.
Sources confirm to me that Eddie Jordan is leaving the Lakers and will be the next coach at Rutgers University. The deal almost complete
— Chick Hernandez (@CHICKatCSN) April 12, 2013
Jordan starred at shooting guard for the Scarlet Knights from 1973-1977 before being selected by Cleveland in the second round of the ’77 NBA Draft. He went on to enjoy a seven-year pro career, helping Los Angeles hoist the championship trophy in 1982.
His experience and his obvious ties to the New Jersey community presumably makes Jordan an ideal fit to pick up the pieces of what is left of the Rutgers program.
ESPN’s Outside the Lines recently aired striking footage of Rice cursing out his players, using gay slurs, throwing basketballs at their heads and even kicking them. The story blew up nationally, resulting in not only the aforementioned firing of Rice, but also the ouster of athletic director Tim Pernetti. Some even called for the firing of the school’s president, Robert Barchi.
In terms of Jordan’s resources, Rutgers is moving to the Big Ten and expecting a financial windfall. Increased television air time on the Big Ten Network should facilitate recruiting in New York City, as well.
After the embarrassment of the Rice regime, Jordan will be given every opportunity to succeed.
Now, of course, the hard work of building a champion begins in earnest.