Eddie Jordan never actually graduated from Rutgers

Eddie JordanRutgers fired one basketball coach in order to rid itself of a controversy, but now they have another one on their hands.

Rutgers got rid of Mike Rice after a video went viral last month showing the coach physically and verbally abusing his players during practice. Less than two weeks later, they replaced him with former NBA coach Eddie Jordan, who was a star basketball player for the school in the ’70s. Now, Deadspin has learned that Jordan never actually graduated from the school despite claims suggesting otherwise.

Deadspin called the school’s registrar office and found that Jordan never actually graduated despite attending classes from 1973-77. After the discrepancy was brought up, Jordan admitted to ESPN New York that he did not receive his degree.

Jordan took classes while he was in college and returned to take more classes in 1985 after his NBA playing career was over.

“I went back to Rutgers in 1984-85 as a voluntary assistant to complete my studies,” Jordan told ESPN. “I didn’t walk. I didn’t get a diploma because I wasn’t registered right. That’s it. I was 28 and didn’t take care of my business. It was never an issue.”

Jordan apparently put on his resumes that he graduated from Rutgers in 1985.

In Jordan’s bio on the school’s website, it used to say:

“RU’s all-time leader in both assists (585) and steals (220), “Fast Eddie” scored 1,632 career points and earned honorable mention All-American honors as a senior in 1977 before earning a degree in health and physical education.”

That part of the bio now reads:

“RU’s all-time leader in both assists (585) and steals (220), “Fast Eddie” scored 1,632 career points and earned honorable mention All-American honors as a senior in 1977.”

Despite the misleading credentials, Rutgers is still standing by their new coach. They said in a statement Friday:

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Report: Eddie Jordan to become next Rutgers coach

Eddie JordanMike Rice’s loss appears to be Eddie Jordan’s gain.

According to CSN Washington’s Chick Hernandez, Jordan is going to be the next head basketball coach at Rutgers.

The Rutgers job became available after Rice was fired in the wake of practice videos showing his abusive behavior towards his players went viral. There was tremendous backlash for Rice, and both he and athletic director Tim Pernetti were let go because of the scandal.

If Jordan accepts the job, he would be leaving his post as an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Lakers. The fit seems natural.

Jordan played at Rutgers in the ’70s and led the Scarlet Knights to the 1976 Final Four. After playing seven seasons in the NBA, he got into coaching as a volunteer assistant at Rutgers. He has served as a head coach of the Sacramento Kings, Washington Wizards, and Philadelphia 76ers during his head coaching career. He led the Wizards to the playoffs four straight seasons.

Jordan was also in consideration for the Rutgers job in 2010 but pulled out to remain in the NBA. The job went to Rice.

Jordan comes into a program that doesn’t have too high of expectations, and he should be energized to turn it around now that he’s getting another opportunity to be a head coach. He’ll have difficulties competing in the Big Ten and probably will be a bottom half team in the conference, but at least he won’t embarrass the school.