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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.

Chipper Jones responds to Mike Rice firing: Players need to ‘toughen up’

Mike-Rice-apologyThe general consensus regarding former Rutgers basketball coach Mike Rice has been that he deserved to be fired. Many who saw the clips of Rice chucking basketballs at players’ heads and screaming gay slurs at them feel that he should never be allowed to coach college basketball again. Then there are people like Chipper Jones.

The former Atlanta Braves star took to Twitter on Wednesday to basically defend Rice, saying that he dealt with some rough treatment from coaches growing up and that it is not a big deal.

We know at least one ex-Rutgers player has a similar opinion to Chipper’s, although he didn’t express it quite as bluntly.

Aware that his comments were taken negatively by most people, the former NL MVP elaborated Thursday:

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Mike Rice gives choked-up apology after being fired by Rutgers (Video)

Mike-Rice-apologyRutgers University finally announced on Wednesday morning that it has fired men’s basketball coach Mike Rice. After seeing the disturbing videos that resulted in his December suspension, most people felt that the termination was long overdue.

ABC News caught up with Rice just a few hours after his firing, and he appeared to be fighting back tears as he offered an apology.

“I stated three months ago after I watched the video how deeply regrettable those actions (were),” Rice said. “I also stated I was going to work on changing and I think I’ve accomplished a lot of that. I can’t say anything right now except I’m sorry. There will never be a time where I’m going to use any of that as an excuse.”

He seemed particularly emotional when discussing his family and the various people he has disappointed.

“I’ve let so many people down — my players, my administration, Rutgers University, the fans. My family, who’s just sitting in their house huddled around because of the fact that their father was an embarrassment to them. It’s trouble but I will, in some time, maybe try to explain it. But right now there’s no explanation for what’s on those films because their is no excuse for it.

“I was wrong. I want to tell everyone who has believed in me that I’m deeply sorry for the pain and hardship that I’ve caused.”

For most, that won’t cut it. When something like this happens you always have to wonder if the person is truly sorry, or simply sorry they got caught. Had Rice not been videotaped, there’s no telling how long he would have gone on physically and mentally abusing players. Someone like that has no place coaching college athletics.

Ex-Rutgers player Mike Coburn defends coach Mike Rice

Mike Rice abuseThere are very few people who can find a way to excuse Rutgers men’s basketball coach Mike Rice for the behavior he exhibited in the practice clips that were released to the public on Tuesday. ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” showed footage of Rice blatantly abusing his players, both physically and verbally (watch the video here). However, ex-Rutgers guard Mike Coburn said it is not as bad as it seems.

“Looking back at it now, it was extreme,” Coburn told The Star-Ledger. “It wasn’t right what he was doing. But we understood it. He was trying his best. … Did he go overboard? Yes, he went overboard. But you can’t get a good feel for what went down by seeing highlights on ESPN. No one was scared of coach Rice. We didn’t fear him. We just understood him.

“No one can get a sense of what went down unless you were there. And the only people that were there was the team. Do I think what he did was over the top and wrong? Probably. But as players, we weren’t scared. We knew and understood what was going on and mentally tough players could take it. … I agree it was wrong, but why haven’t they showed the times when Mike Rice was high-fiving and chest-bumping? Why aren’t they showing things like that with the players?”

It’s true that it would be hard to get the entire story if you were not present, but doesn’t the video show enough? In no situation is it acceptable to call college players “pu–ies” and “fa–ots” or kick them and fire basketballs at their heads. You need mental toughness to play for someone like Jim Calhoun, who was never afraid to berate a player and bench him in front of an arena full of 15,000 people. No one should have to deal with Rice’s coaching methods.

Rutgers finally fired Rice on Wednesday. He later issued a choked-up apology on behalf of his actions, which can be seen here.

Rutgers Screwed by Referees at End of St. John’s Game (Video)

The screw job was in at the end of the Rutgers-St. John’s Big East tournament game Wednesday afternoon in Madison Square Garden. That video via Mock Session shows how awful the officiating was at the end of the game. Not only did the player step out of bounds with 1.7 seconds left, but he threw the ball into the stands and should have received a technical foul like the Louisville cheerleader.

Rutgers should have had two free throws and the ball at midcourt, giving them a strong chance at tying the game or even taking the lead. For those curious about the fix, St. John’s was favored by 10 points so Rutgers had already covered. But the over-under of 129.5 that was bet down to 127 was in question. Did the refs have the under, or were they told to make sure St. John’s advanced? Had to be either one, or both, because those refs were running off the court faster than these players attacked by flares in a Greek game.

Damaged Reputation? Oh, Really?

From time to time, an item in the news requires me to conduct a little experiment. This is one of those times. Please indulge me. In the graphic below, you will see the headlines on four major sports media sites. From top left, going clockwise, we have ESPN, Sportsline, Foxsports, and SI’s front page headlines. In each headline, you will notice that only one name is used, either last or first, for the subject of the headline. Except for one. Please observe:

Names such as Rizzuto, Offerman, Pedro, Gibbs, Busch, Vick, Kiffin, Harvin, Cox, Donaghy, Beckham, Adu, Alou, and Imus are all used. In each case, no more than four or five other words of context are necessary for the general sports fan to understand about whom they’re talking. But there’s one headline that didn’t have a name: “Rutgers Player Sues Imus.” Notice how they don’t say “Kia Sues Imus,” or “Vaughn Sues Imus,” but rather, “Rutgers Player Sues Imus.”

You know what that means? That means nobody knows who the hell she is! She has no reputation! If she did, then her name would’ve been used in the headline. It’s pretty simple you see. If your accomplishments precede your name, then you’re not famous, and you have no reputation. Therefore, this entire lawsuit by the Rutgers player is 100% complete bullcrap, and nothing but a ridiculous moneygrab aimed at taking advantage of our legal system. This disgusts me.

(also see We Suck at Sports)