Update: April 18, 12 p.m.
After haggling over the length of a contract for a few days, Eddie Jordan is reportedly the new head coach of Rutgers men’s basketball.
The deal is for five years. The Star-Ledger reported the deal will be for about $1 million per season.
Jordan, a Rutgers alum and current assistant with the NBA’s Lakers, will be tasked with cleaning up the program in the wake of former head coach Mike Rice’s much-publicized firing for abusing players during practices. Jordan apparently wanted a five-year deal for exactly that reason. He felt the program was in need of a major overhaul and wanted a long-term commitment from the school to do so.
Rutgers has lost much of their team in the wake of the Rice scandal. Guards Eli Carter and Mike Poole have requested a release to transfer this week, while guard Jerome Seagears has always been granted his release. Junior college forward Chris Griffin decommitted from Rutgers last week and will now attend Auburn.
Jordan will reportedly keep current assistants David Cox and Van Macon on his staff.
Rutgers men’s basketball is reportedly close to hiring their greatest alum as the program’s savior.
Eddie Jordan, who played with the Scarlet Knights from 1973-77, is working on a deal with Rutgers to become its next head basketball coach, according to multiple reports. The deal could be finalized as early as Monday.
Jordan is currently serving as an assistant coach for the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers.
Not only would Jordan be a tremendously popular pick with fans of the university, he would also go a long way in helping to fix the reputation of the school in the wake of the firing of coach Mike Rice and athletic director Tim Pernetti. Rice was fired April 3 after video surfaced on ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” of him throwing basketballs at players, cursing at them and making homophobic remarks during practices.
Pernetti’s ousting came days later. He was blamed for going too easy on Rice when the coach was suspended for just three games in December after he saw the video.
Jordan was head coach of the Sacramento Kings (1997-98), Washington Wizards (2004-08) and Philadelphia Sixers (2009-10). He has never been a head coach or assistant coach in college.
Jordan led Rutgers to the Final Four in 1976 and played in the NBA from 1977-84. He averaged 8.1 points and 3.8 assists per game, mostly in a reserve role, over his career. He was also a part of the 1982 NBA champion Lakers. He also spent three years of his career in New Jersey with the Nets.
Follow Metro New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports.