NEW BRUNSWICK, New Jersey (PIX11) — Lots of students say Eddie Jordan may just be the right Rutgers alum at the right time to bring some respectability back to the Scarlet Knights.
But many also say he’s clearly got his work cut out for him.
“I’m actually excited, I think he’ll do a good job,” Sonia Tysiak, a Rutgers junior. “I hope we can move on past the whole Rice situation.”
58-year-old Jordan clearly has plenty of work to do.
The former L.A. Lakers assistant was officially announced as the coach of the Scarlet Knights just 20 days after Mike Rice was fired when a video surfaced showing him grabbing and throwing a ball at players. The $600 thousand a year coach also shouted anti gay slurs during practices for three seasons.
The scandal also forced former athletic director Tim Pernetti, the university’s interim general counsel and an assistant coach, to resign.
Jordan, who played for the Scarlet Knights from 1973 to 1977 and went to the Final Four in 1976 was asked how he will bring back respectability to the Rutger’s basketball program, which went 15-16 last season .
“We have to regain our pride and our dignity and our integrity for our university,” Jordan said at a packed news conference.
Rutgers is still reviewing all it’s sports programs and just last Friday the university suspended men’s lacrosse coach Brian Brecht indefinitely on charges of verbal abuse.
Jordan’s selection has so far gotten high marks on campus. Students don’t mind the $6.25 million contract over five years — if it brings results.
“We’ll see. He’s got a pretty good résumé,” Matt Braun, a Rutgers sophomore. “Bring us to the Final Four and bring it back.”