Rutgers introduced Eddie Jordan as its new men's coach, turning to a name from the school's past as it seeks to move forward from a scandal that forced the firing of coach Mike Rice and led to the resignation of athletic director Tim Pernetti.
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — Rutgers introduced Eddie Jordan as its new men’s coach Tuesday, turning to a name from the school’s past as it seeks to move forward from a scandal that forced the firing of coach Mike Rice and led to the resignation of athletic director Tim Pernetti.
Jordan, 58, played for the Scarlet Knights from 1973 to 1977 and was a member of Rutgers’ Final Four team in 1976. Most recently he has been an assistant coach with the NBA Los Angeles Lakers.
“We have to regain our pride and our dignity and our integrity for our university,” Jordan said at a news conference that began with some in the crowd chanting “Eddie! Eddie!” when he entered. “I’m honored and proud to be part of that.”
Jordan made it clear rebuilding the program was only part of his mission.
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“It’s not just healing, not just building relationships. It’s not just getting the program back, but winning is always in the equation,” he said. “There’s some healing that has to be done. But we have enough talent to exceed expectations.”
Rice was fired this month after a video showed him grabbing and throwing a ball at players, and uttering anti-gay slurs during practices. Pernetti stepped down.
Rutgers will pay Jordan a guaranteed $6.25 million over five years.
Rutgers went 15-16 last season and five players have asked to leave the program. The school will join the Big Ten for the 2014-15 season.
• Alabama guard Trevor Lacey, who led the Crimson Tide in assists and three-point baskets last season, is transferring and will have two seasons of eligibility left.
Lacey didn’t say where he plans to finish his career.