Originally written on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 5/10/13
Rutgers 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: While Rutgers was in error when it reported that Eddie Jordan had earned a degree from Rutgers University, neither Rutgers nor the NCAA requires a head coach to hold a baccalaureate degree. Eddie Jordan was a four-year letterman and was inducted into the Rutgers Athletics Hall of Fame in 1980. Rutgers sought Eddie for the head coach position as a target-of-opportunity hire based on his remarkable public career. Eddie Jordan was inducted into the Rutgers Hall of Distinguished Alumni in 2004 and he has been a part of the Rutgers family since before 1977. His athletic skills and leadership and his professional accomplishments have been a source of pride for Rutgers for more than three decades. We are excited to have him as our men’s basketball coach, and we look forward to many winning seasons. This isn’t quite as bad as a coach like George O’Leary completely making stuff up on his resume, but it’s always bad to lie about your accomplishments. Would it really have been a big deal to some of these teams or schools had they known he never actually completed his degree? Probably not. That’s why it was dumb to lie about it.
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