Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Rutgers Sets Sights on Jordan

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Rutgers Sets Sights on Jordan

Article excerpt

Former Rutgers star Eddie Jordan has jumped to the top of the list as his alma mater moves quickly to select a new men's basketball coach.

A source confirmed to The Record that Rutgers has made contact with Jordan, who could meet with consultant Eddie Fogler, the former Vanderbilt, Wichita State and South Carolina coach who is conducting the search for Rutgers, as early as today.

"They're pretty close," the source said. "He's definitely interested."

Jordan, 58, is an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Lakers. With the Lakers playing Friday night and Sunday, a meeting today is a possibility.

Jordan was interviewed by the Scarlet Knights four years ago before then-athletic director Tim Pernetti hired Mike Rice. Rutgers now needs a coach and athletic director after Rice was fired last week after ESPN aired a videotape of him throwing basketballs at his players and verbally abusing them in practice. Pernetti resigned.

Rutgers could have another viable option as well.

Hall of Fame coach Bob Hurley of St. Anthony told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Friday that he would consider taking over the program on a caretaker basis for a year or two.

"I would be looking to help them get back on speed," said Hurley, 65, who has spent close to four decades at the Jersey City powerhouse. "But I would be abandoning my seniors and the school where I am now."

Rutgers' motivation for moving quickly reeks slightly of panic regarding the status of the current players, but the sense among supporters of the program is that Jordan, with his Rutgers background, NBA experience and national name recognition, would kick start the healing process necessitated by the Rice scandal.

"He can handle stress, he gets the Rutgers dynamic, he can do fundraising," the source said, "And he's a quality guy. When he talks to mothers in the living rooms, they'll all fall in love with him. …

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