Rutgers Scarlet Knights look set to announce Eddie Jordan as their new head basketball coach, according to reports in NBC New York.
A former Knights player and current assistant coach with the NBA’s LA Lakers, Jordan is now expected to be announced as the new team coach for the University team, in a move that will be welcomed by alumni and fans.
The appointment will follow the dismissal of the last head coach, Mike Rice, following allegations over conduct earlier in his career.
Video footage showing Rice abusing players surfaced, dating back to a previous role, where alleged homophobic slurs were directed at certain players. An investigation by the team also uncovered complaints of violent conduct, including reports of abusive behavior from former players under his management.
The allegations of abusive misconduct were upheld by a meeting of team officials, and Rice was dismissed earlier in April. The new appointment is being seen as a statement of intent by Rutgers for the coming season.
A press conference is expected to be called in the coming days to make the deal public. NBA tickets site StubHub.com said the appointment would help the team draw a line under recent developments and set them up for the new season.
“Coaches often inspire a change of attitude and focus in their players, and this could serve the Knights well for the season to come. Especially given the distractions of recent times, Knights fans will no doubt welcome the appointment as the start of a new era and hopefully successful era for Rutgers.”
The former shooting guard has had a prolific career in coaching since his professional retirement, with stints at the Philadelphia 76ers, Sacramento Kings and, of course, the LA Lakers peppering a glowing resume.
Previously considered for the role in 2010, Jordan was at that stage keen to pursue opportunities for coaching in the NBA. It is hoped his return to Rutgers will bring the benefit of this top-flight experience, and re-energize the team ahead of the new season.
The swift appointment of Jordan will see the Knights through their final season in the Big East Conference, with a move to the Big Ten Conference scheduled for next.
This coincides with changes to the structure of the division, which will see new colleges participating in a reformed East Conference setup. While the so-called Catholic 7 teams will remain within the newly formed division, others including the Knights will play in alternative divisions after this season.