Eddie Jordan Takes Over at Rutgers
It wasn't pretty. It's not over. But despite shooting themselves in the foot many times, Rutgers still ended up with the right guy under the circumstances. Eddie Jordan is home grown, bleeds Scarlet and can coach. Is he better schooled in college coaching than John Giannini of LaSalle or Bill Carmody, formerly of Northwestern, two finalists for job? Probably not. But neither of them would have excited the fan base.
Rutgers will lose about five current scholarship players to transfer, including star guard Eli Carter and the NCAA will grant them releases to play immediately at Division I schools. Rice probably should have been fired last December but don't lay that one off on former AD Tim Pernetti. Plenty were at fault, including a clueless President Robert Barchi, who was amazingly glib at the press conference dealing with Pernetti. There are three leading candidates for the open AD job, soon to be named.
Jordan will bring with him current assistants, David Cox and Van Macon, and ESPN will have a field day with both at an expected Tuesday press conference which will include most, if not all, of the 1976 regular season undefeated team of which Jordan was a member. Apparently the media is digging into some recruitment issues involving Cox, which have yet to be verified.
Rutgers will most likely pattern itself after Indiana in 2008 when Tom Crean was hired. Expect a 9-20 type season for Rutgers with more of a focus on recruiting players than winning immediately. Jordan and Cox have strong recruiting ties in Washington, D.C. and Macon in New York City. Rutgers should take a page out of the Jim Calhoun mold when he was hired at Connecticut and avoid recruiting against Big Ten teams, but instead recruit kids to play against Big Ten teams like Michigan, Michigan State and Indiana.