About a month and a half ago, Rutgers fired head basketball coach Mike Rice after a video of him abusing his players mentally and physically was released. Eddie Jordan was hired to replace Rice on April 23 and things seemed to be going well; the New Jersey Star-Ledger reported that he'd met with players and they were impressed with him so far. "We have to regain our pride and dignity to our university," Jordan said. As Deadspin pointed out, Rutgers could really use a basketball coach who wasn't mired in scandal.
And then Deadspin pointed out something else: though Jordan's bio claimed that he received a degree from Rutgers in health and physical education, the registrar's office said he never earned enough credits to actually graduate. Oops.
A few hours later, Jordan admitted (to ESPN, because that's what the people Deadspin nails always seem to do) that he never received his degree. He says he did complete all courses necessary to graduate, only to find out that he "didn't register right" so they were "never recorded." This is something that occasionally happens on 80s sitcoms but less often in real life.
Rutgers issued a statement saying it "was in error" when it claimed that Jordan earned a degree from Rutgers, but that his position does not require a college degree. It did not explain why it was unable to vet its coaching candidates thoroughly in the first place. Things Rutgers could have done to ensure that Jordan earned the degree he claimed include:
- Calling the registrar's office
- Emailing the registrar's office
- Visiting the registrar's office in person. Easily done, as this map from the athletic center to the registrar's office clearly shows:
As the AP pointed out, coaches who claimed degrees they didn't actually earn have been fired in the past. But since this is the tamest of Rutgers' coaching scandals, I think Jordan's job will be okay. He may want to enroll in a few summer classes, though.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.