Eddie Jordan was chosen to replace Mike Rice as the coach of the Rutgers basketball team last month. The scandal-plagued university thought they had turned a page with Jordan, a well-respected coach on both collegiate and professional levels — plus, as a university alumnus, his hiring was the ultimate PR move.
Unfortunately, for a school that claimed to do its due diligence over this hire, one potentially major detail was left out of the vetting process. Namely, that Jordan is not a graduate of Rutgers. He doesn’t appear to have a college degree at all, in fact.
From today’s Deadspin report:
Despite all the accolades he’s received from the university and despite the school’s many claims to the contrary, Jordan hasn’t actually finished his degree, according to the Rutgers registrar’s office. The office sent me a verification document, found below, that indicates that Jordan attended classes at Rutgers from 1973 to 1977. He went on to take more classes in 1978, 1981, and 1985. There was no degree listed in the document. I called up the registrar’s office on Thursday and asked for clarification.
“He did not receive a degree from us,” an official there told me.
The report goes on to list several instances in which Jordan himself or other outlets referred to Jordan as a “graduate” or “alum” of the school, or that Rutgers is his “alma mater.” The latter two references are not, strictly speaking, incorrect — being an alumnus of a university, or saying a school is your alma mater, doesn’t necessarily mean you “graduated” from that school, though that’s what it normally connotes.
Saying he’s a graduate, however, is flat out wrong. And indeed, his Rutgers bio says that he earned “a degree in health and physical education.” So, that’s false.
Does all of this matter? It might. According to this article in The Minnesota Daily, all NCAA must have a college degree. Even high school coaches need a degree in physical education. Eddie Jordan does not appear to have a college degree. Ipso facto, he shouldn’t have been given the job of college basketball coach.
We’ll see if there’s any new fallout from this. The previous editor of this website, Glenn Davis, would likely have plenty to say on this latest development in Rutgers’ storied history. For now, we’ll just say: Come on, State University of New Jersey. Get it together.
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