Rutgers University Introduces Eddie Jordan

It’s ‘back to school’ for new Rutgers head coach Eddie Jordan


Just days after Eddie Jordan was officially introduced as the new head basketball coach at Rutgers a report emerged that the former Scarlet Knight had yet to earn his bachelor’s degree.

Jordan took classes during his first stint at Rutgers with that goal in mind in the 1980s, but life and administrative red tape did the veteran coach no favors when it came to completing his studies.

After a long stint in the NBA, which included three head coaching jobs, Jordan finds himself back on the campus he once called home…and back in the classroom.

Jordan’s currently enrolled in two classes at Rutgers, but according to Brendan Prunty of the Newark Star-Ledger Jordan’s original major is no longer offered by the school. So instead of receiving a degree in Health and Physical Education, Jordan is working towards a degree in Labor Studies and Employment Relations.

“It’s been a rewarding experience,” Jordan said. “It’s been fun, it really has. The classes I’ve been taking have involved a lot of group processes, so that’s been very interesting. Some of the people know who I am and some don’t — and that’s nice.”

Jordan said that the part of the back-to-school process that has been the most enjoyable for him has been telling his story to those who ask why he’s gone back to school. Why, after making a more than comfortable living in the NBA — three times as a head coach — would he even entertain the idea of taking two classes to complete a degree.

“It was the right thing to do,” Jordan said.

While some may choose to harp on the fact that Rutgers hired a head coach who has yet to earn his bachelor’s, it should be noted that the school did not list that as a requirement during the hiring process (it was listed as a requirement for the once-open assistant coaching position).

And this can be used as a lesson for Jordan’s new players, as well as former members of the program who may be in a position similar to Jordan’s (if there are any who still need to finish up, of course).

It’s never too late to finish, and Jordan’s work towards his degree is good news for an athletic department that can certainly use some given the last few months.

Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Syracuse receives mixed news on sanctions appeals

Jim Boeheim
Associated Press
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Wednesday the NCAA made its ruling on two appeals of sanctions made by Syracuse University, with the news being mixed for the men’s basketball program.

On the positive side the NCAA ruled that Syracuse will be docked two scholarships per season for the next four years, as opposed to the original ruling of three. As a result Jim Boeheim’s program only has to account for the loss of eight total scholarships, meaning that they’ll have 11 to fill in each of the next four seasons as opposed to ten.

One scholarship may not seem like a big deal, but in a sport where you only get 13 (when not dealing with sanctions) getting that grant-in-aid back really helps from a recruiting standpoint.

As for the negatives, they both concern Boeheim. Not only has there yet to be a ruling on Boeheim’s appeal of his nine-game suspension that goes into effect when ACC play begins in January (that appeal is being heard separately), but the appeal to reinstate the wins that were vacated as part of the sanctions was denied. As a result Boeheim officially has 868 wins instead of 969 (not counting today’s game against Charlotte).

And with Mike Hopkins set to take over as head coach in 2018, the denial means that college basketball will have to wait quite some time before anyone threatens to join Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski in the 1,000 wins club.

While not having the wins officially reinstated does hurt, getting a scholarship back for each of the next four seasons is a bigger deal when it comes to the long-term health of the Syracuse program. Also of great importance will be the ruling regarding Boeheim’s suspension, as a suspended coach is not allowed to have any contact with his players or coaching staff while serving the penalty.

And with the original ruling due to take up half of Syracuse’s league slate, not having Boeheim (or the chance to speak with him) is a big deal when it comes to this current team.

St. John’s forward Kassoum Yakwe cleared by NCAA

Chris Mullin
AP Photo/Rick Bowmer
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St. John’s forward Kassoum Yakwe has been cleared by the NCAA to play this season and will be eligible immediately, the school announced on Wednesday.

Yakwe is a 6-foot-8 forward that reclassified and enrolled at St. John’s this fall. He attended the same high school as Kansas forward Cheick Diallo, who was also cleared by the NCAA to play today.

St. John’s played in the Maui Invitational this week, and Yakwe did not take part. His first game with the Johnnies will be on Dec. 2nd against Fordham if the program plans to play his this season.

The question that must be asked, however, is whether or not he will suit up or simply redshirt. The Johnnies are in the midst of a serious rebuild and will be without their other elite recruit this season, Marcus Lovett. Lovett was ruled a partial qualifier. Would it make sense to burn a year of eligibility on what make amount to a wasted season, or will head coach Chris Mullin opt to save that year for down the road?