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.