AP Source: L.A. Lakers assistant coach Eddie Jordan agrees to coach Rutgers basketball
Jordan, 58, also met with Rutgers President Robert Barchi during the process. He will take over a program mired in scandal and doesn't have a wealth of experience in the recruiting world. Jordan has been a head coach in the NBA with Sacramento, Washington and Philadelphia. He has a 257-343 career coaching record in the NBA.
A leader during the most successful era of the program's history, Jordan was an assistant on coach Bob Wenzel's staff when the Scarlet Knights last made the NCAA tournament in 1991.
When Pernetti hired Rice away from Robert Morris in 2010, Jordan, who played for the Cleveland Cavaliers, New Jersey Nets, Portland Trail Blazers and the Lakers, also interviewed for the position. Ultimately, Pernetti saw more in the volatile Rice, who had just taken the Colonials to consecutive NCAA tournament appearances.
Jordan, who played on the Lakers' championship team in 1982, snared his first NBA head coaching job in Sacramento in March 1997, but was fired by the Kings after going 33-64. The Wizards fired him early in his sixth season after 197 victories and four playoff appearances.
Jordan coached one miserable season in Philadelphia in 2009-10 that saw the Sixers sink toward the bottom of the Eastern Conference. Jordan sold his half-court, backdoor-cut style Princeton offense as the way to turn Philadelphia into a contender, but the style never meshed with the talent on the roster. The 76ers finished 27-55 that season.
He also was an assistant with the then-New Jersey Nets, including two seasons when point guard Jason Kidd led them to the NBA Finals (2002, 2003).
The Scarlet Knights can only hope some of that New Jersey success rubs off on Rutgers, especially after the embarrassment of the last few weeks.
Rice was suspended three games and fined $75,000 by the school when video of his outrageous conduct was given to Pernetti last fall. But he returned to the bench, and the Scarlet Knights finished 15-16 overall, 5-13 in the Big East. Barchi agreed with the penalty. Rutgers, incidentally, went 3-0 during Rice's suspension.
The video showed numerous clips of Rice at practice during his three years at the school firing basketballs at players, hitting them in the back, legs, feet and shoulders. It also shows him grabbing players by their jerseys and yanking them around the court. Rice can also be heard yelling obscenities and using anti-gay slurs.
Rice was one of the nation's hot coaching candidates in 2010, and also interviewed with Fordham, his alma mater, after that season. But he wasn't able to push Rutgers into the upper echelon of the Big East, and went 44-51. Rice was 16-38 in the league, after going 73-31 in three seasons at Robert Morris.
AP Basketball Writer Brian Mahoney contributed to this report.
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