NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — In the wake of Mike Rice being fired, Rutgers University has offered the head coaching position of the men’s basketball team to Lakers assistant coach Eddie Jordan, sources told Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.
According to Wojnarowski, the university and Jordan are currently discussing the terms of a potential deal.
Johnson played at Rutgers from 1973-77 and was a key member of the program’s Final Four squad in 1976. He was the head coach of the Sacramento Kings from 1997-1998, the Washington Wizards from 2004-2008 and the Philadelphia 76ers from 2009-2010.
Jordan was hired by the Lakers in 2012.
Prior to coaching at the NBA ranks, the 58-year-old held assistant coaching positions at Rutgers, Old Dominion and Boston College in the 1980s.
Jordan was reportedly a leading candidate for the head coaching vacancy at Rutgers in 2010, but he ultimately decided to pull out of the running to pursue an opportunity in the NBA. Athletic director Tim Pernetti ended up hiring Rice.
The former second-round pick of the Cavaliers “has strong backing from influential Rutgers alumni and trustees, including NBA commissioner David Stern,” sources told Wojnarowski.
Some Rutgers players broke their silence on Thursday. Many said that interim coach David Cox should get the head coaching job, saying he’s been a strong leader during a difficult time.
Susan Kelly, the mother of player Logan Kelly, said that after all the firings, forced resignations and back-office intrigue, the school needs stability and leadership.
“Coach Cox needs to remain an integral part of the train wreck that is now the men’s basketball program,” she said. “Do we continue to bleed the wound or do we learn from our mistakes and heal?”
Meanwhile, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press that Dan Hurley has agreed to a contract extension with the University of Rhode Island, officially eliminating him from contention for the coaching position at Rutgers.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the school has not announced the deal, which will extend Hurley’s tenure with the Rams through the 2019-20 season.
Hurley, 40, and Rhode Island began working on the parameters of the deal last week, and on Monday, Rutgers spoke with him. It seemed like a logical fit, as Hurley grew up in Jersey City, N.J., played at Seton Hall and was an assistant coach at Rutgers.
Even though it did not work out, the conversation with Hurley suggests the Scarlet Knights and interim athletic director Carl Kirschner are looking for a coach first, before an athletic director, a week after Rice was fired and Pernetti resigned from those respective posts amid the basketball video scandal.
Hurley coached high school ball at St. Benedict’s Prep, in Newark, N.J., and is a high school graduate of St. Anthony’s in his hometown, where he played for his father, Bob Sr. — so he clearly has ties to New Jersey. But he has only been with the Rams for one season, he originally signed a six-year deal worth approximately $4 million last year, and has high hopes for the Atlantic 10 program next year.
As part of the extension, Rhode Island will commit itself to financially improving the program. Hurley went 8-21 with the Rams last year, after posting a 38-23 record with Wagner in two seasons there.
He was an assistant with the Scarlet Knights from 1997-2001 and has been on the fast track ever since. St. Benedict’s developed into a national power during his tenure (2001-2010) and Wagner saw enough in him, despite his lack of college experience, to lead a program that went 5-26 the season before he arrived. In his first season at the Staten Island school, he went 13-17, and the following year he finished 25-6.
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