NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Rutgers is turning to one of its greatest players to lead the basketball program past an embarrassing coaching scandal and into its future with the Big Ten Conference.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the school has not officially announced the deal with its all-time leader in assists and steals.
The person said the two sides hammered out the five-year contract after Jordan returned to New Jersey Wednesday. The deal needs to be reviewed by the university’s board of governors, and an official press conference might not happen until next Tuesday.
The agreement comes just more than two weeks after Rutgers fired Mike Rice after a video was aired that showed him grabbing and kicking players at practice, and using anti-gay slurs. The video was compiled from recordings taken during Rice’s three years as coach.
Athletic director Tim Pernetti, a university lawyer and assistant coach Jimmy Martelli also resigned amid the scandal.
A board member familiar with Jordan’s tentative contract said it has some legal issues that have to be addressed by the board. The member did not think the legal issues would be a problem, perhaps just a delay.
The board is not scheduled to meet again until June 20. A telephone conference call can be held to handle urgent issues, but board members need 48 hours’ notice to do so. A board member who asked not to be identified had not received such notice by noon on Thursday.
Jordan’s first job will be to stabilize the roster. Jerome Seagears, Malik Kone and Vincent Garrett have asked for transfers and swingman Mike Poole reportedly is looking to leave a team that posted a 15-16 record last season.
Forward Wally Judge said it’s good to know a new coach seemingly is in place.
“This is a step forward,” Judge said in a telephone interview with The AP. “I know the past will still be brought up and people will want to talk about Mike Rice. But this is a sign the program has moved past that.”
“I love Eddie. I think Eddie will be fantastic,” Carlesimo said Thursday. “I remember, that’s how old I am, I know when Eddie was playing at Rutgers. But he’s an excellent coach, I think it’s a great, great hire by Rutgers and I think it’ll be, I think he’ll do really, really well.”