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Rutgers introduces Eddie Jordan as new coach

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NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) - Rutgers introduced Eddie Jordan as its new men's basketball coach Tuesday, turning to a name from the school's past as it seeks to move forward from a scandal that forced the firing of coach Mike Rice and the resignation of athletic director Tim Pernetti.

The 58-year-old Jordan played for the Scarlet Knights from 1973-77 and was a member of Rutgers' Final Four team in 1976. Most recently he's been an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Lakers.

``We have to regain our pride and our dignity and our integrity for our university,'' Jordan said at a news conference that began with some in the crowd chanting ``Eddie! Eddie!'' when he entered. ``I'm honored and proud to be part of that.''

Jordan made it clear that rebuilding the program was only part of his mission.

``It's not just healing, not just building relationships. It's not just getting the program back, but winning is always in the equation,'' he said. ``There's some healing that has to be done. But we have enough talent to exceed expectations.''

Rice was fired this month after a video showed him grabbing and throwing a ball at players, and uttering anti-gay slurs during practices. Pernetti and two others connected to the program resigned.

Rutgers will pay Jordan a guaranteed $6.25 million over five years, the school announced.

``Without question Eddie Jordan is part of our basketball program's most cherished memories, and he is here now to help us make a bright future for the Scarlet Knights,'' Rutgers President Robert Barchi said. ``He is passionate about basketball and committed to winning, yet he also knows our university's values and our commitment to promoting an atmosphere of respect and dignity for everyone.''

Rutgers went 15-16 last season and five players have asked to leave the program. The school will join the Big Ten for the 2014-15 season.

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2015
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

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