The Internet sniffs out liars and spits them out. Sorry, Eddie Jordan. You should have known.
Jordan and Rutgers were made to look really silly on Friday when Deadspin's John Koblin reported that the school's new basketball coach, thought to be an alum of the class of 1977, never graduated from Rutgers.
According to a verification document sent to Koblin by Rutgers' registrar's office, Jordan attended Rutgers from 1973 to 1977 and returned to take classes in 1978, 1981 and 1985, racking up 103 credit hours along the way.
Noble of him to return. Close to a graduate. But not an actual graduate.
While it is unknown how this lie started—whether it was Jordan who put it on his résumé or it was incorrectly written in a past biography and he didn't think it necessary to correct it—it doesn't matter. He knew. He let it go on.
Is this a fireable offense?
Notre Dame thought so. George O'Leary also lived in the unnecessary land of make believe. O'Leary was hired in 2001 to be the football coach at Notre Dame, and he claimed to have played at the University of New Hampshire. He never played a down.
According to the New York Times, Notre Dame was willing to live with that. But when school officials asked O'Leary if there were any other inaccuracies in his bio, he admitted that he had never earned a master's degree in education from New York University. O'Leary resigned.
It's tough to blame Rutgers for failing to investigate whether Jordan had actually graduated from its school. As reported by Deadspin, Jordan was inducted into the Rutgers Hall of Distinguished Alumni in 2004 and referred to as a 1977 graduate.
His lie, like O'Leary's, had followed him for years.
In the rush to hire a new basketball coach, confirming Jordan had graduated from college was probably not at the top of the list. It's also doubtful Jordan ever got any of his past coaching jobs because he was a graduate of Rutgers University.
It's tough not to feel a little bad for Rutgers. While Jordan's fib is nowhere near the level of embarrassment that Mike Rice's antics created, Rutgers needed a coach who would stay out the news.
There are a number of ways Rutgers could go about handling this situation. It could fully support Jordan and allow him to remain at coach, perhaps asking him to publicly apologize or even finish out his degree. The athletic department also would not be wrong to ask Jordan to step down.
This is a bad look for any school, but it's especially true for Rutgers.
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