Lakers' assistant close to deal to coach Rutgers

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A person familiar with the situation tells the Associated Press that Eddie Jordan is nearing an agreement with Rutgers to replace Mike Rice as coach.

NBA assistant coach and ex-Rutgers standout Eddie Jordan (right) is in talks to coach the Scarlet Knights.  FILE/ASSOCIATED PRESS
FILE/ASSOCIATED PRESS
NBA assistant coach and ex-Rutgers standout Eddie Jordan (right) is in talks to coach the Scarlet Knights.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because Jordan and Rutgers interim athletic director Carl Kirschner were meeting again Sunday to finalize the language in the contract before an announcement can be made.

Jordan, an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Lakers, flew to New Jersey on Saturday to begin the process. A deal could be in place by today, with a press conference later in the week.

Jordan, 58, who played for the Scarlet Knights from 1973-77, would take over a program mired in scandal after a video was released that showed Rice kicking and grabbing players while uttering anti-gay slurs at them in practice.

Jordan has been a head coach in the NBA with Sacra­mento, Washington and Philadelphia, and helped lead Rutgers to the 1976 Final Four.

CONNECTICUT: The school’s latest victory parade had a French Quarter feel to it.

About 10,000 fans lined Hartford’s Bushnell Park on Sunday afternoon to cheer the national champion Connecticut women as they passed by on the top of a double-decker bus, tossing Mardi Gras beads down to the crowd below.

“We wanted to give the fans a little taste of what it was like for us down there in New Orleans,” said sophomore forward Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis.

The Huskies carried with them the NCAA championship trophy, which they brought back from Louisiana last week after winning the program’s eighth title with a 93-60 victory over Louisville.

ILLINOIS: Rewarded coach John Groce’s successful first season in Champaign with a contract extension and a $200,000-a-year raise.

Athletic Director Mike Thomas said that Groce’s contract will be extended one year through the 2017-18 season. The raise will increase his pay to $1.6 million a year. Both changes still need approval of the university’s board of trustees.

Groce credited his players, most of whom he inherited from a team that finished the previous season 17-15 and lost 12 of its last 14, costing coach Bruce Weber his job.

The Illini won 23 games, made it to the NCAA Tourna­ment and defeated Colorado before losing to Miami. They finished 8-10 in the Big Ten.

MISSOURI VALLEY: A person familiar with the situation says Loyola of Chicago has accepted an invitation to join the Missouri Valley Conference and is leaving the Horizon League.

The person, speaking Sunday on the condition of anonymity because the move has not been announced, says some details were still being finalized.

A formal announcement is expected this week, with the move taking effect on July 1.

Loyola hired Sheryl Swoopes as women’s coach last week, hoping the three-time WNBA MVP can raise the profile of that program.

Loyola replaces Creigh­ton, which jumped to the new Big East.


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