The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Head basketball coach on leave after ‘complaint’: Team, administration stay quiet

Lafayette went 9-20 under head coach Mike Jordan, though the Leopards dropped another game after he was placed on leave. (Photo by Samuel Lewis for Icon Sportswire)

Mike Jordan, the head coach of Lafayette’s men’s basketball team, was put on paid leave pending an investigation into his workplace conduct. The nature of the investigation into the first-year coach is unknown.

A statement released by the college on Tuesday stated the investigation stemmed from a “complaint” leveled against Jordan’s work as head coach. Vice President of Human Resources and General Counsel Leslie F. Muhlfelder did not respond to a request for comment and Director of Athletics Sherryta Freeman deferred comment to Scott Morse, the college’s director of communications. Morse wrote in an email that the college received the complaint last week.

“The investigation will be completed as thoroughly and expeditiously as possible,” Morse wrote.

Jordan declined to comment on the matter, writing in a text message to The Lafayette that he is “not at liberty to speak about it.” Lafayette coaching staff and athletics administrators either did not respond to requests for comment or deferred to Morse.

Several members of the men’s basketball team either declined to comment or did not respond to multiple requests for comment. One player characterized the situation as “pretty wild,” but noted that he and his teammates were instructed to direct requests for comment to Morse.

Another player also wrote in an email that inquiries into the situation were to be sent to Morse.

Jordan had coaching stints at Colgate University and Drexel University prior to landing the top coaching spot at Lafayette last March. Colgate’s director of athletic communications declined to comment on behalf of a coach at the university. Drexel coaching staff did not respond to requests for comment. Most current and former players from the two teams did not respond to multiple emails requesting comments. 

One source who played under Jordan at Drexel from 2020 to 2021 was surprised to hear of the coach’s suspension.

“I never personally experienced any behavior that might raise eyebrows,” the player, who wished to remain anonymous, wrote in an email. “In the time I spent with him as my coach, he was someone that cared for his players and wanted to see each of us get better both as basketball players and as young men.”

However, one source’s comments indicated a lack of surprise. The source, who is connected with the team, noted that the team dynamic was restrictive.

Two students close to the basketball team noticed a change in the players’ behavior this past season under Jordan.

“It is like night and day watching the team compared to over the years,” one student said. “It’s almost as though they have lost their light and passion. Even when they make a basket, they no longer do their little celebrations or even break a smile. It’s as if they are conditioned to keep going because what they do is not good enough.”

“There’s definitely a change in energy and morale from the team,” the other student said. “They don’t seem to be their usual selves and there is a lack of good spirits.”

Associate head coach Mike McGarvey took on head coaching duties immediately upon the announcement of the investigation. He did not respond to requests for comment.

On Wednesday night, Lafayette (9-21) held its own against No. 1 seed Colgate (22-8), the school Jordan most recently coached for, ultimately losing 73-69.

Charlie Berman ’24 and Ben Dupont ’23 contributed reporting.

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About the Contributors
Trebor Maitin
Trebor Maitin, Managing Editor
Pennsylvania enthusiast.
Caroline McParland
Caroline McParland, Sports Editor

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    TommyApr 14, 2023 at 5:00 am

    The team was previously 9-21 so tell me why someone will be celebrating after a basket?