Thursday, April 4, 2013

Why Was Coach’s Conduct Tolerated?

Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce, a member of the Assembly Higher Education Committee, issued the following statement on the firing of Rutgers University Men’s Basketball Coach Mike Rice:

“Rutgers Coach Michael Rice demonstrated a pattern of conduct with his players that is unbefitting an institution of higher learning. There is no rational way to condone or explain the physical and verbal abuse that Mr. Rice heaped on his players. Coach Rice earned his dismissal and I support his firing.

More problematic for me as a member of the higher education committee, however, is that Coach Rice’s conduct was tolerated for so long by the university. People in the Athletic Department knew for quite some time of Coach Rice’s violent outbursts and physical confrontations with players, yet chose to keep him at the institution until ESPN’s broadcast of the Rice’s behavior made it impossible to retain him as a representative of the state’s largest public university.

Apparently, some people at Rutgers did not learn from the experience at Penn State.  Failure to act quickly to deal with inappropriate actions of coaches harms individuals, players and the university’s programs – not to mention the reputation of the university itself.

The desire to win games and protect a sports program cannot ever be allowed to supersede a university’s obligation to protect its players and all those who come in contact with a program. The failure to fire Coach Rice earlier was a failure by Rutgers to meet its obligation to its student athletes and their parents.

Rutgers needs to examine its policies regarding the conduct of its coaches and how the Athletic Department and other college officials deal with abusive coaches in the future.” 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce (R- Morris Passaic) has been named to the Assembly Higher Education Committee. 
DeCroce said she is honored to serve on a committee whose oversight of higher education touches the lives of so many families in New Jersey. 

“Traditionally, the path to success and social mobility in America has been through our colleges and universities.  I want to make sure that a quality higher education is affordable to everyone who has the desire to pursue learning,” said DeCroce.

DeCroce said she is concerned that the cost of college is placing too high a burden on college graduates and their parents. “The spiraling costs of a college education are having a tremendous negative impact on students and families. The debt burden carried by college graduates is impacting their working lives and is proving to be a disincentive to some who want to pursue advanced learning,” said DeCroce.

The assemblywoman said she would like to see more fiscal accountability and cost controls on colleges and universities that accept government financing.  “Gov. Christie and the legislature have been fighting successfully to hold down the costs of our primary and secondary public schools and demanding more accountability from teachers and administrators. I believe we need to do the same with our colleges and universities where costs are far outstripping the rate of inflation,” said DeCroce. 

DeCroce pointed to a study released last fall that said tuition and mandatory fees for in-state students at the state’s public colleges will range from $10,422 at New Jersey City University to $14,740 at New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark. Those costs are exclusive of room and board paid by students who live on campus. 

Tuition and fees at Rutgers University for the average in-state undergraduate rose this year to  $13,073.Students living on campus will pay a total of more than $24,000 once room and board are added to the bill.

DeCroce, a career businesswoman, also noted that college curriculums need to be more relevant to today’s workplace. “The mission of our colleges should be to turn out people who have skills that are readily and immediately adaptable to the available employment opportunities,” said DeCroce.

The assemblywoman said she encourages businesses to become more involved with college administrators in shaping curriculums that give students the skills necessary to meet today’s job requirements.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce’s District Office assists constituents by working as a liaison between state agencies and removing red tape, as well as providing a valuable resource of public information and programs in the community.  The district office addresses a variety of areas, such as professional licensing delays, citizen suggestions for policy, public safety complaints, questions about pending legislation, notary legislative endorsements, and public assistance issues.  The office is staffed by trained professionals who will work with each individual to best resolve his or her case or make an appropriate referral.  To inquire with a concern or to make an appointment to meet with a staff member, please call (973) 265-0057.  Constituent service hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00AM to 4:30PM. 

If you would like to voice your opinion on an issue facing New Jersey, you may write Asw. DeCroce at 1055 Parsippany Blvd., Ste. #104, Parsippany, NJ 07054 or