(3rd LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT) – Assemblyman John Burzichelli (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland) released the following statement Tuesday as Rutgers University joined the Big 10 Conference. Burzichelli in 2003 sponsored Assembly approved legislation (AR-134) urging Rutgers University to maintain Division 1-A football:
“It’s easy to forget these days, but there was a time not long ago when Rutgers was nearly ready to punt on 3rd down when it came to playing 1-A football. Granted, it wasn’t playing 1-A football especially well at the time, but fortunately that fumble didn’t happen. The end result is cause for a touchdown celebration for New Jersey.
“The Big 10 offers not only athletic excellence, but also academic excellence and partnerships. It will be a great experience for New Jersey. As one of the leading research universities in the United States and the birthplace of intercollegiate football, it’s fitting that Rutgers have a football team that competes at the highest level of collegiate athletics.
“Now, I’m not spiking the ball before the goal line, nor claiming our resolution was the reason we were able to move this ball forward, but all the support added up, and Rutgers is where it deserves to be as a leading institution in the nation.”