(TRENTON) – Assemblyman John Burzichelli (D-Gloucester/Cumberland/Salem) released the following statement on Thursday on New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) threats to cut high school playoff programs.
“It’s unacceptable for the NJSIAA to resort to intimidation and threats to try to maintain their bloated salaries and benefits.
“This organization has time and time again refused to make the changes necessary to bring their spending in line. It’s long past time that they do what everyone else is doing and find ways to maintain programs while controlling spending.
“Using student athletes as pawns to protect their excessive spending is wrong.
“It’s neither productive, persuasive nor effective.
“I will note the association’s plan to replace a retiring director, rather than eliminating the position to cut costs.
“I do not appreciate that the only cuts this group seems to be contemplating is to children.
“Throughout the nation, police officers and teachers are being laid off. Government agencies are cutting back to make themselves more efficient. I don’t know why this agency continues to think it is immune to that.
“I await results of the State Commission of Investigation inquiry into the NJSIAA, and will then decide whether oversight of New Jersey scholastic sports needs to move elsewhere to maintain these valuable programs and protect taxpayers.
“I can assure people that high school sports and the playoff offerings will continue. Whether the NJSIAA cleans up its act and continues to play a role in that will depend on their willingness to control their spending and halt their intimidation tactics.”
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