New Jersey legislators are calling for Rutgers athletic director Patrick Hobbs to step down amid allegations of coaching abuse in the school’s softball program, according to NJ.com.
State Sen. Joseph Cryan and assemblyman John McKeon each called for Hobbs to resign Friday over his handling of the response to the allegations and of the program in general.
“It’s time for Patt Hobbs to go,” Cryan told NJ.com. “Part of it is the lack of Rutgers’ ability to respond quickly to issues, as well as Rutgers’ ability to show a long-term plan that makes sense. It’s both the short-term response and the long-term ineffectiveness that leads people to this conclusion.”
NJ Advance Media reported extensively on allegations of physical and emotional abuse by head softball coach Kristen Butler and volunteer assistant coach Marcus Smith, who is also Butler’s husband.
Hobbs responded to reporters seeking comment on the allegations with a profanity, calling the journalists working on the story “f****** scum.” That remark earned Hobbs McKeon’s criticism, and led him to become the first lawmaker to seek a resignation.
“Hobbs has been placed in a leadership role,” McKeon said. “The profanity aside, the reason behind the tirade was to obfuscate and to discredit very serious allegations by student-athletes and their families. This conduct is inappropriate on many levels, particularly by an educator vested with a significant responsibility of trust.”
Cryan took issue with how the school is handling the latest allegations, given its history of allegedly abusive coaches.
“Honestly, the Rutgers athletic program just doesn’t get it,” Cryan said.