(Note: this is specifically NOT referring to the Ledger's sports desk, who are capable and free of bias. The paper as a whole however is another story.)
Let's step back for a second with everything going on at the moment. Literally billions of dollars are at stake with the UMDNJ merger, the Rutgers-Camden merger, and the new Rutgers president. What does the Star-Ledger choose to focus on in the midst of this? Why, Rutgers football of course, That is...rather strange considering that the athletic subsidies are comparatively a rounding error next to the literal billions in bioscience research funds that are at stake, and those subsidies largely aren't going to football anyway. In the midst of all of this, instead of you know, focusing on the billions of dollars at stake, the Star-Ledger is demanding accountability for the pocket change in beween the cushions of the couch. Not just in one, but in two separate stories, digging out disgraced journalist Ted Sherman (who infamously destroyed the Ledger's credibility in 2008 by printing repeated falsehoods with the help of partner in crime Josh Margolin) out of the mothballs to help pen the other hit screed.
Here's a well-known fact about journalism. When a writer starts out with a thesis, but wants to dance around penning words that would be technically taking a side, he or she deliberately seeks out favorable quotes to support the pre-fabricated (in both senses of that phrase) "argument." What literally happened here is that an editor assigned the angle for this story, then the individual writer went to cherry pick the quotes in question. No opposing viewpoints, no context, nothing in the way of evidence. This was not a scientific poll (although there is certainly a large faction of the faculty that resent athletics as a scapegoat for recent state funding woes), or an careful, reasoned piece that gives weight to opposing perspectives. No, it was just another in a long line of hit-and-run smear jobs.
For the Star-Ledger, the first step to acceptance is first admitting that you have a problem. As for lunatics with delusions of grandeur like William Dowling, or well-intentioned scapegoaters like Mark Killingsworth, keep this in mind - Greg Brown led the charge for picking the new president. The same Motorola CEO who has literally donated millions to Rutgers football. Barchi himself played football and lacrosse at Georgetown. Brown envisions greatness for his alma mater at Rutgers in all facets, academic and athletic. With the selection of Barchi, Brown's model for Rutgers will now move full steam ahead. It is preposterous to imagine that Barchi, with again, literally billions of dollars at stake, is going to launch into a moral crusade over such an insignificant issue with regards to the overall university governance and future of the school.
Does the athletic department need to be smarter, savvier, and more self-sustaining? Absolutely, and that is the vision that is being put in place throughout all of facets of Rutgersland today. Athletic director Tim Pernetti has been repeating that mantra for the past two years. That stark and fresh dose of reality is actually, you know, a realistic plan. Which is a far, far cry from the ridiculous, mystical, magical fantasy of turning Rutgers back into Colgate which should now totally and unequivocally be in its final death throes. Good riddance.