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Rutgers President chastises Star Ledger for negative headlines

Go, Bob!

Rutgers University President Robert L. Barchi And Board Of Governors Chair Ralph Izzo Press Conference Photo by Andy Marlin/Getty Images

After losing a tough 2-1 Big Ten Championship game to host Minnesota, the women’s soccer team had to wait for the NCAA to offer an at-large bid to the Women’s College Cup. And that bid came today with a home game against Harvard on Saturday.

“The team has been resilient all year long, from training to matches,” said head coach Mike O’Neill. “All you can do as a coach is ask your team to come out every day, work hard, and bring their best. That’s what they’ve done all year long. I feel sorry for them, because I know how much they wanted to win this. But at the same time, the coaching staff is very, very proud of what the team has accomplished.”

Yeah, about what they accomplished.

Apparently the headline/story in the Ledger, posted yesterday, didn’t really say how close they came to winning but rather focused on the fact that, again, RU lost in the finals.

And University President Robert Barchi - you know, Mr. Sports - took exception to that headline and accompanying story. And told the Ledger how he felt:

It is a shame that with its online headline about Rutgers' loss in the Big Ten women's soccer championship game ("Not again! Rutgers now 0-3 in Big Ten finals after women's soccer loss"), The Star-Ledger chose to accentuate the negative rather than focus on another great season in women's soccer at Rutgers.

The Scarlet Knights came up a goal short in the title game, but only after a remarkable conference tournament run in which they shut out defending national champion Penn State. And give Rutgers credit for a sensational year competing day in and day out against some of the best teams in the country, in a league that currently boasts six teams in the Top 30.

With an 11-4-6 record, including four wins against ranked opponents, the Scarlet Knights are very likely headed back to the NCAA tournament for the fifth year in a row and seventh time in nine years. New Jersey sports fans can take enormous pride in what this team is accomplishing and the perennially strong program Rutgers has built. It would be nice if reporter Ryan Dunleavy and The Star-Ledger could do the same.

Robert Barchi

President, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Who is this guy? Well, I don’t really care because he has suddenly become not only the money man for Rutgers Athletics, but the defender of the faith and the faithful.

There have been more than a few readers who have been critical of the Star-Ledger for its coverage and its headlines which are often viewed as clickbait. And Bob Barchi agreed....and acted on it. So, while he didn’t wish for the Ledger to die, as others who shall remain nameless did, he did tell them that they need to look a bit more critically at how they write, what they write, and stop being so negative.

Now, in the spirit of full disclosure, 1) I haven’t always been a fan of Barchi, whether in athletics or other things, 2) I like and respect Ryan Dunleavy’s work, and 3) Dunleavy probably didn’t write the headline, an editor likely did. And to be honest and fair, current day reporters almost have to be a bit salacious and controversial, especially in headlines and social media. That being said, I for one am happy that Barchi - the only guy who could say something like this - actually said it.