The Des Moines Register is now apparently under fire from all directions.
The controversy started with a Tweet from Iowa State Athletics Director Jamie Pollard Monday morning, and it ended with a scathing comment from the other direction.
Online @DMRegister sports this AM. No mention of @CycloneSB (or UNI) or ISU track - instead Iowa track, baseball & softball plus ISU dropping baseball 20 years ago. Confirms why I cancelled the Register. Insulting to ISU and UNI softball players. pic.twitter.com/DlnEQEZlQ8— Jamie Pollard (@IASTATEAD) May 17, 2021
The Des Moines Register chose to publish stories on Iowa Track and Field and Softball only, ignoring a historic weekend by the same two Cyclone programs.
The Cyclone Men’s Track and Field racked up a second-place finish, headlined by Wesley Kiptoo’s incredible wins in the 5,000-meter, 10,000-meter and 3,000-meter steeplechase. Cyclone Softball also made the NCAA Softball Tournament for the first time since 1988, where they will play UNI, whose mention of making the tournament was also neglected by the Register.
While the paper did publish a story online regarding the softball team shortly after the publishing of Pollard’s Tweet, they have not addressed the concerns regarding their unfair reporting, which was called into question by Iowa Athletic Director Gary Barta shortly thereafter.
Barta announced his displeasure with the Register late Monday afternoon.
“I too canceled the Des Moines Register long ago due to their unfair reporting”, Barta said. “The Register is always giving the Iowa Athletic Department lawsuits front page, in-depth coverage, but not once in my time at Iowa have they covered a single Iowa State lawsuit.”
Barta commented further: “Whether it was the lawsuit regarding discrimination on the basis of sex and sexual orientation, that Satterfield/Everson case regarding intimidating victims of sexual assault, hiring and retaining coaches with a history of causing and neglecting player injuries, or the issue regarding the adviser that traded football tickets for sexual favors, the coverage has always been very one-sided. And in light of our current lawsuits regarding the mistreatment of black football players by our football staff and the women’s swimming Title IX lawsuit, I think it’s safe to say that only our lawsuits are being covered by the Register.”
He closed the matter by saying “Even when it’s something like our football coaches not taking the voluntary pay cut, there’s nothing about Iowa State’s coaches not taking a pay cut. Just a really unfair situation if you ask me.”
While this is certainly just Gary Barta’s opinion, frustration regarding the Des Moines Register’s coverage of Iowa Athletics is also echoed by one of his coaches: Fran McCaffery.
The Iowa Men’s Basketball coach, when asked about the feud, said “This problem is nothing new. I know I was frustrated with the lack of Hawkeye Big 10 Championship and NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 coverage this past year, and I’m sure our fans were too. Whether it’s Conference Titles, Sweet 16 appearances, former Hawkeyes in the NBA, or first round NBA draft picks, the coverage is always heavily slanted towards Iowa State.”