Ohio State University President E. Gordon Gee, whose many public gaffes once seemed part of his charm, announced his retirement Tuesday, days after his disparaging remarks about Catholics, the University of Notre Dame, the Southeastern Conference and others became public and gave OSU yet another black eye.
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Verbal gaffes from Ohio State University President E. Gordon Gee:
December 2012: At an Athletics Council meeting, Gee said Notre Dame was never invited to join the Big Ten Conference because they’re “not very good partners” and “the fathers are holy on Sunday and they’re holy hell on the rest of the week. You know, you just can’t trust those damn Catholics on a Thursday or Friday and so. Literally, I can say that. Very true. Father Joyce was one of those people and who ran the university for many, many years.” He also implied that the SEC can’t read or write and that the University of Kentucky and University of Louisville were not academically worthy of joining the Big Ten.
January 2012: Gee quipped that OSU’s individual colleges used to operate like PT boats shooting at one another in the ocean. “It was like the Polish army,” he said.
March 2011: Gee brushed aside a question about whether then head football coach Jim Tressel would be fired. “Are you kidding me? Let me just be very clear. I’m just hopeful the coach doesn’t dismiss me.”
November 2010: Gee remarked that Ohio State’s football schedule is tough. “We do not play the Little Sisters of the Poor. We play very fine schools on any given day. So I think until a university runs through that gantlet that there’s some reason to believe that they not be the best teams to (be) in the big ballgame.”
Sources: Dayton Daily News, Columbus Dispatch and The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer
E. Gordon Gee Bio:
Family: widowed and divorced; one adult daughter, Rebekah.
Hometown: Vernal, Utah
Education: University of Utah, honors degree in history; law degree and doctorate from Columbia University.
Career as university president: Ohio State University 2007-current; Vanderbilt University 2001-2007; Brown University 1998-2000; Ohio State University 1990-1997; the University of Colorado 1985-1990; and West Virginia University 1981-1985.
The Dayton Daily News for the past several years has closely watched the spending by OSU President E. Gordon Gee, who is among the nation’s best-paid public university presidents. Last year, the newspaper detailed how Gee has spent more than $7.7 million since October 2007 on travel, housing, parties and entertainment. Go to mydaytondailynews.com for past stories, video and more on Gee.