Posted May 31, 2013

Trustees say Ohio State president Gordon Gee ‘embarrassed’ the school

NCAAF
Trustees at Ohio State say that president Gordon Gee embarrassed the school because of insensitive comments. (/Getty Images)

Trustees at Ohio State say that president Gordon Gee embarrassed the school because of insensitive comments. (/Getty Images)

Trustees at Ohio State University say that insensitive comments made by university president Gordon Gee have embarrassed and divided the university.

The trustees sent a letter to president Gordon Gee on March 11 saying his comments risk diminishing the collective efforts of the university and of Gee’s own good work, reports the Associated Press.

The letter provides several steps Gee must take following the revelation of remarks he made last year making fun of Notre Dame, Roman Catholics and the Southeastern Conference.

“The fathers are holy on Sunday, and they’re holy hell on the rest of the week,” Gee said to laughter at the Dec. 5 meeting attended by Athletic Director Gene Smith, several other athletic department members, professors and students.

“You just can’t trust those damn Catholics on a Thursday or a Friday, and so, literally, I can say that,” said Gee, a Mormon.

STAPLES: Gordon Gee’s mouth lands him in hot water–again

Gee later backed off of those comments and apologized, via a statement.

“The comments I made were just plain wrong, and in no way do they reflect what the university stands for,” he said in the statement. “They were a poor attempt at humor and entirely inappropriate. There is no excuse for this and I am deeply sorry.”


38 comments
Ciscos
Ciscos

No one should be surprised about Gordon Gee's - or GG as I call him - comments.  Gee has been making statements like that for a while now, its just that now those comments are being shown the light of day.  People don't wake up and go idiot mode over night, socially speaking. 

Gee escaped his fate after Tressel and like the movie "Final Destination" he keeps coming close to having the hammer drop on him only to sidestep his demise at the last minute. Dunno about this time, but my hedge fund bet says he'll survive this. Why? Gee may be, in some circles, half socially moronic (or overly arrogant) to say those things in a private, yet public forum.  However, he's every bit the excellent steward for the academic institution of Ohio State.  He attends many on campus functions, and basically let's himself be seen in and around campus.  He doesn't lock himself in a tower and issue edicts for his minions to follow. Add in that he's a pretty good fundraiser, that only helps save his hide.

Gee will survive this but that doesn't been the Board of Trustees shouldn't smack his backside with a proper scolding.  They should. But GG is GG, so we'll be revisiting this type of "off the cuff" remarks again.

BrianHubbard
BrianHubbard

The most laughable is that his criticism of Louisville is unfounded. UofL has more Rhodes Scholars than Ohio State; and, they are College Sugar Bowl Champs, NCAA Men's Basketball Champions, NCAA Women's Basketball Runner-up, and the Baseball team is fast becoming a favorite to win the 2013 Title. I guess the truth is a bit too much to bear for the guy.


kikitaylor
kikitaylor

what? the dang catholics don't have a sense of humor? i have been to a catholic church, and i think they DO have a sense of humor.

rexman23
rexman23

Have you ever noticed that the public personas who use humor in public direct it at themselves?  The only context which matters is integrity and responsibility for oneself.  

Annabel
Annabel

Gee comments were entertaining, and I think no less of Notre Dame or the SEC because of them.  If you are offended by his obvious attempt at harmless humor then you are either in the media looking to exploit his comments for your own benefit or you are way too thin-skinned.  

List
List

I find it disconcerting how people below here can't seem to distinguish between "sensitive" and "offensive", as well as "honest" and "stupid". I mean, is this really such a reach for you folks?

It takes very little common sense to see that this Gee person is just a cretin of the first order - you just don't do stuff like this when you're responsible to an entire university and...he's done it on multiple occasions! I mean, he's supposed to be a diplomat for the university. What the heck is he doing???

What's the point in offending others simply to indulge your spirits or be "irreverent"? What's the point in offending others anyway unless you've got a point to make?

This guy has no point except to imply that he's offed logic. 

I'd blow my nose, then fire him immediately.

The answer to all of this is not "stop being so sensitive" or "blame the media", but simply "think before you open your mouth".  "Censor thyself before forcing others to censor thou."

This would also be a welcome credo to many of those posting comments here as well.

radioactivez0r
radioactivez0r

Oh god, can we please let this go?  Old guy says something silly which really isn't that big of a deal, people want to crucify him for it.  The power of the Internet, man.

Annabel
Annabel

Maybe its not "people are so sensitive" as it is the media (this site included) consistently takes quotes out of context attempting to get people riled up with the goal of getting more viewers or web page hits.  This is a disturbing trend and will get probably get worse before it (if it) gets better.

ZachZfreedo
ZachZfreedo

I think he is really funny. People are so sensitive. We crave honesty but publicly slay the honest. Notre Dame would be bad business partners for the Big 10. Gee was telling the truth and put a little humor to it. The SEC does have a pretty poor academic reputation across the board (excluding Vanderbilt). While he made a joke about the SEC it was not a lie. I hope the board of trustees stands behind Gee. Ohio State is not ivory tower but Gee should not be raked over the coals for speaking the truth. 

Zaffo
Zaffo

Listening to the entire audio transcript of the meeting (posted on SI.com) makes you realize that what was said isn't really all that bad.  It's called context, and when you throw out one-liner quotes to paint the whole picture of course it will look bad.  Take the same quotes about caring for academic integrity and whatnot and you can turn the guy into a hero.  He just happens to have a reputation so anything even slightly controversial will get blown right of proportion.  It's funny how people can be so sensitive to these things yet so desensitized to much worse.

g1818miller
g1818miller

I love hearing how so many people think Gee's comments were "nothing". This idiot just insulted Notre Dame University, Louisville and all of the SEC schools. This from a school that is just coming off probation and had the Maurice Clarett debacle. You might think this is nothing if it came from a coach or an staff member, but the President of your university ?  If they do nothing, then they deserve him and his bigoted jokes. It is clear these trustees have no guts so I say, keep feeding him a little more rope and he will hang himself soon enough.   

Cougarblue
Cougarblue

Don't make him out as he's some kind of a hero for "telling the truth" and upsetting the "suits". What he has said that upset people at Vandy, OSU, nd Brown were simply irrational and heavy on the bigoted remarks set as little funnies, you know the kind that the crazy old 90yr old down the block shots out at everyone that walks by, and you give him a little fake haha so he'll feel good, even though you would rather throw up? Don't forget the assine stuff he popped out with during the gut churning days as "God's Boy" Jim Tressel was going down, Gee's guarentees to keep him employed or not. He can' go 5 minutes without a racial or religiously twisted comment or joke.

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

I thought it was part of the job description for college presidents to say stupid things. Oh yeah, A.D.'s too.

zeebaneighba
zeebaneighba

Yeah, the suits always get nervous when someone starts speaking the truth. The only regrettable thing is that he doesn't offer his insights into OSU as well. If all college presidents were as candid as he is, I have no doubt that Div-1 athletics would be much cleaner and more in line with the mission of the universities that operate them.

Papi Del Negro..... Dont ask
Papi Del Negro..... Dont ask

Big surprise... Ignornat remarks from a pompous prick who gets payed over a million dollars a year to look like orville redenbacher..

markdsgn
markdsgn

who are we kidding... ND has been abusing the Big East for how long.. they have used the conference for all sports except football and took the high road. 

ND deserves any abuse they receive... the sports media seems to sniff their.. but they have been all show and no go for how long?

JimKirkwood1
JimKirkwood1

They should have fired him along with Tressel

mkmitch3
mkmitch3

He is a perfect fit at Ohio State. Leave him alone LOL

Whatever
Whatever

Gee has embarrassed Ohio State before, so this is nothing new. And just because Notre Dame's ruling officials are priests does not mean they aren't tough negotiators. 

Notice no one is accusing Gee of saying anything incorrect -- he may be totally on point. But he was pretty stupid for making the remarks in a speech to such a group. Keep that stuff to yourself, Gee.

FelipeWard
FelipeWard

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brighat
brighat

These trustees should just not let E. Gordon Gee speak if they fear he "embarrasses" the school every time he opens his mouth. People have to stop getting butthurt over this stuff. Too many people act like Scoey Mitchlll did on Match Game nowadays. As they said in Avenue Q "Everyone's a little bit racist." I'll bet those angry at Mr. Gee have said such things themselves, albeit in private.

Jeremy17
Jeremy17

I really liked the Little Sisters of the Poor comment because, being from the Great State of Texas, I knew our boys from TCU were gonna have extra motivation to beat Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. Keep the comments coming Gee, you entertain us every time you open your mouth!

Jeremy17
Jeremy17

thought it was pretty funny, but then again I grew up Southern Baptist and we love the Catholics, we really did, we just thought they were all going to hell....

gary41
gary41

LONG OVERDUE--What if anything were the Ohio State trustees thinking back when Jim Tressel was fired.  Simply giving him medications and preventing him from wandering the hallways is not enough.  How about joining the real world.....

Philip7
Philip7

Sounds like these "trustees" need to grow a sack.  Go back to drinking your old fashioned in the clubhouse while staring at all the lovely ladies in your country club.


HarshRealities
HarshRealities

Remember during the Tattoo scandal when Gee stated that he was lucky that Coach Tressel didn't fire him. Maybe that wasn't such a bad idea after all.

JasonMacBride
JasonMacBride

The trustees need to knock down a few beers and play darts or something. The only people who should be embarrassed are the ones making a big deal out of nothing.

thomasnamey
thomasnamey

@Zaffo  This guy is a jerk. To character assinate a great academic school (Notre Dame) and a religion, let alone an entire conference (SEC), is repulsive from a little man with bow ties! Over the top. Admit it! This was too asll encompassing to say "taken out of context. My wife is an OSU grad and is appalled. Buy the way-Gee was immediate past president of Vanderbilt! Four schools in the SEC are rated much higher than OSU in acdemics!

RandyAriey
RandyAriey

Zaffo nonsense, the guy is inflated and is showing his true colors.

radioactivez0r
radioactivez0r

@g1818miller Alright, so he insulted a couple universities.  Why do people care so much? This gets to blown out of proportion, you'd think someone's dead wife was slandered.

Annabel
Annabel

@g1818millerI almost thought you had a point until you used the word 'bigoted'.  Clearly you don't know the definition " utterly intolerant of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one's own.".  Seems to me you are the uptight bigot that is completely intolerant of views that are not flattering to ND and the SEC.

Annabel
Annabel

@Papi Del Negro..... Dont ask Papi, maybe you went to one of those schools he mentions as you neither know the meaning of 'ignorant' nor do you know how to spell it.

Cougarblue
Cougarblue

So what was the Big East so upset about?. They pushed the Domers out, no wait they didn't. If it was as awful as you say, why did the ACC come calling? I don't think anybody deserves to be the butt of bigotry to "get even". Your stupidly is why wars are fought.

Cougarblue
Cougarblue

Are you aware that Gee is a Mormon? Practicing or not, he has to know how ugly the remarks against that faith have been especially during the election Romney-Berry Blow. That alone should open his eyes about what it feels like to get hate and bigotry thrown at you. When he moves on to trash the Jews, that will be the end, he will have gone too far. You can trash Mormons that's politicalyl correct, you can joke about money grubbing priests or those that abuse children, but you don't tell your favorite Jew jokes to an open mike

Zaffo
Zaffo

@thomasnamey @Zaffo Over the top...yeah I can see that a bit.  But still, the SEC is a big rival to the Big Ten, so of course there won't be any praise there.  Notre Dame, you either love them or hate them so it should really come as no surprise they're the butt-end of many jokes.  I'm assuming he made those comments under the assumption that they would remain behind closed doors, as they should have been.  Personally, as a Catholic and an ND fan I still take zero offense to any of this.  Then again, I'm just a Canadian behind a keyboard who has never had the exposure to college life south of the border, so none of the SEC-ripping is personal.  But that's just me, and obviously everyone is entitled to their own viewpoint. 
Cheers.

Z1
Z1

@Annabel @Cougarblue As a non-Mormon living in a state dominated by Mormons I'm very aware of what a "bigot" is - and this guy fits that description to a T.

Z1
Z1

@Cougarblue He's not just a Mormon, he's a Mormon from Utah...if you ever think that they're just like other folks, try living in the state - you will find out very quickly exactly how they treat others when they are in charge.