It has been a rough few months for E. Gordon Gee, to say the least.
The Ohio State president, known for his signature bowtie and decorated academic career, twice has made national headlines because of his mouth since November. While Gee likely will never live down his infamous line about ex-Ohio State coach Jim Tressel -- "Are you kidding? I'm just hopeful the coach doesn't dismiss me," he said March 8 -- he's taking steps to atone for another ill-advised remark.
Remember what Gee told the Associated Press in November about national championship contenders TCU and Boise State?
"Well, I don't know enough about the X's and O's of college football," said Gee, formerly the president at West Virginia, Colorado, Brown and Vanderbilt universities. "I do know, having been both a Southeastern Conference president and a Big Ten president, that it's like murderer's row every week for these schools. We do not play the Little Sisters of the Poor. We play very fine schools on any given day."
Gee drew coast-to-coast criticism for his comment and has apologized several times. He continued his mea culpa mission Tuesday at the Ohio Statehouse, issuing a public apology to the Little Sisters of the Poor, who were being recognized by the state legislature.
The Little Sisters are based in Toledo and help the poor and elderly throughout the state. D'oh!
"I made the unfortunate comments about the fact that I compared some other football teams to the Little Sisters of the Poor," Gee said on Tuesday.
"He didn't know we were real," said Sister Cecilia Sartorius of the Little Sisters of the Poor. ...
"I am delighted about the fact that Sister Cecilia and I have now developed a wonderful relationship," Gee said. "I understand her work and value it deeply."
Sister Cecilia as Buckeyes coach in 2012? Let's start the rumor.
It's good to see Gee being proactive here. He's a very smart guy who said two very dumb things, but he has admitted his mistakes.
Gee will gain a deeper understanding of the Sisters' work when he visits their organization Aug. 17.
"We've got some great new friends who are helping us," Sartorius said. "We won't work him too hard when he comes to the home, maybe just cleaning here and there."
If only the NCAA would be so kind to Gee and the Buckeyes ...