Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Ohio State president Gordon Gee to retire
By Brian Bennett
Well, we won't have E. Gordon Gee to kick around anymore.
The Ohio State president -- he of the famous inability to keep his foot away from his mouth, particularly when it comes to talking about football topics -- will retire from the university on July 1. Gee's recent high-profile controversy, involving jabs he made at the SEC, Notre Dame, Bret Bielema and others last December, clearly hastened the departure for the 69-year-old Gee. He spent much of the past week apologizing to various parties for the remarks, which first came to light last Thursday.
The Columbus Dispatch reports that Ohio State trustees "met in private on Jan. 31 and March 8 to discuss a remediation plan that directs Gee to scale back on his public speeches." Trustees expressed embarrassment over Gee's most recent public gaffes, in which he offended Catholics, joked that SEC partisans were illiterate and called Bielema a "thug."
Gee has been Ohio State’s president since 2007 and also served in that role from 1990 to 1997. Former OSU provost Joseph A. Alutto will be interim president until a successor can be found, according to the Dispatch.
Gee became an easy punchline with his penchant for poorly-timed jokes and omnipresent bow tie. But it's also true that he has been a fantastic fundraiser, bringing millions and millions of dollars into the school. He was also an influential member of the Big Ten's Council of Presidents and Chancellors as the leader of arguably the league's most powerful athletic program.
But Gee had a hard time just keeping his mouth shut, or at least going the diplomatic route, when it came to sports. While his comments were almost always made in jest, the president of one of the nation's top universities shouldn't be making cracks about how the disgraced former football coach could fire him, or making derogatory comments about "those damn Catholics" or even trying to insert himself into a BCS debate. It did nothing but shine a bad light on him and Ohio State.
Personally, we'll miss the Bow Tie, who was always good source material for easy blog posts. We'll always have the Little Sisters of the Poor to remember. Ohio State will move on, and the football program shouldn't be affected in any noticeable way.
And finally, we had to share this tweet, which just speaks for itself: