Notre Dame Football: Gordon Gee

Irish lunch links

June, 5, 2013

OSU president Gee to retire

June, 4, 2013
Ohio State president Gordon Gee announced his retirement Tuesday in wake of the release of comments denigrating Catholics at Notre Dame and several other groups throughout college athletics.

The 69-year-old Gee will step down July 1.

You can re-hash all of the comments pertaining to Notre Dame here if you wish to still do so. I laughed off most of the remarks like several others did, knowing that Gee was a glorified fundraiser who wears a bowtie and was speaking to a group of Ohio State peers.

Then I read colleague Eamonn Brennan's take Monday in the college basketball nation blog. His thoughts pretty much sum up how I have begun to feel about the situation in the days since Gee's comments went public.
Here's the thing: Typically, I think people are too easily offended. I mean, I get why. Sometimes, people like to get offended. In a world of uncertainty and half-facts, we get to unanimously agree one person or the other is stupid; we get to shake our fists and curse the heavens and ask where the world went so wrong. Being outraged is fun.

That's why I tend to think we can overboard with our outrage on some of this stuff. And that was my first reaction to Gee -- OK, he's crazy, and he should probably be quiet for a few monthsyears, but was anything he said worse than your average message board comment? Shouldn't we all settle down, and pack a thicker skin next time?

And then I realized: Gee isn't some Internet commenter. He's the president of a massive public university. He's supposed to be idealistically devoted to the continued human pursuit of knowledge, which began with the wheels we would one day use to take robot-selfies on Mars. Gee is supposed to be inspiring. He is supposed to remind you that your college degree taught you more than how to think about your favorite football and basketball teams -- that it taught you how to think about the world and our human place in it.

Instead, this guy is cracking jokes about the football coach firing him. He's acting like a back-slapping bro who just finished 18 holes and a drink too many in the dining room at the country club. He's a glorified fan in a bow tie.

Louisville fans can be mad about the Louisville jab. Kentucky, too. Catholics can be upset by the notion that its men of the cloth are occasionally fearsome negotiators. But to me, that's all small stuff. The big thing about Gee is just how unbecoming of his position his behavior is, and what it says about what major college athletics has done to major college education. That's what's offensive.

You can read more about Gee's retirement here.

Irish lunch links

May, 31, 2013
Dominic Toretto, you don't know me. But you're about to.

Gee dishes on ND, Catholics

May, 30, 2013

I go out for a quick lunch break … and what's this? Gordon Gee has been caught sticking his foot in his mouth again?

It had been a while since Ohio State's president had been in the college football headlines. But he had never really endeared himself to Notre Dame fans quite like he did on Thursday.

The Associated Press reports that Gee took shots at the Irish (and Catholics), along with others, at a December meeting of the school's athletic council.
"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 and several other athletic department members, along with 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.

But wait, there's more
In the recording, Gee referred specifically to dealing with the Rev. Ned Joyce, Notre Dame's longtime chief financial officer, who died in 2004.

"Father Joyce was one of those people who ran the university for many, many years," Gee said.

Gee said the Atlantic Coast Conference added Notre Dame at a time when it was feeling vulnerable.

"Notre Dame wanted to have its cake and eat it, too," Gee said, according to the recording and a copy of the meeting's minutes.

The report states that the audio, obtained under a public records request, revealed laughter to the remarks but no rebukes.

Notre Dame need not feel too bad, however, as the outspoken Gee saved some shots for the SEC, Louisville and even Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany.

Gee already apologized in a statement to the AP, and Ohio State said he is undergoing a "remediation plan" because of more remarks by a bow tie-wearing president who just can't resist making cracks every now and then.

As colleague Brian Bennett said, anyone seriously offended by Gee's latest act needs thicker skin and a sense of humor. Gee was speaking to a crowd of peers at Ohio State.

Still, you wonder when the charade will end for a trusted leader of one of the nation's biggest schools.


St. Brown talks USC, Stanford and more
WeAreSC's Blair Angulo caught up with ESPN 300 WR Equanimeous St. Brown on Sunday at the IMG 7v7 West Regional to get the latest on his recruitment.Tags: USC Trojans, Stanford Cardinal, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, WeAreSC, Equanimeous St. Brown