Commentary

Gordon Gee's comments backfire

Updated: June 3, 2013, 12:40 PM ET
By Dick Vitale | ESPN.com

You have to be careful what you say these days when you are going for a laugh.

Talk about going a cheap route with the joke and having it backfire. Go ask Ohio State University president Gordon Gee about his recent comments.

How a person running an institution of that stature can make remarks about Notre Dame and Catholics the way that he did is unbelievable. It is hard to fathom how they came out of the mouth of an educator and a leader.

According to Gee, the reason that Notre Dame was not invited to the Big Ten was that, to paraphrase, you cannot trust the priests and Catholics. He used the reference "holy hell" in describing priests.

Gee has since apologized for his indiscretion, but the damage is already done.

Perhaps the president of The Ohio State University should have a conversation with another powerful person in Columbus -- his football coach, Urban Meyer. I guarantee you that Meyer was not happy with those comments, either. Meyer has had a tremendous love for Notre Dame and worked in South Bend under Lou Holtz years ago.

I cannot believe it. It is amazing how many Ohio State followers have been in touch with me via Twitter, calling Gee's remarks embarrassing and unfortunate.

Come on, is this what a leader is about?

Gee also took a shot at Louisville, prompting Cardinals hoops coach Rick Pitino to refer to the Buckeyes' leader as a "pompous ass" on a Louisville radio station.

I could not agree more. Ohio State deserves better.

Dick Vitale

College Basketball analyst
Dick Vitale, college basketball's top analyst and ambassador, joined ESPN during the 1979-80 season. His thorough knowledge of the game is brought forth in an enthusiastic, passionate style. Vitale also contributes columns to ESPN.com.