Columbus Billboards Take Swipe At OSU President Gee

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On Thursday afternoon, electronic billboards around Columbus began flashing a congratulatory message to Texas Christian University for their recent Rose Bowl victory. But who’s sponsoring the billboards – and the jab at Ohio State University President Gordon Gee – are a mystery.

The billboards congratulate Texas Christian for their BCS Rose Bowl victory over Wisconsin. The message is signed “Little Sisters of the Poor,” a phrase that came from the lips of Ohio State University president Gordon Gee. Gee has argued that smaller schools like TCU don’t face the same difficult schedules that schools in BCS conferences do.

A spokeswoman for Texas Christian said she was unable to find out who was paying for the advertising but emphasized that TCU was not.

Meanwhile Rob Rankin president of the Columbus branch of Clear Channel Outdoor which owns the electronic billboards says confidentiality prohibits him from disclosing the advertising’s purchaser. He also would not say how much the advertising cost. But he says he hopes the ad is taken in the spirit of sportsmanship

“Our sense is that this is nothing more than good gamesmanship,” Rankin says. “There’s no malice behind it or anything like that. I would put it in the bucket of good-natured ribbing.” President Gee was out-of-state and unavailable for comment.

The ad appears once every minute on the company’s 20 electronic billboards in Columbus.

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