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OSU Presidential Apologies Continue
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Ohio State University president Gordon Gee continues to make apologies for remarks made in December where he slammed Catholics and other college conferences. WOSU has more on Gee’s most recent regrets to a former Wisconsin football coach.
Bret Bielema, who now leads the Arkansas Razerbacks, posted to his Twitter account Sunday a text message apology he received from OSU president Gordon Gee about a comment he made in December regarding Bielema’s departure from the Big Ten. Here’s what Gee told to the OSU’s athletic council.
“I mean that was a blessing for Wisconsin and they knew it because he was under tremendous pressure. They didn’t like him. [Wisconsin athletic director] Barry Alvarez thought he was a thug. And, and, and, and he left, he left just ahead of the sheriff,” Gee said.
Bielema later talked to Gee during which he issued a formal apology.
In a statement issued from the University of Arkansas, Bielema said “While I am appreciative he did apologize, my sincere hope is Dr. Gee realizes given the stature of his position the full power his words have to affect public perception. Throughout my career, I have strived to make my name synonymous with high character, values and integrity, and I will continue to do so.”
Gee released a statement to the Big Ten Council in which he called his comments a “misguided attempt at humor and said his remarks about Bielema were “unfounded, inaccurate, and unfair.”
These are the latest in a string of apologies Gee has made since late last week when the disparaging comments were made public. During the athletic council meeting Gee also questioned the Southeastern Conference’s academic integrity and said “you can’t trust those damn Catholics” referring to Notre Dame.
Gee apologized for those comments Friday, stating they “were just plain wrong.”
Gee is known for his gaffes. In 2010, he mocked Texas Christian University and Boise State’s football programs, stating the Big Ten does not play the Little Sisters of the Poor. He later apologized for that, too.
OSU trustees have grown tired of Gee’s offhanded comments. In a letter to Gee, trustee chair Robert Schottenstein said Gee could be fired if he makes another misstep.
Gee’s salary could take a hit as the board will consider his remarks during his yearly job performance review. Gee makes about $830,000, but with bonuses it reaches nearly $2 million.