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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 Geeâ€™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 Bielemaâ€™s departure from the Big Ten. Hereâ€™s what Gee told to the OSU’s athletic council.
â€œI mean that was a blessing for Wisconsin and they knew it because he was under tremendous pressure. They didnâ€™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 â€œWhile 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.â€
Gee released a statement to the Big Ten Council in which he called his comments a â€œmisguided attempt at humor and said his remarks about Bielema were â€œunfounded, inaccurate, and unfair.â€
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 Conferenceâ€™s academic integrity and said “you can’t trust those damn Catholics” referring to Notre Dame.
Gee apologized for those comments Friday, stating they â€œwere just plain wrong.â€
Gee is known for his gaffes. In 2010, he mocked Texas Christian University and Boise Stateâ€™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 Geeâ€™s offhanded comments. In a letter to Gee, trustee chair Robert Schottenstein said Gee could be fired if he makes another misstep.
Geeâ€™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.