Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee took jabs at Notre Dame and the Southeastern Conference at an OSU Athletic Council meeting Dec. 5.
A recording of Gee speaking includes him joking that “those damn Catholics” of Notre Dame can’t be trusted and that’s why the university was never invited into the Big Ten. He also said Notre Dame’s priests are “holy on Sunday, and they’re holy hell on the rest of the week,” according to a report from the Associated Press released Thursday.
Gee made comments questioning the academic integrity of SEC schools as well. He said his job as a Big Ten president is to make sure the conference is comprised of schools that value academics, and “you won’t see us adding Louisville,” a Big East school, or the University of Kentucky, an SEC school, according to the report.
Gee, who has a history of making questionable remarks, apologized in an emailed statement, sent to The Lantern by OSU spokeswoman Gayle Saunders.
“The comments I made were just plain wrong, and in no way do they reflect what the university stands for. They were a poor attempt at humor and entirely inappropriate. There is no excuse for this, and I am deeply sorry,” Gee said.
Robert Schottenstein, chair of the OSU Board of Trustees, said in an email statement also sent by Saunders that Gee’s remarks came to the Board’s attention at its Jan. 31 meeting. Schottenstein said Gee is going through “a plan that addresses these missteps.”
“These statements were inappropriate, were not presidential in nature, and do not comport with the core values of the University,” Schottenstein said. “In light of this, the president is participating in an ongoing remediation plan to address his behavior that reflects the Board’s commitment to returning to the core messaging of the University and its leadership.”
Listen to audio from the Dec. 5 meeting by clicking HERE.