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Gordon Gee apologizes to Bret Bielema over ‘thug’ comment

Gordon GeeThis week is turning into an apology tour for Ohio State president E. Gordon Gee.

On Thursday, the bow-tied boss came under scrutiny after the Associated Press released audio recordings of him ripping Catholics, Notre Dame, Louisville, and the SEC in an athletic council meeting last year. Gee apologized for his comments and apologized to Notre Dame.

On Friday, Gee apologized to Arkansas football coach Bret Bielema for saying Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez “thought he was a thug.

“Someone was saying to me, well, you know, Bret Bielema leaving … that was a blessing for Wisconsin and they knew it. Because he was under tremendous pressure. They didn’t like him. Barry Alvarez thought he was a thug. And he left just ahead of the sheriff,” Gee said, per a recording obtained by Sports Illustrated’s Andy Staples.

Late on Friday, Bielema, who is preparing for his first season at Arkansas after seven at Wisconsin, tweeted a photo of the apology letter Gee sent him.

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Gordon Gee blasts Notre Dame, Catholics, and Southerners in one speech

Gordon GeeOhio State president E. Gordon Gee managed to hit the college football trifecta by blasting Notre Dame, Catholics, and Southerners all in one speech.

The Associated Press obtained a recording of comments Gee gave at one of the school’s athletic council meetings last year. In his remarks, Gee ripped Notre Dame (and Catholics) for not joining the Big Ten and being difficult in their negotiations about the subject. He also ragged on the SEC for their academics.

“The fathers are holy on Sunday, and they’re holy hell on the rest of the week,” Gee said to laughter at the Dec. 5 meeting attended by athletic director Gene Smith and several other athletic department members, along with professors and students, according to the AP.

“You just can’t trust those damn Catholics on a Thursday or a Friday, and so, literally, I can say that,” said Gee.

“You tell the SEC when they can learn to read and write, then they can figure out what we’re doing,” Gee said, when asked by a questioner how to respond to SEC fans who say the Big Ten can’t count because it now has 14 members.

Gee, it must be noted, once worked as Vanderbilt’s chancellor.

Gee has apologized to Notre Dame’s president for his remarks. He also apologized for his comments, calling them “inappropriate” in an apology sent to the AP. Ohio State and Big Ten distanced themselves from his comments.

“The comments I made were just plain wrong, and in no way do they reflect what the university stands for,” he said. “They were a poor attempt at humor and entirely inappropriate.”

No surprise, this isn’t the first time the bow-tied blab has gotten into trouble with negative remarks made about other schools. What a doofus.

Congratulatory TCU Billboards Pop Up in Ohio State Territory

An unidentified person or group of people has paid for 20 billboards in the Columbus area — surrounding Ohio State — touting TCU’s victory over Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. The billboards are an obvious jab at Ohio State’s president E. Gordon Gee, who stated a few months back that schools like TCU and Boise State don’t deserve a shot at a national championship because they don’t play enough quality opponents during the regular season.

Gee, the former president of Vanderbilt, claimed that those schools don’t have to go through gauntlets like the SEC and Big Ten. That’s true, but the Horned Frogs’ victory over the Badgers proved that schools from non-major conferences can compete against the “big boys,” despite soft conference schedules. Toss in the fact that Ohio State should have lost to Arkansas — granted they are an SEC school — in the Sugar Bowl, and Gee can officially insert his foot into his mouth. The billboards are “signed” by the “little sisters of the poor,” a reference to Gee’s estimation of TCU’s and Boise State’s conference competition.

The oddest aspect of this story is that someone in Columbus allowed it to happen. This is just an assumption, but wouldn’t the companies in charge of the billboards be able to block something like this from hitting the streets? Then again, money talks. In any event, Ohio State fans aren’t as rabid as I thought. Maybe the maze and blue faithful should look into spicing up the rivalry a bit with a billboard of their own.

Photo Credit: The Matador Sports