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SBD/May 31, 2013/Colleges
Ohio State President Issues Apology After Disparaging Comments Made Public
Published May 31, 2013
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GEE WHIZ: In Cleveland, Doug Lesmerises writes the "bow-tied 69-year-old, who once folded the athletic department into the Office of Student Life at Vanderbilt, has never been afraid to mix it up when it comes to jock talk." Lesmerises: "Gregarious and self-deprecating, Gee never shies away from expressing an opinion" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 5/31). SPORTS ON EARTH's Tommy Tomlinson writes Gee is "known, above all else, as a brilliant fundraiser." He knows the "power of money." He knows "what it means when the football coach makes more than twice what he does." He knows that is the "case across the country." So it "makes sense for him to try to fit in with the sports people." Tomlinson: "I just don't think he has the feel for it" (SPORTSONEARTH.com, 5/31). SI.com's Andy Staples wrote Gee is "far too valuable to Ohio State to allow his wayward mouth to derail his administration" (SI.com, 5/30). YAHOO SPORTS' Dan Wetzel wrote Gee "craves attention and through the years has proven he'll pretty much say or insult anything and anyone (including himself) if he thinks it might get an extra chuckle, especially if that might one day lead to an extra donation or positive word in the media." Gee "isn't likely a bigot," but a "self-centered opportunist desperate for glowing smiles and open wallets" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 5/30).
ON THE RECORD: In Cleveland, Terry Pluto noted Gee has been "in charge of various universities for 32 years." This is "not a novice secretly taped at a small meeting with a few friends." He "knows better" (CLEVELAND.com, 5/30). ESPN.com's Brian Bennett wrote Gee was "trying to be funny and was speaking to a crowd made up of Ohio State people." Anyone who is "seriously offended by his jabs needs to develop much thicker skin and a sense of humor." But Gee still "hasn't learned that when the leader of one of the largest universities in the country says something dumb ... that makes news" (ESPN.com, 5/30).