Ohio State President Insults SEC, Catholics, Notre Dame, Louisville and Kentucky

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Ohio State's president told a university committee in December that Notre Dame wasn't invited to join the Big Ten because they're not good partners, and joked that Catholics can't be trusted.

The recording of Gordon Gee speaking to Ohio State's Athletic Council also captures him saying the Notre Dame priests who run the university are holy on Sunday and "holy hell" the rest of the week.

Gee spoke about conference expansion in the recording obtained by The Associated Press. He says Notre Dame "wanted to have its cake and eat it, too."

Gee, who has a history of verbal gaffes, also questioned the academic integrity of schools in the Southeastern Conference and the University of Louisville. He said Big Ten presidents would never agree to admit Louisville or Kentucky.

Big Ten Commissioner James Delany says the recorded comments by Gee don't represent the opinions of the conference and that the conference has great respect for Notre Dame and schools in the Southeastern Conference.

Delany says he has communicated his regrets and apologies to Notre Dame and the SEC.

Gee has apologized in a statement to The Associated Press, saying his comments were "just plain wrong."

Ohio State's top trustees say Gee's comments have embarrassed and divided the university.

The trustees say in a letter to Gee that his comments risk diminishing the collective efforts of the university and of his own good work.

Trustee chairman Robert Schottenstein and trustee Alex Shumate, who led the search committee that hired Gee in 2007, also say Gee must reprioritize what speaking engagements he accepts.


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