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E. Gordon Gee set to ‘retire’ next month

Orville Redenbacher AP

A handful of days after an awkward and asinine attempt at standup comedy led to an avalanche of criticism from both his targets and the public at large, E. Gordon Gee‘s time at Ohio State is quickly coming to a close.

In an emailed statement to the Columbus Dispatch, Gee confirmed that he will be stepping down as OSU’s president on July 1.  While the move is officially being called a retirement, it comes five days after a letter from the Board of Trustees, signed March 11, surfaced and which stated that one more misstep on the part of the bow-tied one would likely cost him his job.

It also comes after Gee spent the past five days apologizing to, well, pretty much everyone.

Gee will officially inform faculty, students and staff of his decision this afternoon — via email.

“Without question, the university has achieved remarkable success, and it has been my honor and calling to lead it,” Gee’s email to the Dispatch read. “Ohio State is well-positioned for the future. I love this university, and my relationship with it will continue.”

The self-described Orville Redenbacher look-a-like will complete his second stint as OSU’s president, with this term lasting six years.  He also headed the state’s flagship university from 1990-99.  And before you ask, no, I have no idea if moving on to become Rutgers’ next athletic director would be the most logical step in his employment arc.

In remarks made at a university meeting last December that first saw the public light last week, Gee offended an entire religion (“You just can’t trust those damn Catholics”); referred to Bret Bielema as “a thug”; intimated that Louisville doesn’t have academic integrity; and continued playing off the dumb, redneck SEC stereotype (“You tell the SEC when they can learn to read and write, then they can figure out what we’re doing).

This wasn’t exactly the first time he has needed to “go over to the surgical suites and get my foot extricated from my mouth,” though.

In December of 2010, shortly after ridiculing the likes of Boise State and TCU by referring to them as “the Little Sisters of the Poor” — and riling up the actual Little Sisters of the Poor — Gee was quoted as saying, “I need to keep my mouth closed. … I have no business talking about college football.”

In the end, and thereby bringing a premature end to his tenure, Gee proved he was very self-aware albeit unable to control his tongue.  Or, to paraphrase the noted wordsmith Ron White, Gee had the right to remain silent… but didn’t have the ability.

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34 Responses to “E. Gordon Gee set to ‘retire’ next month”
  1. 8to80texansblog says: Jun 4, 2013 3:49 PM

    Let’s be clear…. he got fired.

  2. gatorprof says: Jun 4, 2013 3:50 PM

    Figured that this would be the case. No one can get away with comments like that when he is representing a billion dollar + operation and has to report to “shareholders”.

  3. manik56 says: Jun 4, 2013 3:54 PM

    It’s a shame he leaves on this note. His comments have very little to do with his ability to be President. I am embarresed the University caved in to a bunch of sports writing hacks.

  4. scoops1 says: Jun 4, 2013 3:54 PM

    another one who needs to bite the curb

  5. jimbo75025 says: Jun 4, 2013 4:03 PM

    Yes, this was a “retirement” in the “it’s not you it’s me” vein.

    Publicly though, this move i/o outright firing him enables Gee to be able to still do some fundraising for Ohio State which has always been his strong suit anyway.

  6. cubano76 says: Jun 4, 2013 4:17 PM

    ok, that’s a friggin awesome picture!

  7. foreverlsu says: Jun 4, 2013 4:20 PM

    manik56 says:
    Jun 4, 2013 3:54 PM
    It’s a shame he leaves on this note. His comments have very little to do with his ability to be President. I am embarresed the University caved in to a bunch of sports writing hacks.

    You should be “embarresed” for other reasons!

  8. dallasstars9 says: Jun 4, 2013 4:21 PM

    Good riddance fuckeye! GO BLUE!

  9. savoirlaire says: Jun 4, 2013 4:32 PM

    manik56 says:Jun 4, 2013 3:54 PM

    It’s a shame he leaves on this note. His comments have very little to do with his ability to be President. I am embarresed the University caved in to a bunch of sports writing hacks.
    So many stupid statements here its hard to know where to begin. “It’s a shame”?? I think it was well within his control to prevent this from happening, don’t you, Einstein? “His comments have very little to do with his ability to be President”??? Huh, wtf? His comments are exactly the reason he cannot remain as president–they were stupid, bigoted, unthinking comments. You know, the kind a major university president, PhD and all, are not ever supposed to make. “I am embarresed (sic)” that you can neither think nor spell…are all OSU fans as dumb as you??

  10. harveyballwanger says: Jun 4, 2013 4:35 PM

    What took them so long to “fire” him?

  11. barkleyblows says: Jun 4, 2013 4:40 PM

    Thank you Mr. Gee for having the balls to express your feelings. It was actually refreshing and you were 100% correct on them. Happy Retirement.

  12. barkleyblows says: Jun 4, 2013 4:43 PM

    Fuck you NBC….. I have an unexpected “error” for you assholes also.

  13. mikeinthevine says: Jun 4, 2013 4:53 PM

    About freakin’ time. This moron has been an embarrassment to the OSU community for a long time.

  14. thraiderskin says: Jun 4, 2013 5:38 PM

    Can’t say I’m all that sad… I was willing to give him one more shot, but this is probably for the best.

  15. mz1394 says: Jun 4, 2013 6:07 PM

    All of a sudden I’m in the mood for popcorn

  16. onceuponatimeinsports says: Jun 4, 2013 6:09 PM

    It had gotten to the point where the only time he opened his mouth was to change feet…

  17. mogogo1 says: Jun 4, 2013 6:09 PM

    He had comedic appeal, just not in the way he intended. When the world is laughing at you and not with you, your days running a major university are over. Surprising he lasted this long. He made so many dumb comments but just couldn’t learn.

  18. polegojim says: Jun 4, 2013 6:37 PM

    What an AWESOME pic JT!!!

    As much as a I hate to say it… he needed to go.

    The guy just doesn’t know how to shut up.

  19. thefiesty1 says: Jun 4, 2013 7:04 PM

    About damn time. He should have retired (been fired) along with Tressel.

  20. alligatorsnapper says: Jun 4, 2013 7:06 PM

    Orville Redden…er Gordon Gee had to go. Diarrhea of the mouth was his downfall. Knew it would happen soon, as per my last post. I have a feeling his replacement will be a more discreet president.

  21. badintent says: Jun 4, 2013 7:09 PM

    Two options for Gee. Shove his head back up his ass. Or feed him to some pitbulls.Rustbelt, rustmouth Gee.

  22. dcroz says: Jun 4, 2013 8:27 PM

    Let’s be honest here: Gee did not get fired just because of the comments he made back in December. I’m sure there was a large contingent of OSU alums who wanted him out after his mishandling of the “Tatgate” debacle which saw the Buckeyes getting put on probation after Jim Tressel lied to the NCAA about what he knew and when he knew it just so a few of his players would remain eligible for the Sugar Bowl. He somehow managed to survive, but his detractors were looking for any opportunity they could to pull the trigger. While he has made a number of arrogant and idiotic comments that have put OSU in a bad light, his silly jokes caused enough of an outrage for the long knives to finally come out. Gee’s guilty of more than his shtick being as stale as his wardrobe; he’s shown the inability to know to keep a low profile after making a number of public missteps to silence the critics and keep hi job. A politician he ain’t.

  23. floridacock says: Jun 4, 2013 9:08 PM

    He did not get fired, he resigned from the presidency. He is not going anywhere. He will stay around and make money for the hypocritical university OSU is. THE my ass

  24. barbeaux says: Jun 5, 2013 12:53 AM

    Orville redenbocker is retiring? Nooooooooooooo

  25. spoiledbratswhosuck says: Jun 5, 2013 7:50 AM

    Another liberal puke who made a mockery of higher education……………………………..

    These types are anti American and hate

    middle class whites
    english language
    Bill of Rights

    Academia has been hijacked and the losers are the US taxpayers and the black athletes that bring millions in for the schools and end up working minimum wage jobs with no degree……

    Any questions?

  26. dkhhuey says: Jun 5, 2013 8:31 AM

    As an OSU alum, I realize he pretty much had to go, but in a way, I am a bit saddened to see him leave! He was a great asset to OSU but in the end, he just couldn’t seem to keep his foot out of his mouth!

    @dall – Flounder Hoke is still fat!

    Go Buckeyes

  27. delashmit says: Jun 5, 2013 9:59 AM

    They should have fired his butt and not let him retire. I am sure he got paid extra money to “so call retire” but I would not have paid him anything. He is/was an embarrassment to Ohio State and to colleges in general.

  28. florida727 says: Jun 5, 2013 10:20 AM

    JT, any way people like #barkleyblows can be banned from posting on CFT? His/her comments are offensive? Maybe you can “retire” him/her.

  29. MasMacho says: Jun 5, 2013 10:28 AM

    As a lifelong Buckeye, I have to say I am happy to see him go. It’s the right thing.

    Feel whatever you want to, but dissing a religion from a bully pulpit of one of the largest education institutions in the country is ignorant and stupid. Well below the bar for a person in this position.

    I look forward to the day when tOSU can end its foot-in-mouth problem.

  30. jericoc says: Jun 5, 2013 12:52 PM

    Good. That’s $1,200 I won’t be contributing to the Alumni Association this year …

  31. junior4200 says: Jun 5, 2013 1:34 PM

    Good riddance moron.
    The Little Sisters of the Poor and
    Boise State Broncos

  32. niallofthenine says: Jun 5, 2013 6:42 PM

    pOSU (piece Of Shit University)

  33. oldforester says: Jun 5, 2013 8:17 PM

    “The Associated Press reported that Gee made the insensitive remarks about Catholics, particularly the ones in charge at Notre Dame, during a closed door meeting with University athletic officials in DECEMBER.”

    Until the AP got wind of this story in the past couple of weeks, where were those Ohio State officials inside the closed door meeting? That was six months ago!

    Did they have their mouths full of buckeyes and unable to talk? Gee represented Ohio State because Gee spoke for Ohio State. If those Ohio State athletic officials were upset, they would have acted before the AP plastered the story on nationwide media.

    Ohio State is smug, full of themselves, and true hypocrites.

  34. 1historian says: Jun 6, 2013 6:00 PM

    FYI – I am a Catholic and a Notre Dame fan.

    The dude owns over 100 bowties and seems to have a 2nd career posing as Orville Redenbacher, as in the popcorn magnate of Valparaiso, Indiana who handed in his portfolio a few years back.

    What he said was at best a bit goofy and at worst a bit goofy, leading to the question:

    What’s the harm?

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