Elwood. Gordon. Gee.
He has trust issues with Catholicism and thinks people from the South are uneducated. That’s a rough paraphrase of some of the remarks he made that led to his inevitable firing. They were said at a private meeting, but unfortunately for Mr. Gee, they became very public.
His antics at Ohio State will officially come to an end today, July 1st. While the university calls it a resignation, it’s really about the closest they could get to firing Gee without actually saying they fired him. Did Gordon learn anything from this? Here’s what I know. Everywhere he’s gone has been a relatively turbulent ride even if it seemed like things were going well. Just ask Vanderbilt, Brown, or for a second time, Ohio State.
The controversy and subsequent resignation both came out of an event where Gee was speaking about the Big Ten’s future plans. An attendee said that SEC fans jab at the Big Ten saying; they can’t count because that conference has 12 teams and is still called the Big Ten. Gee replied, “Well you tell the SEC when they can learn to read and write then they can figure out what we’re doing.” I can imagine he had Ohio State officials wanting to yank him off stage at that point. What makes it worse is that comment came AFTER he made the now infamous comments about Catholics regarding Notre Dame. Gee said, “I negotiated with them during my first term, and the Fathers are holy on Sunday and they’re holy hell on the rest of the week. You just can’t trust those damn Catholics on a Thursday or Friday.” Now I’m sure you can understand why Ohio State absolutely needed to get rid of this guy.
In the socially driven environment we live in today, it would have been difficult to keep his comments behind closed doors. However, a lot of people appear to be upset about this, but are they actually upset? Social media makes it easy to say you are even if you normally wouldn’t care. Take the last presidential election for example. A lot of people became political experts overnight even if they had never paid attention or showed interest in anything remotely involving politics before. Why? Because it’s easy and takes minimal effort. Maybe you are really angry and that’s your release. But if we didn’t have social media, what would you do? Call a radio show? Write your local newspaper? Contact an official at OSU? Nothing?
The bottom line: Ohio State needed to do something about this crisis, and the university took care of the situation relatively quickly. It was embarrassing. Even Gee knew that when he tried to apologize. As a Buckeye fan, I’m glad they made the decision to fire him rather than brushing this under a rug as other universities have done with similar controversies. That would have been a disaster. Just when it looked like everything was getting back to normal after the NCAA sanctions and the smoke was beginning to clear, Gee lit another match. Thankfully, Ohio State put it out rather than bringing lighter fluid.
Were you upset by Gee’s comments? Do you think OSU handled the crisis effectively? Let us know!