Ohio State University president Gordon Gee took potshots at Notre Dame and Catholics during a meeting last December, saying the school’s fathers and the “damn Catholics” were not trustworthy. He said the fathers were only “holy” on Sundays.
“The fathers are holy on Sunday, and they’re holy hell on the rest of the week,” Gee said.
Gee, a Mormon, then said in apparent jest, “You just can’t trust those damn Catholics on a Thursday or a Friday, and so, literally, I can say that.”
The Ohio State president was talking about his experiences in trying to get Notre Dame to join the Big Ten as far back two decades ago in his first stint as Ohio State president from 1990-97.
The Associated Press, through a public records request, obtained a recording of a December meeting of the school’s Athletic Council in which Gee made those remarks.
Those in attendance at the Dec. 5 meeting included “Athletic Director Gene Smith and several other athletic department members, along with professors and students.” They laughed at Gee’s remarks. Gee, who got rid of the athletic department at Vanderbilt, also made fun of the Southeastern Conference’s academics.
Gee and Ohio State apologized after the comments came to light.
“The comments I made were just plain wrong, and in no way do they reflect what the university stands for,” Gee said in a statement to the Associated Press. “They were a poor attempt at humor and entirely inappropriate.”
Ohio State also said the remarks were inappropriate and that Gee was undergoing a “remediation plan.”