Is Gordon Gee Serious?

Submitted by justingoblue on August 8th, 2011 at 5:38 PM

Long but semi-interesting read on Gordon Gee's role in Tat/Tresselgate from ESPN The Magazine. Some notable quotes:

Wearing a scarlet-and-gray-striped bow tie, Gee, typically a flamboyant speaker, flatly praised Tressel's "superb integrity." As Gee backed away from the mic, a reporter started to ask whether dismissing Tressel had ever crossed his mind.

"No -- are you kidding?" Gee interrupted. He sputtered for a second, searching for a one-liner to break the tension. "Let me be very clear," he said. "I'm just hoping the coach doesn't dismiss me."

Smith, standing behind Gee, grinned briefly before zipping it, as if caught snickering in class. But nobody else laughed. The joke landed with a silent thud. In the ensuing weeks, as the scandal escalated, the national media recycled the line in blogs and in print, on TV and radio. That offhand remark, a glib aside, would ultimately become the news conference's most famous quote, drawing a host of admonishments from college sports executives.

What were you thinking? was one AD's reaction. Florida president Bernie Machen says he shook his head and thought, I bet you wish you had it back. Five months later, Tressel is gone and Gee is preparing to testify before the NCAA Committee on Infractions. His fellow presidents wonder whether the man who once promised zero-tolerance for Buckeye rule breakers might lose his job in the scandal's wake.



A few years ago, when star linebacker James Laurinaitis deferred NFL millions to return for his senior year, Gee called him and said, "James, I'm going to take you to dinner." The meal turned out to be an NCAA violation -- one of many minor ones Gee commits each year. "I'm more self-reported than any president in the country," he quips.



In all, working with athletics was "easier than I thought," Gee says. Perhaps that's because he didn't meet monthly with the compliance office, normal procedure on other campuses, or because he softened his zero tolerance policy for rule breakers. He tried to create more oversight -- and protect himself -- by creating layers. He appointed a liaison to athletics so that, as he says, "It's not just the AD and the president responsible." Because of the changes, compliance staffers didn't feel they had the power to ask tough follow-up questions. And Tressel, who declined comment for this article, wasn't exactly forthcoming.

When the whole thing blew up this spring, Gee was still left holding the bag. "How would I know that players would sell memorabilia to a tattoo parlor?" he says. "No matter what procedures are in place, people can get around them." Yet he also admits he sent the signal that he didn't want to be bothered. "None of us want to hear bad news," he says. "We hear what we want to hear. It's not just about people being forthcoming. It's about us being receptive, and I start with myself."


I Wrote a 4 Wo…

August 8th, 2011 at 6:58 PM ^

I hate racism. Racists are stupid, ignorant people.

That being said, why don't we realize that "black" was pointed out because Gee is "white." Dhani Jones is a cool African-American male while Gordon Gee is a smug, douchey Euro-American male.

Nothing offensive was said about the difference of skin color, the 2 were compared and this was one of the differences. Blog on, my Michigan fan friend.

Schweddy Balls

August 8th, 2011 at 5:46 PM ^

If you dig deep enough, you'll end up finding out (assuming the NCAA does its job) that Gee knew full well about what happened and that Tressel told him immediately after he got the email(s) only to have GEE tell Tressel that, "I'll take care of it."

Tressel was the fall guy. It's why the school so conveniently dropped the $250,000 fine that Tress had to pay and instead paid him his salary for the month.

Gee and OSU are about as corrupt as congress.


August 8th, 2011 at 5:49 PM ^

My wet dream for the meeting between him and the NCAA:
GG:I want you to know I had nothing to do with this
NCAA official: Gordan, when I was a 13 my little brother got picked on by a bully at school. So I confronted his father about this he said he knew nothing about it. The problem was it was his (insert explicit here) job to know.


August 8th, 2011 at 5:58 PM ^

"A few years ago, when star linebacker James Laurinaitis deferred NFL millions to return for his senior year, Gee called him and said, "James, I'm going to take you to dinner." The meal turned out to be an NCAA violation -- one of many minor ones Gee commits each year. "I'm more self-reported than any president in the country," he quips."

Well, at least you are aware  that he knows and apparently isn't concerned. Quite possibly, this sort of blase approach to the rules is a requirement for being hired at OSU.


August 8th, 2011 at 6:31 PM ^

Problem for people who want accountable presidents involved in athletics is that there are only eighteen people who count (OSU's board). On top of that, how many of those other seventeen are going to go against Wexner? Even Gee basically said he wouldn't in the article.


August 8th, 2011 at 6:39 PM ^

Gee has been rewarded in the past for doing exactly what he is doing now.  Why would he change it?  Hopefully, somebody on the infractions committee grows a set and a brain soon.


August 9th, 2011 at 12:35 AM ^

Stories like this make it clear that the NCAA has a definition of "Lack of Institutional Control" that is different from the one everyone else uses.


August 9th, 2011 at 6:35 AM ^

Clearly, E. Gordon Gee admits LOIC out of his own mouth. He is the top executive. His statement stands to say he refused to allow anyone to be "forthcoming". This means, those who served Gee, every last one of them, were also under moral obligation to report their top boss (E. Gordon Gee) and any other of their immediate supervisors for gross corruption; because all reports were subject to be suppressed in total. THE Administration of OSU, all of them, knew the entire institution was being subjected to a culture of lockdown and damage control - nothing else, and they must have feared for their jobs knowing they had better toe the "company line" or suffer the consequences of Loss Of Institutional Employment and worse.

Gee says it was his standing policy not to be receptive to bad news. This is an example of total, on the face of it, absolute proof of LOIC. There is no other intellectually honest interpretation which can be made of this admission by Gee. I would never be able to look myself in the mirror continuing to work under such circumstances where my own boss all the way up to the top boss admits when it comes to being forthcoming about what I know; the only zero tolerance policy is zero receptivity of what I might have to report which might be regarded by anyone in THE Administration of OSU as "bad news". Again, I say I have no respect for this NCAA "investigation". It is not an investigation, it is a whitewash; and whatever penalty they come up with will remind me, "Something is rotten in Denmark".

Directions to Columbus, Ohio? Follow the smell and when you step in it, there you are!

I can hope my above comments here give some perspective on the "I hope Tressel doesn't fire me" statement made by Gee. Failure to monitor was not found by the NCAA investigators. However, this latter quote tells the exact opposite story. There was a dangerous conspiracy now exposed to those who wish to be something other than willfully blind. "There are none so blind as those who will not see."

Indiana Blue

August 9th, 2011 at 9:17 AM ^

news2me  -  don't you realize that isio is, in fact, "too big to fail".   They are the perfect example of NCAA brilliance ... money for nothin & chicks, cars and tats for free.  

How dare you opine on tsio in that manner.  This case does not involve someone outside of the NCAA setting, such as an immoral booster (eg - USC) ... no, no  everything that occurred at tsio was properly handled by NCAA verified 100% "good guys", so c'mon you need to put that keyboard down and take your Valium.  There, there ... everything is just fine now ... Uncle NCAA will take care of everything.

Go Blue!


August 9th, 2011 at 12:16 PM ^

To quote Yoda, "Very generous with your Valium you are!"

Your generosity together with my newly discovered calm inner nature makes everything appear in the true THE OSU light.

For, if it happened, THE Administration already admitted it before the punishment. So, the fact it happened doesn't matter, seeing as how this is the same as it never happened. Therefore in days to come, THE OSU admits the admission is not an admission at the end of the day.

BUT; it matters if in the final analysis recruiting becomes adversely affected; meaning the admission is meaningless because it happened, and although it can all happen at THE OSU again and nobody can be made to pay for it against their will, then someone must pay for it when it matters for at least as long as it matters, unless it matters.

All I had to do was breathe into a brown paper bag, and put my head between my legs. Thank-You kind sir! I feel completely well, now.


August 9th, 2011 at 10:07 AM ^

This smug, bowtied bastard gets to stand up there and make a complete fool of himself with the entire country watching, and comes out the other end without LOIC or FTM.  If it's so obvious to the world what went down at tsio, can someone explain to me how Big Brother seems unable/unwilling to do what's necessary?  It can't ALL be about money and tv ratings, can it?

On a sidenote, Bri'onte would look great in blue.  Just stating the obvious.


August 9th, 2011 at 12:24 PM ^

Last night on a NCAA rules round table on espn Robert Smith went as far as saying they should change the rules so what TP and TSIO did is ok.  He said that players have value and if a quarterback has more value than a kicker so be it.  He believes, after his school got caught, that what they did is OK and should be certified by the NCAA.  Something tells me that the running theme is that TSIO honestly believe what they are accused of is a morally breakable crime.  The whole bunch of them would be out of there minds if another school did these things.  It is fitting that the guy in charge sounds like he planned the Watergate break in.