Columbus, OH (Sports Network) - Ohio State University president E. Gordon Gee announced his retirement Tuesday, less than a week after disparaging remarks he made towards a number of fellow BCS schools as well as the Big Ten Conference became public.
Gee, who had served as Ohio State' president from 1990-97 and again from 2007 to the present, will officially leave his post on July 1.
The 69-year-old came under fire for his comments during a meeting with the OSU Athletics Council back in December, in which he took jabs at Notre Dame, the Southeastern Conference, former Wisconsin football coach Bret Bielema and Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany, among others.
"I recently returned from a vacation with my family, during which time I had a chance to consider the university's phenomenal achievements and the road that lies ahead for it," said Gee in a statement. "During my days away, I also spent some time in self-reflection. And after much deliberation, I have decided it is now time for me to turn over the reins of leadership to allow the seeds that we have planted to grow. It is also time for me to reenergize and refocus myself."
When asked at the meeting about Notre Dame's exclusion during the Big Ten's recent wave of expansion, Gee referred to the school's Catholic leadership as "not very good partners" and untrustworthy.
"The fathers are holy on Sunday and they're holy hell on the rest of the week," said Gee, a Mormon, in an audio recording provided by Ohio State. "You just can't trust those damn Catholics on a Thursday or Friday so literally, I can say that very truthfully."
Likely due to a possible backlash for those comments, Gee announced Monday he would forego an opportunity to give the commencement speech at St. Francis DeSales, a Catholic high school in Columbus.
Gee also joked of the SEC's perceived academic weakness among its member schools, stating "Well, you tell the SEC when they can learn to read and write, then they can figure out what we're doing [with expansion]."
He also took shots at Bielema, now the head coach at SEC member Arkansas, claiming that Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez had called his former employee "a thug" in a conversation with Gee. In regards to Delany, Gee said "Jim is very aggressive, and we need to make certain he keeps his hands out of our pockets while we support him."
Gee also insulted both the University of Louisville and Kentucky while referencing the Big Ten's criteria for recruiting new members, saying the conference's No. 1 priority was to "make certain that we have institutions of like-minded academic integrity -- so you won't see us adding Louisville" before mentioning Kentucky as well.
Gee had spent the majority of the last week issuing apologies to those offended by what he had termed a "poor attempt at humor."