During a Dec. 5 meeting of Big Ten leaders, Ohio State president Gordon Gee made enough offensive remarks to last a lifetime. The initial report of some of his insulting remarks regarding Notre Dame, Catholics, the state of Kentucky and the SEC was released on Thursday.
[Twitter Takes: Fans react to Gordon Gee’s inflammatory speech]
On Friday, Sports Illustrated released the full audio of Gee’s speech. We already know about what he said regarding the aforementioned topics, but what intrigued us was his answer to a question regarding Bret Bielema. At the 14:30 mark, Gee announces that athletic director Barry Alvarez saw Bielema as nothing more than a “thug”:
“Someone was saying to me, well, you know, Bret Bielema leaving … that was a blessing for Wisconsin and they knew it. Because he was under tremendous pressure. They didn’t like him. Barry Alvarez thought he was a thug. And he left just ahead of the sheriff.”
Obviously, until Wisconsin or Alvarez can confirm such a notion, this comment from Gee is just hearsay.
Here are a few more high (or low) lights from Gee’s speech:
3:07: “And I want to make it very clear, we have never invited Notre Dame to join the Big Ten. And the reason is the fact that they — first of all they’re not very good partners. I’ll just say that. 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. Literally, I can say that.”
19:52: “I think the presidents of the institutions are very clear that their number one criteria is that we have institutions of like-minded academic integrity. So you won’t see us adding Louisville … or the University of Kentucky.”
24:54: “Well you tell the SEC when they can learn to read and write then they can figure out what we’re doing. I’ve been down there. I was the chairman of the Southeastern Conference for two years. I’ll tell you something. It’s shameful. It really is.”
Listen to Gee’s speech in its entirety here: