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OSU president needs to button his lips

June 2, 2013
By BUBBA KAPRAL - Times Leader Managing Editor , Times Leader

HOW CAN a man so intelligent be so stupid?

Just ask E. Gordon Gee.

After his most recently released verbal ramblings, E. Gordon Goon may be a more appropriate name.

The Ohio State University president obviously has a massive mouth. How else can he continually stick his feet into it? His saving grace with his university trustees is that he can raise money like few other college presidents.

As well chronicled now, Gee put himself back in hot, if not boiling, water from a December OSU Athletic Council meeting.

He verbally fired salvos at Catholics, the University of Louisville as well as the Southeastern Conference. Could he pick any bigger targets to blast?

In referencing Notre Dame's possibility of joining the Big Ten, Gee said, "You just can't trust those damn Catholics on a Thursday or a Friday and so, literally, I can say that."

Ouch.

If I am OSU football coach Urban Meyer, I wouldn't be happy with my boss saying that. Meyer is a devout Catholic. He also has the name of a pope.

Gee's comments undoubtedly will alienate some heavy-hitting donors. How could they not?

A man of Gee's stature had to realize that such statements would trigger a negative public relations tsunami, even if said in jest.

The Buckeyes' boss blasted the SEC for its athletic integrity. While not as stinging as his rants against Catholics, such verbiage is senseless.

Gee has issued an apology, as is standard procedure. A well-timed vacation has Gee unavailable for additional comment. He must also undergo a re-mediation plan that, according to OSU board chairman Robert Schottenstein, "will address his behavior that reflects the Board's commitment to returning to the core messaging of the of the university and its leadership."

An apology is a must. But you don't need to apologize when you do things in correction fashion.

A remediation plan is a joke. Why pay someone big bucks to try and rehabilitate a multi-million dollar college president? A loose cannon is a loose cannon.

Gee's undisciplined mouth has been flapping down this road before.

During Tattoogate, he quipped that he hoped "Tressel didn't fire him."

That is a statement void of leadership.

Years prior, he termed a state governor, "a dummy." That is a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

The Ohio State University is an institution of high academic and athletic standing.

The Buckeye Nation deserves a president who enhances the storied tradition of the university, rather than a bow-tied, controversy-igniting quote machine.

BOB NEY

I JUST finished reading Bob Ney's book, "Sideswiped: Lessons Learned Courtesy of the Hit Men of Capitol Hill." It now rates the top spot on my best-read book list. It took on added significance for me, growing up two houses down from Bob in West Bellaire, knowing him basically all my life.

The book was captivating from start to finish. It left several lasting impressions on me.

First, Bob was and is a good guy. Secondly, he was a caring and effective lawmaker. Third, alcohol was a major part of his demise. Fourthly, I would vote for him again in a heart beat, if given the opportunity.

Lastly, politics is a slimy field. I knew it wasn't a rose garden, but the book opened my eyes to how cut throat, immoral and basically illegal the political forum is on the national level.

If John Boehner is the type of individual we want serving as speaker of the U.S. House, it is time to completely overhaul the two-party political system. Plus, lobbyists have too much power which only fuels more corruption.

Ney, by his own admission, was guilty of some misdeeds, many alcohol fueled. But he took a hard fall doing much less than what many other Washington heavyweights did with no legal ramification.

All-AMERICAN DAYS

ONE OF the summer highlights in the All-American Town unfolds this week. Bellaire is hosting its annual All-American Days Festival.

This year's festival unveils one gorgeous new feature: A $20,000 gazebo at the south end of the park. It is a tremendous facelift to the downtown area.

A slew of rides, games and entertainment are on tap. Opening ceremonies are set for Thursday at 5 p.m. The three-day extravaganza closes with a fireworks show by the chamber of commerce Saturday night at 10:30.

Sidewalk sales and train rides are also offered as well as a car and motorcycle cruise-in.

MACRI HONORED

FORMER ST. John Central track star Alexa Macri has been named an academic All-Mid-American Conference honorable mention selection. She is a junior track standout for Ohio University. Macri has compiled a 3.317 GPA in physical education.

She had a stellar performance at the 2013 MAC Outdoor Championships with a pair of top-15 finishes. The junior finished 13th in the javelin with a throw of 34.25m and matched that finish with a 13th place performance in the discus (42.66m). She tallied her personal best in the javelin this season with a throw of 35.00m at the Miami RedHawk Invitational, and set a also set a PR in the discus at the event (43.38m) in Oxford.

In high school, Macri was the state Division III discus runnerup. She tossed the platter better than 139 feet, the second best mark in Ohio Valley history. She was also first runnerup in the OVAC Queen of Queens pageant.

MEMORIAL DAY

KUDOS to American Legion Post 52, DAV Chapter 117 and VFW Post 626 on presenting another splendid Memorial Day program Monday. Guest speaker was veteran Bill Seagraves, director of the Ohio VFW Charities.

Master of ceremonies Dixie Purtiman and Marion Stolz, who provided the musical offerings, both did masterful jobs. Greg Mehlman was riveting with his bugle rendition of "Taps."

Despite the rain, a nice-sized crowd was in attendance. As has become a tradition, the Grim Reapers Motorcycle Club closed the solemn event by taking a lap around the park.

BUBBA'S BITS

ANTHONY PAREE must be a special young man. The Bridgeport High student has launched his own relief effort for the Oklahoma tornado victims. The 16-year-old is collecting all types of cleanup items at St. Joseph's School in Wolfhurst. He will be doing so through June 4. Paree will be there daily from 2-7 p.m. We hope local residents aid his heartwarming efforts

FORMER MARTINS Ferry football coach Larry Coyer is on the move again. Coyer has scripted a resume that is impressive and voluminous. He has been named an advance scout for the Washington Redskins. Coyer was most recently the defensive coordinator for the Indianapolis Colts. Among his other numerous stops during his 42 years of coaching included: assistant head coach of the Tampa Bay Bucs, defensive coordinator with the Denver Broncos, Ohio State, Pitt, UCLA and Iowa to name just a few. He is a Marshall graduate.

BETHANY COLLEGE product Bob Goin is going into another hall of fame. The former Bison head football coach and athletic director is a member of the 2013 class heading into the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics Hall of Fame, based in Cleveland. After his 16-year tenure at Bethany, Goin served as athletic director at California (Pa.), Florida State and the University of Cincinnati. He led the Bearcats entry into the Big East Conference. He is already a member of the Penn Hills High, Bethany College and University of Cincinnati halls of fame.

"A NO Compressor Station" Town Hall meeting is set for Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the Mount Pleasant Fire House. The Jefferson County Citizens for Environmental Truth will be presenting information on the potential environmental and safety hazards of the natural gas pipeline and compressor station earmarked for the town.

Kapral may be reached at bkapral@timesleaderonline.com

 
 

 

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