Gordon Gee to retire as Ohio State president

Photo: Ohio State University

E. Gordon Gee, the embattled president of Ohio State University, will retire July 1 in the wake of the latest comments he has had to apologize for.

The Columbus Dispatch reports that Gee, 69, will step down after leading the school between 1990 and 1997, then from 2007 through the present.

The Dispatch says that Gee sent an email to students and staff making the announcement.

"Ohio State is well-positioned for the future," Gee's email said. "I love this university, and my relationship with it will continue."

Gee's retirement comes in the wake of offensive comments directed toward the University of Notre Dame, the Southeastern Conference and Catholics in general.

In a statement Sunday, Gee says he apologized for his "misguided attempt at humor" before the university's Athletic Council in December. He says the Big Ten universities are "some of this country's most highly accomplished research institutions" and he's honored to lead a Big Ten school.

An Associated Press report last week revealed Gee said Notre Dame wasn't allowed to join the Big Ten because its leaders weren't good partners. He said its Roman Catholic priests were "holy hell" on days other than Sunday and joked "those damn Catholics" can't be trusted.

He also questioned the academic integrity of schools in the Southeastern Conference.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.