Now, Gee is retiring after he came under fire for jokingly saying that you couldn't trust “those damn Catholics” at Notre Dame, which is why the school was never invited to the Big 10. In the same speech, he poked fun at the academic legacies of Kentucky and Louisville.
Ohio State initially called the remarks unacceptable and placed Gee on a “remediation plan” to change his behavior.
Gee, 69, said in a statement that he decided during a vacation last week to step down on July 1.
“During my days away, I also spent some time in self-reflection,” Gee said. “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 re-energize and refocus myself.”
According to a recording of a Dec. 5 meeting obtained by The Associated Press under a public records request, Gee said Notre Dame was never invited to join the Big Ten conference because “you just can't trust those damn Catholics.”
Gee also took shots at schools in the Southeastern Conference and the University of Louisville, according to the recording of the meeting of the school's Athletic Council.
His bowtie collection will stay on as provost.