Urban Meyer and the rest of THE Ohio State University released their public statements early this morning on THE retirement of THE Ohio State University President: THE Gordon Gee. What makes THE (ok, I’ll stop now with the all caps on “the”) statements so unintentionally hilarious isn’t what’s being said; it’s the timing.
All of these public statements are prepared and crafted by PR reps; they’re not actual off-the-cuff quotes from interviews of the individuals. That’s true at every University athletic department or professional sports team Media Relations.
And as you expect, they’re all over-the-top glowingly positive.
Given the way Gordon Gee went out: having to apologize and then step down due to offensive remarks about the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Wisconsin Badgers and other college football programs, to hear people lionizing him this morning is pretty funny.
Urban Meyer, Ohio State Head Football Coach
“It is hard to put into words the respect and love I have for President Gee. His leadership brought me to this university, and I will always be thankful and grateful to him for that. He has been a wonderful advocate for collegiate athletics and for The Ohio State University. It has been an honor to work for him. I wish him the best as he moves into retirement.”
Leadership? Respect? Yeah, how many scandals and probationary periods occurred under his watch again? Remind me the number, please. Urban Meyer has always been pretty good at lying; so this statement is pretty much what I anticipated. Urban Meyer perfected the art of lying during his days running the Florida Gators program. Now Urban Meyer has brought the art of lying to the Big Ten.
Thad Matta, Ohio State Head Men’s Basketball Coach
“Dr. Gee has done so much for me personally and as a coach,” Thad Matta, Ohio State head men’s basketball coach, said. “He has always gone above and beyond the call of duty to help build our program. I have never met a person who loves this university more than Dr. Gee.”
That Matta is a little more down-to-Earth and less fawning than Urban Meyer. In the later years of his regime, Gordon Gee probably hurt the program more than he “built” it. However, I don’t disagree with Matta at all that Gordon Gee loves Ohio State. You have to love your job and your University to appear in public dressed like this:
Gene Smith, Ohio State Associate Vice President and Director of Athletics
“I want to thank Gordon for what he has done for me as a person and for his contributions to higher education and in particular to The Ohio State University. I am appreciative for all his contributions as a president to intercollegiate athletics on a national level. I wish he and his family all the best.”
Smith said it right. He’s saying all the right things about Gordon Gee. Because he’s pretty much saying “hey, he’s gone, not my problem anymore.” I’m sure Smith got very sick of Gee shooting his mouth off all the time, and having to clean up those messes. If you read between the lines, Smith is saying: “I wish him all the best in life, just have that life away from me and my job.”
So his statement is much more appropriate than Urban Meyer.
Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports Bank.net. (“Quasi-endorsed” by Philadelphia Eagles Coach Chip Kelly) He’s also an author who also contributes regularly to MSN, Fox Sports , Chicago Now, Walter Football.com and Yardbarker