Skip to main content

Former Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee On "Tattoo-Gate": "I Think Everyone Won"

The Ohio State football program is roughly three years removed from "Tattoo-Gate," the NCAA scandal that rocked the college sports world in 2011, eventually leading to Jim Tressell and E. Gordon Gee's resignation and the departure of star quarterback Terrelle Pryor.'s Doug Lesmerises is doing a series of stories on the subject, "giving voice to those involved with the Ohio State tattoo scandal." One of his most recent stories in the series features an interview with Gee, the former Ohio State University president, now in the same position at West Virginia University. 

">June 3, 2014

Gee, to Lesmerises:

"I think everyone won," Gee told "The university is doing very well. I believe we have the best football coach in the country in Urban Meyer. I had the privilege of hiring him, as you know, and I think he is doing fabulous work.

"I think Jim went through the refiner's fire and came out the other end not only intact but I think gracefully and he managed a very difficult situation. And I think he is going to be doing what he really wants to do, which is to lead and lead in a different way from leading a football team.

"As for me, I obviously had 14 great years at Ohio State. I left, as you well know, right ahead of the sheriff as I always say, because I'm the well-known one-liner, and for that I have always been known and often apologetic. But I had a great time here, and now I am doing something that I genuinely appreciate, which is an opportunity to pay back the people who gave me a great chance at an early age.

"So this particular story is a much different one from many that could have been written. I think The Ohio State is a winner, I think Jim Tressel is a winner, I think I feel very confident in what I'm doing, so from every perspective it's one of those unusual stories."

Gee's statement seems to have some truth. He appears to be happy at West Virginia, the Ohio State football program is better off with Urban Meyer, but not everyone "won." 

Pryor had to forego his senior season, Tressell had to leave the program he loved, and Buckeye students lost, in Gee, the most beloved university president in Ohio State history.