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Gee compares work to Polish Army

Cody Cousino / Photo editor

While giving a speech at the Columbus Metropolitan Club Wednesday, Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee had yet another slip of the tongue.

During a question-and-answer portion of the event, Gee compared the task of coordinating 18 OSU divisions to that of coordinating the Polish Army, OSU spokeswoman Shelly Hoffman confirmed.

Gee immediately realized his slip, saying he had done it again and would be raising money for the Polish Army, according to the Associated Press.

Gee was at the Columbus Metropolitan Club as the featured speaker for an event called “The Innovative University: Resources and Aspirations.” He spoke about OSU’s ability to maintain a secure financial foundation and to further the university’s mission as a research institution.

The comment was not the president’s first slip-up.

At a March 8 press conference in which former OSU football coach Jim Tressel apologized for failing to report NCAA violations of which he was aware, a reporter asked Gee if any thought had been given to firing Tressel. Gee jokingly replied, “I’m just hopeful the coach doesn’t dismiss me.”

At an April editorial board meeting with The Lantern, Gee said that he regretted making the sarcastic comment.

“I sometimes need to extricate my foot from my mouth,” he said. “I admit that. But I have been that way for 30 years.”

At the same meeting, Gee said planning OSU’s quarter-to-semester switch was “like planning the Normandy invasion … It’s a big damn deal.”

In 2010, Gee received national criticism for likening some football programs’ competition to playing the Little Sisters of the Poor.

“Well, I don’t know enough about the X’s and O’s of college football,” Gee said in an interview with the AP. “I do know, having been both a Southeastern Conference president and a Big Ten president, that it’s like murderer’s row every week for these schools. We do not play the Little Sisters of the Poor. We play very fine schools on any given day.”

Gee did not immediately respond to The Lantern’s request for comment Wednesday.

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