Gordon Gee gets $5.8 million retirement package from Ohio State

By Chip Patterson | College Football/Basketball Writer

Ohio State announced a $5.8 million retirement package for former president Gordon Gee. (USATSI)
Ohio State announced a $5.8 million retirement package for former president Gordon Gee. (USATSI)

Gordon Gee's second term as Ohio State's president came to an end with his retirement; officially on July 1. A month earlier, Gee announced his decision to retire after some "self-reflection" during vacation.

The move also came in the midst of controversy from Gee's jabs at Notre Dame, Catholics and the SEC.

On Monday, the university announced a $5.8 million retirement package for Gee. The five-year contract includes a one-time payment of $1.5 million and an annual salary of $410,000.

The deal also gives Gee a $300,000 annual grant for research on 21st-century education policy.

When Gee announced his retirement in June, Ohio State board chairman Robert Schottenstein suggested that Gee, who holds a law degree from Columbia, might teach at the law school. He is now a full professor in the university's College of Law -- another aspect of his retirement package.

Gee served as Ohio State's president for two terms, 1990-97 and since 2007. Though he was praised for strengthening the school's "long-term financial condition," Gee was criticized for comments regarding the SEC and Arkansas coach Bret Bielema, as well as Notre Dame's Catholic leadership. The comments, intended as jokes, were made during a meeting of the Ohio State Athletics Council on Dec. 5.

In the meeting, Gee talked about the Big Ten courting Notre Dame for membership, saying, "You just can't trust those damn Catholics." Gee also made jokes about schools in the SEC, saying, "You tell the SEC when they can learn to read and write, then they can figure out what we're doing." He even made comments about Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany, saying, "We need to make certain he keeps his hands out of our pockets while we support him."

Gee has since apologized for the comments, and at his retirement announcement asked that they be put in the past.

"This isn't about those statements," he said. "I have apologized for those remarks and feel incredibly sorry, but I have moved on."

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