The president of Ohio State University has apologized to Notre Dame for remarks he made about the Indiana university and Catholics at a meeting he attended last year.
Ohio State’s Gordon Gee said at an Athletics Council meeting last Dec. 5 that Notre Dame had never been invited to become a member of the Big Ten conference because “those damn Catholics” cannot be trusted, according to recordings obtained by the Associated Press.
“The fathers are holy on Sunday and they’re holy hell on the rest of the week,” Gee, a Mormon, said at the meeting. “You know, you just can’t trust those damn Catholics on a Thursday or a Friday and so, literally, I can say that.”
Notre Dame spokesman Dennis Brown said in a statement provided to ABC News today that the school found Gee’s remarks “most regrettable” and that Gee has since apologized to Notre Dame President Rev. John Jenkins, who accepted the apology.
Notre Dame was not the only school targeted by Gee at the meeting. For Big Ten presidents, Gee said, the “number one criteria is to make certain that we have institutions of like-minded academic integrity so you won’t see us adding Louisville… or the University of Kentucky.”
In addition, Gee said, “You tell the SEC when they can learn to read and write then they can figure out what we’re doing.”
In a statement released to the AP Gee said his comments were “just plain wrong and in no way do they reflect what the university stands for.”
Notre Dame decided last fall to join the Atlantic Coast Conference in all sports except football, following years of back and forth between the university and the Big Ten.