Dick Harmon: Ohio State's Gordon Gee's humor wasn't funny

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  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    June 3, 2013 10:31 a.m.

    I know a lot of people who are brilliant at their jobs, but have a tin ear when it comes to other people's feelings. I suspect he's smart enough to take the criticism to heart and knock off the ill-advised humor.

  • coleman51 Orem, UT
    June 2, 2013 11:17 p.m.

    We really need to step back and take a deep breath on this story. I cannot see this issue worthwhile to even write about. Gordon Gee is an intelligent college administrator and his comments about Catholics probably did not offend even one Catholic. We really need to stop living in a bubble which no one else lives in.

  • I-am-I South Jordan, UT
    June 2, 2013 10:19 a.m.

    Gee should have known better. I still think we should lighten up a little as a society. I thought the remarks as published in two articles in the d news were funny.The truth is friends poke fun at each other. They also apologize n they mess up and go to far.

    June 1, 2013 7:08 p.m.

    David Letterman was ten times worse during the elections. His attacks on Mormons were over the fence nightly, and nothing was said.

    It's interesting who we choose to condem, and who we let get by.

  • Vegas POV Las Vegas, NV
    June 1, 2013 4:03 p.m.

    Gordon Gee is just like Harry Reid. When Harry made an insensitive remark about Barack Obama's linguistics, people in his party talked of him like a crazy uncle. "Oh Harry just says stuff like that." As long as Gordon stays liberal, he'll be OK.

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    June 1, 2013 3:12 p.m.

    @Dick Harmon

    Maybe he’s just joined the rest of the crowd in this country who believe Christian, Mormon and Catholic bashing is fair game, but Muslims are off-limits. It’s kind of nuts.


    Muslims are off-limits? How so? I guess Dick Harmon doesn't watch Fox News or research.

    Mr. Harmon fails to see that religious bigotry has no limits:

    "The controversy over the planned Park 51 community center in New York City is only one example of opposition to mosques and Islamic centers in the United States. Existing and proposed mosque sites across the country have been targeted for vandalism and other criminal acts, and there have been efforts to block or deny necessary zoning permits for the construction and expansion of other facilities." -- ACLU

  • Rational Salt Lake City, UT
    June 1, 2013 2:53 p.m.

    The oil rig folks comment invalidated everything after it. Seriously, Dick, apologize like a man.

  • RR_Xing San Diego, CA
    June 1, 2013 11:53 a.m.

    What gets me is that the comments were made in December, and it's not a big deal until late May. I expect some of the folks in the room laughing in December are the same that are now sending Gee to "remediation", whatever that is.

    I get the impression the community could care less about the comments; it's the fact that they made the news and made Ohio State look bad that is the problem. I guess that's modern ethics; anything goes unless it gets negative press.

  • metamoracoug metamora, IL
    June 1, 2013 11:33 a.m.

    We all say stuff we regret later. Some of us are just on bigger stages. I agree with DonO that one would simply expect better decision-making and judgement from someone of this man's age, academic achievement, religion, and position.

  • Oatmeal Woods Cross, UT
    June 1, 2013 10:29 a.m.

    Place his comments into context. ND is a powerhouse that can take some jabs. They just snubbed the Big Ten Conference. Catholics have been around for 2,000 years and I doubt that his remarks made them lose sleep.

    Was his humor out of place or awkward? Yep. But who out there has never said anything out of place or awkward? The old guy got clowning around and should have shut up. He regrets that he crossed a line. No real damage was done. Let's move on...

  • SLC BYU Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    June 1, 2013 10:24 a.m.

    I just think good-ole' "Elwood" (Gee's given first name, although he prefers Gordon) I think was merely in a toungue and cheek way pointing out why his alma-matter (Utah '68) is in the Pac-12 and his first employer out of Columbia grad' school isn't. Gee was an Associate Dean of the BYU Law School from 1973-1979 to start his long resume in acadamia. Oh well, Boise State fans can feel better now that they aren't the only "Lil' Sistes of the Poor." Time to lighten up a little Dick!

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    June 1, 2013 9:57 a.m.

    I read a big article in the International Herald Tribune about Gee's comments yesterday coming back from overseas. The comments went into a more personal nature when he talked about Father Joyce who runs ND athletics. Read the article, people. I was embarrassed that Gee made the comments and was mentioned as being Mormon. Not cool.

    If we want respect, we need to show respect.

    Gee apologized but what I have a problem with is some of the posters here who think his behavior is OK. As a University president, his "humor" was out of place. Don Rickles can say this stuff as a comedian but Dr. Gee is no comedian.

  • DonO Draper, UT
    June 1, 2013 9:36 a.m.

    I guess I'm naive but I expect more common sense and common courtesy from "educated" people in positions of responsibility like Gordon Gee. There is no such thing as a "closed" meeting, no such thing as "off the record." A person such as Gee who makes bone-headed, arrogant comments should expect them to surface to the embarrassment of the person and the institution(s) he/she represents. Gee should know better. But perhaps Lord Acton's comments have come into play: Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

  • JBQ Saint Louis, MO
    June 1, 2013 8:24 a.m.

    Gee whiz! You have to presume that ND is still Catholic to take this as a slight to Catholics. As a Catholic Navy vet, I point out that conservative Catholics have grave doubts about what has happened at Notre Dame (du Lac). In fact, ND (12-0)is no longer the Irish D-1 football school. That would be Boston College (2-10) who still have leprechauns and all the magic. BC proved that in '95 when David Gordon, the left footed Jewish kid, knocked ND from a national championship with a FG as time expired right into the breadbasket of Touchdown Jesus. Again, not everyone disagreed with E. Gordon Gee's humor. No one can laugh anymore and everyone has a cell phone.

  • ute alumni paradise, UT
    June 1, 2013 7:48 a.m.

    Everyone is offended about something. Big deal

  • Itsjstmeagain Merritt Island, Fl
    June 1, 2013 7:30 a.m.

    I did not find the comments witty or humorous. Any attack on any religion is tasteless. I think it is time for the senior man to retire before he embarrasses himself and his University again.

  • mohokat Ogden, UT
    June 1, 2013 7:08 a.m.

    Dick I thought what he said was funny. We are wrapped to tight in political correctness. It is time to lighten up. Id bet what other presiedents say about Mormons would make this sound liked a sneeze.

  • Raymond Rehoboth, ME
    June 1, 2013 6:58 a.m.

    Gee's comments were funny - but they also were religiously insulting and very much beneath the behavior expected of a college president. Remember that racist jokes can seem pretty funny too - until you start to think about what they imply, and especially about what they say about the person telling the "joke." Saying that you were sorry "if" someone was offended implies that the problem was over-sensitivity on the part of the person reacting to the joke. That misses the point. The reality in this case is that Gee, president of a university in which a third of Ohio State football players never earn a degree was dissing other schools for their lack of academic gravitas. And that he decided to insult a faith that sponsors more institutions of higher education than any other, not to mention a school (Notre Dame) whose graduation rate shames Ohio State. Gee shouldn't use the "if" word when he apologizes or resigns. He should recognize that his attempt at humor was juvenile, insulting, and unworthy of his academic trust.

  • DC Alexandria, VA
    June 1, 2013 6:50 a.m.

    Dick, why go after the oil rig folks? My dad was one of those people and he was a great man. Pretty careless if you ask me and a poor attempt at humor.

  • Silent Lurker Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 1, 2013 6:50 a.m.

    It's a rare day when I agree with Dick, but this is one of them. Right on Dick.

  • rfrmac Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 1, 2013 6:37 a.m.

    In these days of political correctness, Gee's comments where a little out of place. Ohio State, or should I say "Thee Ohio State" is arrogant to begin with. This continues the tradition. There was no mention of offense about what he said about the other schools mentioned, that's interesting isn't it. No one seemed to care about what was said about them. He should have known better, but it does tell you that there is a real high order in College Sports. No surprise. I think it also tells me that just maybe the teams in the Big Ten did not want to take a chance on Notre Dame for whatever reason.

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    June 1, 2013 12:17 a.m.


    You wrote...

    "...Maybe he’s just joined the rest of the crowd in this country who believe Christian, Mormon and Catholic bashing is fair game...".

    So it's ok to bash Christian liberals?

    You excoriate Gee for doing the same thing you do in your piece.


    Mormons and Catholics are Christians...

    You're welcome.

  • estreetshuffle Window Rock, AZ
    June 1, 2013 12:00 a.m.

    Take a couple doses each of Don Rickles and George Patton comments and call the doctor in the morning.

  • byu athlete Orem, UT
    May 31, 2013 11:20 p.m.

    I thought the comments were funny as well....looks like good ol' Dick has fallen in with the rest of the world into the deep dark realms of tolerance and political correctness. I also find this funny coming from the man who a few years back did an article on the throwers on the BYU track team and rather than come down and shake a few hands, sat up in the bleachers like a God and had a messenger come down and get a few of our group for interviews. As a BYU sportswriter, most of us just would have liked to have met the guy and shook his hand. At least the photographer was cool. 5 of the 6 throwers went to nationals that year. I guess that has always left a bad taste in my mouth.

  • dave31 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 31, 2013 8:06 p.m.

    I'm sorry, but I thought his remarks were witty as well as funny. I'm sorry someone took offense.