FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long didn't mince words in his response to what he called "unfounded and slanderous remarks" by Ohio State president Gordon Gee about new Razorbacks football coach Bret Bielema.
Long issued a statement Saturday in which he recognized Gee's apology to Bielema, the former Wisconsin coach who Gee called a "thug" in a December meeting of OSU's Athletic Council.
Gee came under fire after a report revealed he mocked Notre Dame, Roman Catholics, the SEC and Louisville during the meeting.
"As a member of the higher education community, a director of athletics and a native of Ohio, I am deeply troubled by the unfounded and slanderous remarks the president of the state's flagship institution, Dr. E. Gordon Gee, made about coach Bret Bielema," Long said. "While I recognize Dr. Gee has issued an apology … it does not erase the unwarranted attack on Bret's character."
Ohio State's board of trustees wrote Gee a letter in March, saying any more verbal insults or slips would lead to him being fired.
Meanwhile, Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino criticized Gee earlier in the week after the inflammatory comments were revealed. Gee had mocked Louisville's academic credentials in his December remarks, saying the Big Ten wanted "institutions of like-minded academic integrity," then added, "So you won't see us adding Louisville."
Pitino told WHAS-AM in Louisville that he won't accept Gee's apology unless Gee calls Louisville president Dr. James R. Ramsey personally.
"Ignorance is not curtailed to bad fans, it's not limited to those who have no knowledge, it's not limited to certain presidents, and he's one of those," Pitino said. "When people try to get laughter by denigrating others, that's not funny. … It's a pompous attitude … and he's a pompous (expletive) for making those statements. … I'll tell you what really gets me boiling is the fact that he knocked the Catholics at Notre Dame … you know, trying to get jokes out of that."
Rutgers AD: The incoming athletic director at Rutgers, Julie Hermann, whose appointment has been a point of controversy, had a series of meetings postponed in recent days, the Newark Star-Ledger reported. She had hoped to have the meetings next week so she could start her new post earlier than the June 17 target date. The school offered no explanation for the delay, the Star-Ledger reported. Hermann was hired May 15 but weeks later the paper reported that members of the 1996 Tennessee volleyball team, which she coached, said she ruled through humiliation, fear and emotional abuse.
Men's golf: Thomas Pieters of Illinois beat individual champion Max Homa with par on the 20th hole to give Illinois a 3-2 victory over top seed Cal in the NCAA semifinals in Milton, Ga. The 15th-seeded Illini face No. 2 Alabama in today's final, with both seeking their first title. The Crimson Tide beat host Georgia Tech 3-0-2.