June 4, 2013

Elderly Tourette's Syndrome claims another old white guy's job

From the Washington Post:
Ohio State president to retire after disclosure of remarks offensive to Roman Catholics 
Ohio State University President E. Gordon Gee, one of the nation’s highest-paid university leaders, announced his retirement Tuesday after the disclosure of disparaging comments he made in December about Roman Catholics, the University of Notre Dame and other institutions. 
Caption: E. Gordon Gee will step down after being quoted as saying, “You just can’t trust those damn Catholics.”

That's taken out of context and is highly misleading: Gee was explicitly referring to administrators of the U. of Notre Dame, such as late ND executive vice president Father Ned Joyce, and their actions regarding big money sports contracts.
Gee came under fire recently after the Associated Press published remarks he made in a Dec. 5 meeting of the Ohio State athletic council. The AP had obtained a recording of the meeting through a public records request. 
In the meeting, Gee said Notre Dame was not invited to join the Big Ten athletic conference because of difficulties he encountered in dealing with Catholic priests who led the university. 
“The fathers are holy on Sunday, and they’re holy hell the rest of the week,” the AP quoted Gee as saying at the meeting. He continued: “You just can’t trust those damn Catholics on a Thursday or a Friday, and so, literally, I can say that.” 
Gee later apologized, calling the remarks inappropriate and “a poor attempt at humor.” 
Gee’s remarks to the athletic council also were viewed as dismissive of the academic record of schools in the Southeastern Conference. According to the AP, when asked about SEC fans who say the Big Ten can’t count because it is expanding to 14 members, Gee replied: “You tell the SEC when they can learn to read and write, then they can figure out what we’re doing.” 
In addition, Gee said that the Big Ten would accept only “institutions of like-minded academic integrity.” He added: “So you won’t see us adding Louisville,” a reference to the University of Louisville.

Personally, my reaction to Gee's comments is: "Fascinating, tell me more." Big time college "amateur" sports is a remarkable subject that I've studied for most of my life but still want to know more about how it really works. But appreciation for insiders who open up a little seems to be a dwindling minority opinion. In contemporary America, the media and much of the public have an aversion to people speaking their minds about what they are well-informed upon.

I've mentioned before about how in the 1970s, two dominant baseball teams, the New York Yankees under George Steinbrenner and the Los Angeles Dodgers under the O'Malley family, had opposite media strategies. The Dodgers stuck to the old-fashioned method of not airing dirty laundry. Occasionally, a bit of gossip was so awesome that it leaked out of the Dodgers' buttoned down organization -- such as handsome Steve Garvey and Hall of Famer Don Sutton having a locker room fistfight over Sutton wisecracking about Mrs. Garvey sleeping with Oscar-winning composer Marvin Hamlisch. But mostly, you just heard the usual bromides from the Dodgers (the ones Kevin Costner enumerates for Tim Robbins in Bull Durham). The Dodgers were much derided by the press for this.

In contrast, the 1970s media loved the New York Yankees because owner George Steinbrenner, intermittent manager Billy Martin, superduperstar Reggie Jackson, and various spear-carriers waged their feuds in the newspapers, calling reporters in to denounce each other in detail. At the time, this was widely praised as The Wave of the Future.

But now, the press and public mostly seems to admire smooth marketing efforts and are annoyed by unspun statements.

58 comments:

Anonymous said...

i think when you cross a certain age threshold you're like..ah f*ck it i'll say whats on my mind- the complete opposite of young calculating, equivocating pols like Rubio

Dutch Boy said...

Any relation between Notre Dame and Catholicism is purely imaginary - Father Hesburgh sold the place out to the Rockefellers back in the 60s. I thought Gee's comments were amusing (he had some fun with the Southeastern Conference rednecks also).

Son of Brock Landers said...

"Never let a bigoted remark stand" - Gordon Gee at the OSU graduation last month to thunderous applause. He repeated the line during the applause.

Bumby said...

Odd. I've heard worse at a Marching Owl Band halftime show.

Steve Sailer said...

In 1973 or 1974, a Rice U. band halftime show at Rice Stadium so insulted the visiting Texas Aggies that a mob of thousands of Aggie fans blocked the bands exit for two hours after the game. They had to be snuck out in food service bands.

Anonymous said...

Gee was completely in control of what he said so it had nothing to do with Tourette's.

Steve Sailer said...

It's a metaphor.

Matt said...

Influential Scots Billionaire Les Wexner (of Limited Brands fame and wealth) is rumored to hold sway over all of OSU's big personnel decisions. He was in the room when football coach Jim Tressel was fired, for example.

He's pledged $100 million to the University. Philanthropy usually comes with a hook of some sort, in my experience. He simply couldn't get bad press in this town, no matter what.

http://takimag.com/article/jeffrey_epstein_pervert/print#axzz2VIPPmUu0

Anonymous said...

"That's taken out of context and is highly misleading"

No, it's pretty straight forward. I don't think he should have to step down for something like this, but your obfuscation here is creepily Uncle Timmy-ish.

Anonymous said...

hope big 10 land unc and uva to round out to 16 over bringing in GA. Tech.

However, Tech opens up the Atlanta market so I'm guessing it'll be UVA/GA. Tech that end up in the big 10 before the decade is over.

Liz said...

I'm Roman Cstholic; It seems funny to me, like On the funny way i talk about those damned Baptists who go to church Sunday morning after raising hell Saturday night.

jody said...

hang on sloopy, at least notre dame boots players that can't read write and 'rithmetic. what's your excuse, gee?

who would do better on the SAT: the guy notre dame suspended? or the guy at ohio state who tweeted in effect, we ain't be here to go to no class, class be pointless yo, we here to play.

(everett golson and cardale jones for those who don't pay attention to NCAA football)

stop the charade, gee. these aren't "student" athletes. you made sure of that when you hired urban meyer, straight out of the SEC.

Unknown said...

As a Brown alum, I'll never forgive Gee for taking on the job of our university president, then abruptly decamping to Vanderbilt just two years later because it had offered him a higher salary.

But though he's clearly greedy and dishonorable, it's ridiculous to hammer him for this humorous remark, obviously delivered without rancor.

Maxwell Power said...

Don't be thrown off by the bow-tie--Gee was always like that, other saucy remarks amply documented over the decades if you truly have the zest for NCAA intrigue. Of course the non-sports educational crowd hated him too. After becoming the Mormon prez of Brown ("poor man of the Ivies" w/ mere $900 mil then) he suddenly made a break for Nashville before finishing his 2nd year; faculty/trustees/alums were so humiliated they rushed to replace him with a prominent black female academic, reaping big PR from that, after the pro forma search period when nobody else was seriously considered.

Gee's expensive perambulations and West-Virginian-Gordon-Gekko perspective on The Ohio State U (particularly the scholar-athlete thing) used to furnish good copy in the Chronicle of Higher Ed

Anonymous said...

My grandmother (RIP) had horrible Tourette's. And as her Jupiter, Fl. neighborhood became more and more full of Guatemalans and Haitians, it only got worse.

It was kind of funny, actually.

anony-mouse said...

Hamlisch over Garvey? Okay
Garvey was a horndog, but still.

Anonymous said...

Steve,

you will have to make a post regarding the move MLB will make to try to suspend 20 players in connection with biogensis.

Specifically how out of the 20, almost all are of latin/hispanic descent with one 'chosen one'.

there has to be basis of a good joke somewhere there.

TontoBubbaGoldstein said...

A veritable plethora of Bidenesque quotes......

http://thequad.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/13/e-gordon-gees-not-so-greatest-hits/

Cail Corishev said...

Any real Catholics remaining at Notre Dame left when the school bestowed an honorary degree on Obama.

But as a Catholic, I'd like to say this is stupid. We're the largest single religious denomination in the country; we don't need to be playing offended minority.

Anonymous said...

No one can take a joke anymore. The Catholic Church is huge with more than a billion Catholics worldwide. Only 14 million Mormons. This is like a gnat biting an elephant













Five Daarstens said...

College sports are out of control and this has distorted many things in our society, including High School. But, there is so much money in it, no one wants to change or even criticize it. There is no way a file like "One on One" from 1977 with Robbie Benson could be made these days.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_on_One_%28film%29

ben tillman said...

In 1973 or 1974, a Rice U. band halftime show at Rice Stadium so insulted the visiting Texas Aggies that a mob of thousands of Aggie fans blocked the bands exit for two hours after the game. They had to be snuck out in food service bands.

Wife has a cousin who was in the MOB. They still love to tell the story about that Reveille game in '73.

David Davenport said...

...then abruptly decamping to Vanderbilt just two years later because it had offered him a higher salary

He didn't stay long at Vandy, which by the way is an SEC school.

Why does or did any U. require the services of Gordon Gee? ... The phenom. of superfluous big shots who fail upward.

Chas Clifton said...

Gee, as he aged, slowly lost the ability to self-censor his knowledge that he was, in his own mind, smarter than the average bear.

Dave Pinsen said...

"After becoming the Mormon prez of Brown ("poor man of the Ivies" w/ mere $900 mil then) he suddenly made a break for Nashville before finishing his 2nd year; faculty/trustees/alums were so humiliated they rushed to replace him with a prominent black female academic, reaping big PR from that"

Former Brown president Ruth Simmons was at one point on the boards of directors of Goldman Sachs, Pfizer, and Texas Instruments. Probably collected ~$250k per year from each, for attending 4 meetings per year per company, plus an occasional conference call.

A real win-win for corporate execs too: they got PR points for nominating a minority woman for a board seat, and that woman, grateful for the lavishly paid part-time gig, voted to approve their orders-of-magnitude more lavish annual pay packages.

ben tillman said...

Why does or did any U. require the services of Gordon Gee? ... The phenom. of superfluous big shots who fail upward.

He's not failing upward.

A college president going from Brown to Vandy to Ohio State is like a football coach going from Ohio State to Vandy to Brown.

It's a downward spiral.

Dr Van Nostrand said...

I ask this sincerely since I dont know

In American,which is considered more PC to bash:
conservative Evangelical or conservative Catholic?

or they both equally dangerous theocrats in training as far as the Left is concerned?

Anonymous said...

The Stanford Band/University of South Bend/Potato Famine/leprechaun parody was pretty funny.

Orthodox said...

At least where I'm from, it is quite normal to add a jocular reference to ethnicity when among white people.

Anonymous said...

It's not just old people. I'm 24 and I don't trust those goddamn Papists. Most of them laugh it off, but there is a particular strain of Catholicism (particularly of the Irish/Northern Irish variety) which has a compulsion to see itself as the perennial victims. JFK, for instance.

garyinfh said...

For anyone even remotely familiar with college football -- more specifically, Notre Dame’s place in it, and the university’s desire and ability to maximize the financial value of its unique “independent” status as the most prominent program in the whole history of college football (I’m more familiar with college basketball, and Notre Dame football has the approximate prestige of the basketball programs of Kansas, Kentucky and Duke – combined) – Gee’s remarks are, well, unremarkable. As Steve surely knows (he did a piece on Notre Dame football’s shifting academic standards over time a few years back), Notre Dame has always been able to go its own way, and to stay independent – i.e., negotiate its own television contract that didn’t depend on conference affiliation, reaping great financial rewards in the process. In turn, Notre Dame’s singular status annoys the hell out of every other major college football power, in much the same way as Duke’s consistent success, and public relations bonanza as an institution with both high academic standards and high-level NCAA performance in men’s basketball, is a thorn in the side of other college basketball powers whose academic reputation is less noteworthy.

(Unlike, say, Stanford or Northwestern, Duke will actually make significant “exceptions” in admissions for top-level men’s basketball recruits – whatever Coach K wants, Coach K gets – but again, no one really wants to see how the sausage is made. In fairness to Mike Krzyzewski, the quid pro quo for his ability to get virtually anyone he really wants to sign past the Duke office of admissions is an implicit promise that no Duke men’s basketball player will ever embarrass the athletic department or the university in any way, so even if not every Duke recruit would have been admitted on high school grades and SAT/ACT scores alone, Coach K’s standards for character and culture tend to weed out the obvious troublemakers.)

In the case at hand that occasioned Gordon Gee’s comments – negotiations between Notre Dame and the Big Ten Conference – Notre Dame administrators likely behaved in a high-handed manner, conveying the sense that they were doing the Big Ten a favor by considering the conference at all, rather than the Big Ten helping ND stay competitive in scheduling first-rate opponents. The Notre Dame folks probably also wanted a more than proportional split in conference revenue from football, figuring that ND should keep the lion’s share of any increased revenue accruing to the Big Ten from adding the Irish in the first place. Given ND’s rarified status, it’s unsurprising that its administrators and athletic department heads would seek to cut the best possible deal for the university: if that’s the Big Ten, fine, but if it’s the ACC offering the best deal, that’s o.k. too. So Notre Dame might still be a nominally Catholic university, but when it comes to making a deal involving football money, well then, all those Father Kelly types can hondle mit der yidlach.

Anonymous said...

Most of them laugh it off, but there is a particular strain of Catholicism (particularly of the Irish/Northern Irish variety) which has a compulsion to see itself as the perennial victims. JFK, for instance.

Ian Paisley and Peter Robinson are Catholics?

Anonymous said...

Several comments:

1. It is good to see Gee get held to the same standards he helped impose on the university's students, faculty, and staff. America needs a (non-violent) Thermidor of political correctness, where dozens of politically correct (PC) university officials are fired for making a stray politically incorrect remark. And their PC replacements get fired for inadvertent political incorrectness. And so on. After a few iterations, American elites will abandon political correctness in the way they abandoned anti-Communism during the 1960s; PC speech codes will somehow be blamed on reactionary White males unable to accept diverse viewpoints.

2. The Board of Trustees likely tired of Gee, whose previous disparagements of Catholic nuns, Poland, elected officials, intercollegiate organizations, and other universities have caused considerable grief for the them. Each incident forced the university to endure criticism from the media and elected officials, respond to complaints from advocacy groups and concerned citizens, etc. Last year, for example, Gee's ridicule of the Polish military led to the university being denounced on the floor of the US House of Representatives by Polish-American Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, criticized by the Polish government, and deluged with complaints and calls for Gee to be fired.

3. Gee's anti-Catholicism was beginning to open the university up to discrimination lawsuits by Catholic employees and job applicants. If he had insulted Blacks and Jews the way he has Poles and Catholics, the university would already have been bankrupted by lawsuits and placed under federal receivership.

panjoomby said...

the mormons were proud of gordon gee, but not now. they will have to suck up to the catholics for a while.

David said...

>"One on One" from 1977<

Blast from the past. They showed it to us in middle school (late '70s), along with "Ice Castles." Haven't seen it since but remember one scene: Robbie tries to share an opinion of his with snobbish bearded Jewish classmates. "Well I think - " Robbie begins, and one of these classmates cuts him off peremptorily with: "No, you don't." It feels just like a scene that KMac might identify with from his days as a university radical.

Evil Sandmich said...

I was hoping for some joke from him about paying white coaches millions while his black players can't even trade an autograph for a tattoo, but no such luck.

Anonymous said...

Gee just opened up about topics he had an inside perspective about. No one is actually disputing that Notre Dame's administrators are highly untrustworthy (See: Manti Te'o, Declan Sullivan, or Lizzy Seeberg) and the SEC includes a few schools that are some of the worst academic institutions in big-time college sports.

David said...

Please stop using "Tourette Syndrome" as a stand-in for bad language and/or bad behavior. Educate yourself, as this conflation is hurtful to the many people with this affliction. My son has TS and doesn't make hurtful, stupid, or obscene comments. It is a movement disorder and a neurological condition. You are spreading ignorance and misinformation by using it as a "figure of speech". Have some compassion and kindly think twice before doing this again in the future. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Steve Garvey was a pretty boy playboy and had two kids out of wedlock.

Steve Sailer said...

"Please stop using "Tourette Syndrome" as a stand-in for bad language and/or bad behavior."

Okay, I'll do that. (I stopped using "schizophrenic" to mean multiple personalities a decade ago for the same general reason -- people whose loved ones have schizophrenia have enough problems already.)

As a favor in return, help me come up with a catchy turn of phrase for this phenomenon that doesn't use "Tourette."

Seamus said...

I find it very hard to believe that he was canned because people were upset at his anti-papist joke. In fact, I thought that papists, fundamentalists, and evangelicals were the only people you safely *could* make fun of these days. I suspect (on the basis of no evidence other than the implausibility of the cover story) the trustees had been wanting to get rid of him for a long time, and they just seized on this as the excuse to tell him it was time to go.

Hunsdon said...

Our host said:
As a favor in return, help me come up with a catchy turn of phrase for this phenomenon that doesn't use "Tourette."

Hunsdon suggested: "Free speech"?

Steve Sailer said...

On second thought, I can see a distinction between the two cases: using the term "schizophrenic" to refer to multiple personalities is bad because that's not what schizophrenia is -- it's closer to having no personality.

It's not clear that the way in which older people have increasing trouble censoring their expressions is categorically different from Tourette Syndrome. It could be similar mechanisms. But I haven't studied the question, so I'd appreciate well-informed comments.

helene edwards said...

Wait a sec, Steve. You've been saying that gay standards are becoming generalized, but what's as gay as "dish"? Now you're saying the public is uninterested in dish? Incidentally, the best baseball wife story was the one about how Rick Manning, a light-hitting center fielder, stole Dennis Eckersley's wife when both guys were coming up in the Indians' system. Never got any air, I guess because it was Cleveland.

Drunk Idiot said...

Didn't expect much to come from Gee's remarks when the "controversy" over them sprang up earlier in the week.

Pretty much figured that "anti-Catholic" remarks are a-OK with the P.C. police. The Catholic church, after all, has been one of the prime targets of the Left's near century-long effort to destroy the institutions at the core of Western Civilization.

What's more, the Catholic church is one of the last institutions that still won't budge on abortion and gay marriage.

Plus, there was the Inquisition, and the Pope was a Nazi, or something.

So Gee's resignation really caught me off guard.

I'd guess that they must have wanted to get rid of him for some other reason, and just used this flap as a convenient excuse.

unhelpful said...

At this clip Gee may wind up with a severe case of Irish Alzheimer's

Drunk Idiot said...

Dr. Van Nostrand asked:

"In America, which is considered more PC to bash:
conservative Evangelical or conservative Catholic?

or they both equally dangerous theocrats in training as far as the Left is concerned?
"

Dr.,

It's the latter: they're both equally dangerous theocrats-in-training as far as the Left is concerned. Plus, among the more educated and historically minded of America's new meritocratic elite, Catholics must forever be held to account for the Inquisition and for a thousand years of anti-Semitism in Europe.

But then again, many of our new elites think that Evangelicals only "love" Israel because they think that God is going to come out of the clouds on Judgement Day and kill all the Jews assembled in the Holy Land (unless they convert to Christianity) -- the ultimate "final solution."

What's really striking, though, is just how many supposedly educated, sophisticated elite people have little or no working knowledge of the differences that exist among the many different stripes of people who fall under the broad category of "Christian" (talk about not appreciating "vibrant diversity).

I'm always a little bit taken aback when some Christian-hating lefty confuses, conflates or just altogether jumbles up the various identities, practices and beliefs of Evangelicals, Catholics and "White Anglo Saxon Protestants" (mainline Protestants, that is). But it's pretty much par for the course these days.

Members in good standing of the SWPL set will often hammer Catholics for being "Bible thumping hypocrites." But Catholics have never exactly been the scripture quoting, Bible thumping crowd. You're probably more likely to hear a Catholic talk about Aquinas or Augustine than spit Bible verses at you, a la Rev. Pat Robertson or the late Rev. Jerry Falwell.

But don't tell that to the SWPLs.

Worse, I recently heard an esteemed professor from the University of Chicago -- a man who's considered one of the world's foremost experts on anti-Semitism, and whose printed words would be as welcome in the pages of the New York Times as they would be at Commentary Magazine -- claim that Catholics preach anti-Semitic messages from the pulpit every Sunday.

His point was that the Catholic church is still the world's number one instigator of anti-Semitism. But he seemed to have no clue about what goes on during an actual Catholic mass, let alone have a clue about nomenclature (Catholics have priests, not "preachers"; there's an altar, not a "pulpit," etc.).


Melendwyr said...

"It's not clear that the way in which older people have increasing trouble censoring their expressions is categorically different from Tourette Syndrome. It could be similar mechanisms. But I haven't studied the question, so I'd appreciate well-informed comments."

Tourette's Syndrome is associated with specific outbursts that are normally repressed, particularly brief profanity/obscenity. It can also be bypassed by singing, which uses different neural circuits that normal speech, and special context-dependent forms of concentration. It's a very focused and limited neurological condition.

Old people having trouble censoring themselves is related to general cognitive dysfunction, especially with erosion of executive function due to neuronal loss in the frontal cortex. It's a totally different thing.

Derek Brown said...

How bout in antiquis veritas.

Not great admittedly.

Anonymous said...

Off topic:

Damn you, Steve Sailer!! Earlier this week under one of your posts I said Apt. 23 wasn't funny. But in my effort to assure myself that I was right, I was proven wrong. The first half of the first episode misled me.

Drunk Idiot said...

garyinfh wrote:

"Unlike, say, Stanford or Northwestern, Duke will actually make significant “exceptions” in admissions for top-level men’s basketball recruits – whatever Coach K wants, Coach K gets – but again, no one really wants to see how the sausage is made. In fairness to Mike Krzyzewski, the quid pro quo for his ability to get virtually anyone he really wants to sign past the Duke office of admissions is an implicit promise that no Duke men’s basketball player will ever embarrass the athletic department or the university in any way, so even if not every Duke recruit would have been admitted on high school grades and SAT/ACT scores alone, Coach K’s standards for character and culture tend to weed out the obvious troublemakers."

This is absolutely true. Despite the persistence of widespread public perception to the contrary, Duke makes all kinds of academic allowances for their basketball program.

But Duke's players comport themselves famously well (aside from their notorious on-court flopping, and their habit of crying on the sidelines when they're about to lose a game).

J.J. Redick and Chris Duhon had some DUI/substance use dust ups (par for the course for college students), but they went to counseling, and the problems were forgotten. Scholarship football player/basketball walk on/eventual Obama aide Reggie Love got kicked off the basketball team for underage drinking when pictures surfaced of him in a passed out, drunken state at a fraternity party in Chapel Hill (Love was an expendable deeeeep-bench player; Redick and Duhon were stars).

And if you go back to the early 90s, Phil Henderson had to take a year off due academic troubles (though he came back and played a leading role on Duke's 1990 Final Four team).

Other these minor offenses (which got next to NO publicity, BTW), it's hard to come up with very many disciplinary or academic problems that have gone down under Coach Krzyzewski's watch.

But as you've stated, Krzyzewski (a West Point alum) puts more emphasis on character during the recruiting process than most college coaches do.

A decade ago (or so), Duke was recruiting a McDonald's All American player from my old high school. My old high school coach was still running that program at the time (he was a big "character" guy too), and he and Coach Krzyzewski worked out a deal where Krzyzewski would be smuggled onto the high school stage, so that he could observe practice while hiding behind the stage curtains (the stage was right behind one of the baskets).

Coach Krzyzewski wanted my old coach to run a tough practice that day so that he could observe how the star player he was recruiting handled himself under adverse circumstances, and when he thought college coaches and scouts weren't watching (actually, tough practices were the only kind of practices that coach ever ran!). Krzyzewski was presumably looking for toughness (both physical and mental), work ethic, and leadership -- the qualities that Duke players always display.

That player ended up going to Duke, but later transferring to one of the other two schools mentioned above.

He had no academic troubles at Duke, but flunked out of his second school.

Steve Sailer said...

Grant Hill of Duke just retired after 19 years in the NBA, the last 13 of which he was just a shell of himself physically. But, it was still worth it to NBA teams to pay to have Hill around all through his late 30s.

Drunk Idiot said...

Young NBA fans who know the Grant Hill of the last 5-8 years generally have no idea how outstanding he was from 1995-2000. But given how much his career was derailed midway through by serious injuries, it was really an accomplishment when he revived his career as a consistently solid (if no longer spectacular) pro in his mid 30s.

It's kind of sad to see him go, though at age 40, his days were obviously numbered.

If I were the GM of a veteran, championship contending NBA team like the Heat, the Spurs, or the Bulls -- the kind of team that plugs different veteran players into key reserve roles every year -- I'd get in touch with Mr. Hill's agent when the free agent market opens up in mid summer in order to make good and sure that he's not having even the occasional second thought about the whole retirement thing.

Drunk Idiot said...

garyinfh wrote:

"Notre Dame administrators likely behaved in a high-handed manner, conveying the sense that they were doing the Big Ten a favor by considering the conference at all, rather than the Big Ten helping ND stay competitive in scheduling first-rate opponents. The Notre Dame folks probably also wanted a more than proportional split in conference revenue from football, figuring that ND should keep the lion’s share of any increased revenue accruing to the Big Ten from adding the Irish in the first place."

Last year, Notre Dame basketball coach Mike Brey let slip that a decade ago, his Athletic Director (Kevin White) informed him that Notre Dame had agreed to join the Big Ten, and that a press release would be forthcomning the following day. According to Brey, something happened that night that caused Notre Dame to back out of the deal (widely rumored to be a complete freak-out by a handful of very important big donors who prized Notre Dame's football independence).

A lot of people in South Bend spent days pulling their hair out in the wake of Coach Brey's out-of-the-blue admission (which he blurted out during a post game interview, while discussing the difference in style of play between the Big East and other conferences, IIRC).

"Given ND’s rarified status, it’s unsurprising that its administrators and athletic department heads would seek to cut the best possible deal for the university: if that’s the Big Ten, fine, but if it’s the ACC offering the best deal, that’s o.k. too."

Last winter (2012), I heard from a loquacious, gadfly ambassador of Notre Dame athletics -- the guy's had a decades-long association with Notre Dame athletics, and though no longer an active figure in Notre Dame intercollegiate athletics, is definitely an "in-the-know" Notre Dame "insider" -- that Notre Dame was considering a move to the ACC. He didn't say that it was definitely going to happen (remember, Notre Dame to the ACC wasn't even a rumor back then), but he laid out the case for why joining the ACC would be in Notre Dame's long term best interest.

At the time, I was hoping that Notre Dame would eventually join the Big Ten, but I'd assumed for some time that Notre Dame officials would probably be more likely to be eying a move to the ACC. The loquacious Notre Dame ambassador's argument confirmed that Notre Dame shot callers were, in fact, thinking what I'd suspected they were.

Read the following comment for a synopsis of the notoriously loquacious gadfly Irishman's then-ostensibly theoretical argument for Notre Dame joining the ACC.

Drunk Idiot said...

Here's a synopsis of the notoriously loquacious Notre Dame gadfly's argument:

The Big Ten is a Midwestern league, and Notre Dame views itself as an "East Coast" institution that just happens to be located in the Midwest. Notre Dame wants to maximize its East Coast visibility, and sees membership in the newly expanded ACC (Syracuse and Pittsburgh are new members) as the best way to accomplish that.

What's more, Notre Dame views the Midwest as a dying region that will suffer massive depopulation throughout the next century. And ethnic Catholic whites are one of the main demographic groups that are high tailing it out of the Midwest the fastest. But Catholics are among the fastest growing demographic groups in the Southeast: states like Florida, Georgia and North Carolina either now have, or will soon have, more Catholics than historically heavily Catholic Ohio and Michigan.

So Notre Dame thinks that disassociating itself from the sinking "Rust Belt" is a necessity if it intends to remain relevant for the next 100 years (which it definitely does intend to do). The university is so convinced that the Northeastern-Southeastern theater is the way forward that it's even willing to ditch decades-long football commitments with some of its most storied, traditional rivals (and wouldn't you know it, after Notre Dame announced that it was joining the ACC, the Irish backed out of future games with historic football rivals Michigan and Michigan St.).

But despite Notre Dame's now less-than-advantageous Midwestern location, the university has an enormous national following -- particularly in the New York market -- and is uniquely positioned to ditch its old ties, and to start anew in the the increasingly dynamic (and real estate intensive) Boston-to-New York-to-Washington, D.C.-to-Miami I-95 corridor.

Chicago stands alone as the only Midwestern market with which Notre Dame wishes to maintain ties. It's the nation's third largest city and media market, and the Chicagoland region is the only heavily Catholic region in the Midwest that's not undergoing a long term demographic collapse.

Indeed, even as Notre Dame thinks of itself as an "East Coast" school that happens to be located in the Midwest, it also thinks of itself as a "Chicago" school (which it sort of almost is).

So Notre Dame sees Chicago as its home base and main media market, followed by New York, California, and increasingly (it hopes), the Southeast. But although the school's decision makers think the Irish need to play two California teams per year in football to maintain their California visibility (which explains why, after they joined the ACC, Notre Dame dropped Michigan and Michigan State from the football schedule but kept USC and Stanford), they think they "own" Chicago so thoroughly that there's no need to play local teams ... note, however, that after they joined the ACC, the Irish signed a deal to play a series with Northwestern. So maybe they were a little bit more nervous about continuing to "own" Chicago than the gadfly Irish ambassador was letting on.

Interestingly, not only did that conversation go down before Notre Dame announced that it would join the ACC, it went down before the Big Ten added Maryland and Rutgers. If anything, the Big Ten's subsequent East Coast expansion probably indicates that the Jim Delaney and the decision makers in Park Ridge (Big Ten headquarters) are trying to react to the same emerging demographic trends that Notre Dame officials are.

Anonymous said...

I find it very hard to believe that he was canned because people were upset at his anti-papist joke....I suspect (on the basis of no evidence other than the implausibility of the cover story) the trustees had been wanting to get rid of him for a long time, and they just seized on this as the excuse to tell him it was time to go

Responding to some of Gee's previous gaffes, the Board of Trustees reprimanded him in a letter dated March 11, 2013. The letter also required him to engage in a lengthy list of “corrective steps” intended to address the then-ongoing controversies and to prevent further incidents, and warned him that any further inappropriate comments could result in “even more punitive action, including dismissal, and [that] the Board will have no choice but to take such action.”

This controversy was merely the last straw.

The letter of reprimand, was covered in the local media, posted by at least one news website, and can be found here: https://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.documentcloud.org/documents/705861/gee-ltr-from-trusteees-00200937-1.pdf

Anonymous said...

Grant Hill of Duke just retired after 19 years in the NBA, the last 13 of which he was just a shell of himself physically. But, it was still worth it to NBA teams to pay to have Hill around all through his late 30s.

His average of 16 points per game is more than the 1.1 point per game that the media's latest sensation got.

Seeing as you have dropped the media schizophrenia definition and dropping their usage of Tourette's Syndrome you have a nice trifecta

david miller said...

Haha! You can blame tourette's for lots of behaviour but maybe not on this occasion ;-)