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Former OSU president Gordon Gee thinks 'everyone won' in wake of tattoo scandal

Gordon Gee
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Gordon Gee

Former Ohio State president E. Gordon Gee thinks everything worked out for the involved parties of the Ohio State tattoo scandal.

Gee now the president of West Virginia, said in an interview with the Cleveland Plain-Dealer that he feels everyone has emerged from the scandal as a winner.

"I think everyone won," Gee said. "The university is doing very well. I believe we have the best football coach in the country in Urban Meyer. I had the privilege of hiring him, as you know, and I think he is doing fabulous work.

"I think Jim went through the refiner's fire and came out the other end not only intact but I think gracefully and he managed a very difficult situation. And I think he is going to be doing what he really wants to do, which is to lead and lead in a different way from leading a football team."

After not coaching since he left Ohio State in 2011 when he knew players were found to be exchanging autographs and memorabilia for tattoos and money, Tressel is now the president of Youngstown State, where he coached before coming to Ohio State.

And while he's now in a good spot, as is Ohio State under Meyer after going to the 2014 Orange Bowl, it's clear the "everyone" that Gee is referencing only includes the university and those employed by it.

Because of an impending suspension for the scandal, Terrelle Pryor left school early and entered the 2011 supplemental draft. After serving an NFL suspension from the matter, he's now on the bench for the Oakland Raiders.

RB Dan Herron, WR DeVier Posey and OT Mike Adams were also suspended, missing five games; roughly 10 percent of a football player's college career if he plays all four seasons. And what about the players who played their final season in 2012 and went 12-0, unable to compete for a Big Ten or BCS Championship?

It's not the first time Gee has said an odd thing about the scandal. When at a school press conference about the issues in March 2011 with Tressel and athletic director Gene Smith, he infamously quipped that he was "just hopeful that (Tressel) doesn’t dismiss me." Tressel resigned at the end of May.

Gee's tenure at Ohio State came to an accelerated end because of what he said as well. Gee made a comment about Notre Dame in a December 2012 Big Ten meeting, saying "can't trust those damn Catholics" on certain days of th week.

"I think ultimately, we handled (the scandal) well," Gee told the Plain-Dealer. "I think we got off to a rocky start. I give myself great discredit because I don't think I really took it as seriously as I probably should have done. As you know, I made my infamous crack about Jim firing me just to lighten up the mood, but everyone was hopping on everything.

"I think for the first time in my life I really realized the power of the Internet and the power of Facebook and Twitter and the power of blogging. It's almost overwhelming, and we were in the middle of a tsunami. And we did recover because we did the right thing and I think Jim did the right thing, I think we all did the right thing. It was painful.

"As to whether the university would recover and whether any of us individually would recover, I think the jury was still out. So I think that's the remarkable nature of this story."

For the people who were in power, anyway.

For more Ohio State news, visit BuckeyeGrove.com.

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Nick Bromberg is the assistant editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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