West Virginia University president E. Gordon Gee vows that the Mountaineers will play football this fall “even if I have suit up.”
“I’ve got my ankles taped, I’m ready to go in,” the 76-year-old Gee joked in an interview with WOWK-TV broadcast this week. “But I think again, with everything we’re going to do it based on what is safe, what is healthy for our fans and what is healthy for our student athletes. But I do believe that we will play football.”
Despite uncertainly around the coronavirus pandemic, all Big 12 schools, including West Virginia, plan to open campuses for the fall semester, a key step toward launching fall sports.
It’s not the first time a statement by Gee has turned heads.
The then-Ohio State president was criticized in 2010 for saying TCU and Boise State didn’t belong in the BCS title game even if they ran the table because of weak schedules, referring to lesser opponents generally as “Little Sisters of the Poor.”
In 2012 he took a shot at Notre Dame in a meeting of Ohio State’s athletic counsel, saying that the school was never invited to join the Big Ten because its priests are not good partners. “Those damn Catholics” can’t be trusted, he said.
He later apologized.