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Gee says age, loved ones prompted retirement; not offensive comments

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Retiring Ohio State President Gordon Gee is offering more explanations for stepping down, citing everything from his age to a desire to spend more time with a girlfriend.

Gee said at a news conference Wednesday morning that he doesn't want to run a university like someone who is 69 years old, which is his age.

He also says he wants to spend more time with his identical twin granddaughters as well as a "significant other" in California whom he didn't identify.

Gee says the furor over recorded remarks jabbing Roman Catholics and the University of Notre Dame first reported by The Associated Press last week played a small part in his decision.

He also says it's best to step down as planning process for Ohio State's long-term future begins this week.

Ohio State, one of the biggest universities in the nation, with 65,000 students, named provost Joseph Alutto as interim president.

Gee, a familiar figure on campus with his bowties and owlish glasses, has repeatedly gotten in trouble over the years for verbal gaffes. Tuesday’s news lit up Twitter, with numerous posts using the hashtag #savethebowtie.

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