Ohio State president to retire in wake of verbal gaffes

(CNN) -- Ohio State University President E. Gordon Gee has announced plans to retire, school representative Gayle Saunders said Tuesday afternoon.

Gee has twice led the university, which has 63,000 students -- from 1990 to 1997, and from 2007 until this month.

According to the Columbus Dispatch newspaper, Gee apologized last week to top officials at schools in the Big Ten Conference and others. Gee reportedly made insensitive remarks during a December meeting with the Ohio State Athletics Council.

Gee referred to "those damn Catholics" at Notre Dame and joked that Louisville didn't have the academic integrity to join the Big Ten. He also cast aspersions on some schools in the Southeastern Conference, the paper reported.