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Jim Willikers's Online Memorial Photo

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Gee Willikers: Buckeye Boss' Boffo Bow-Tie Bill

POSTED BY J.R. LIND ON MON, SEP 24, 2012 AT 11:32 AM

Maybe Vanderbilt had to sell WRVU because they had a pile of outstanding bow-tie invoices.The Dayton Daily News is reporting former Vandy chancellor Gordon Gee has expensed $7.7 million since returning to Ohio State as president in October 2007.

There's lots of damning numbers in the piece, but this sentence is the best:

The university spends tens of thousands of dollars alone branding Gee around his signature bow ties. Since 2007, Ohio State has spent more than $64,000 on bow ties, bow tie cookies and O-H and bow tie pins for Gee and others to distribute, the newspaper found.

As an expert on the subject, let me assure everyone that $64,000 is a truly absurd amount to spend on bow ties, unless it's the kind of bow tie that comes on the front of a 2013 Corvette.

The handmade bow ties at Nashville's Otis James come in at $110. The most expensive one of the dozens I own cost me maybe $70. Burlington Coat Factory — which offers more than coats, friends — will sell you a perfectly acceptable bow tie for less than a Jackson.

To put this in perspective, for $64,000, Gee could have purchased a new, $36 (a completely reasonable price) bow tie every day between Oct. 1, 2007 and June 30, 2012. And he still would have had $1,576 to spend on tasty bow-tie cookies, which have the dual advantage of being kosher for Passover as well as a delicious munchie.

All of this on the expense account for a man who is the highest-paid university administrator in the country and is more than able to buy his own neckwear without billing Ohio State's endowment.

At least Gee isn't bilking the taxpayers of the Buckeye State to satiate his bow-tie fetish, but he should at least talk to his boss before pulling out the university AmEx.

Tags: Gordon Gee, bow ties, Ohio State, Vanderbilt University, kichels

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