Ohio State president Gordon Gee withdraws from Catholic school commencement

In this May 5, 2013 photo, Ohio State president E. Gordon Gee speaks during the Ohio State University spring commencement in Columbus, Ohio.
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

COLUMBUS, Ohio Ohio State University's president has withdrawn as commencement speaker for a parochial high school after being reprimanded for making disparaging remarks about Notre Dame, Catholics and the Southeastern Conference.

Gordon Gee had been scheduled to speak Saturday at the graduation ceremony for St. Francis DeSales High School in Columbus. Ohio State says Gee decided Monday not to attend to make sure the students and their accomplishments remain the focus of the event.

DeSales' principal says he received a "heartfelt apology" from Gee on Monday.

Last week, Gee apologized for his disparaging comments made in December after they were first reported by The Associated Press. He also apologized to the Big Ten conference for his "hurtful remarks" about some university athletic programs.

Ohio State trustees warn he could be fired for any more verbal gaffes.