Arkansas head football coach Bret Bielema has now made Ohio State president Gordon Gee's World Apology tour and the Razorback grid program's grid leader also knows his athletic director has his back.
Gee has spent the past week apologizing for comments he made to members of the school's athletic council back in December that insulted SEC, Notre Dame, Roman Catholics, Bielema and others.
He has apparently spent the last week getting around to calling or texting those he offended with his remarks.
Gee trashed Bielema, the former coach at Wisconsin, in this manner:
"Someone was saying to me, well, you know, Bret Bielema leaving … that was a blessing for Wisconsin and they knew it. Because he was under tremendous pressure. They didn't like him. Barry Alvarez thought he was a thug. And he left just ahead of the sheriff."
Alvarez was quick to respond that Gee's comments and released a statement Friday saying Gee had called him to apologize last week.
"I have never said that about Bret, nor had those feelings toward him. I accepted Gordon's apology and consider the matter closed," Alvarez said in the statement.
Gee then sent Bielema this text to apology and the Razorback coach put it Friday on his twitter account:
"I write to apologize for my comments about you, as well as remarks I made that were entirely unfounded and speculative about your relationship with Barry Alvarez and the University of Wisconsin. My comments were unfair, inaccurate and totally wrongheaded. To be sure, you have a remarkable record of accomplishment with student-athletes both on the field and in the classroom. I am deeply sorry for my comments and for any and all pain they may have caused."
Bielema's tweet said "It's a start from Mr. Gee. Will take his apology and phone call soon. #1-0."
Long responded with a press release defending Bielema.
"As a member of the higher education community, a director of athletics and a native of Ohio, I am deeply troubled by the unfounded and slanderous remarks the President of the state's flagship institution, Dr. E. Gordon Gee, made about Coach Bret Bielema," Long writes. "While I recognize Dr. Gee has issued an apology stating regret for his comments, it does not erase the unwarranted attack on Bret's character.
" It is widely known Coach Bielema placed an emphasis on academics, character development and community outreach while serving at the University of Wisconsin," Long added. "His 2010 and 2011 football teams won the Wisconsin Athletic Department's community service and Champs Life Skills awards. Bret also had 131 academic all-conference selections in seven seasons and his team's APR figures climbed each year with a most recent multiyear rate of 975 and a final single year rate of 1000. In his time here, Bret has demonstrated the qualities we sought when we brought him to the University of Arkansas and has supported our football student-athletes as reflected in one of our highest spring GPAs."
Gee Apologizes To Bielema
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