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Is Gordon Gee Serious?

ABOUT 40 MINUTES BEFORE I MET GORDON GEE, I decided to play a joke on him. I entered a Columbus bookstore and bought a bow tie. They’re popular on campus because Gee, Ohio State’s president, famously wears one every day. I was visiting at a touchy time, in the middle of an NCAA investigation, to discuss a sensitive subject: a joke of Gee’s that bombed. I had to see whether he could take a joke. So I dropped $26, stood before a men’s room mirror and fastened the scarlet tie under the collar of my blue-and-white-checkered shirt. When I entered Gee’s second-floor office overlooking The Oval, the heart of campus, his assistant’s eyes jumped. “Did you wear that for him?” she asked. “Nobody’s ever done that.”