Gee did not say for what, but Slive and the rest of the sports world found out on Thursday. Gee's comments surfaced from a December meeting in which he criticized Catholics, ripped the University of Louisville and questioned the intelligence level of SEC members.
In response to a joke by SEC fans that the 14-member Big Ten cannot count, Gee countered, "You tell the SEC when they can learn to read and write, then they can figure out what we're doing."
Slive said Thursday at the SEC's annual meetings Gee, the former chancellor at Vanderbilt, offered a preemptive apology.
"He called me a week or so ago and said he'd said some things that he wanted to apologize for," Slive said. "I didn't know what they were; he didn't say what they were. And he said that they might come out and he just wanted (me) to know that he was very apologetic and very sorry for what he said."
Slive said Big Ten commissioner Jim Delaney, also a target of Gee during the meeting, called a few days ago.
"I don't think Jim, at that point, knew what the remarks were," Slive said. "They were at Ohio State apparently. But he made it abundantly clear that he has great respect for the Southeastern Conference, enjoys the competition and that Gordan Gee was not speaking for him or for the Big Ten and that he apologized on behalf himself and on behalf of the Big Ten conference."
Slive took the high road and has moved on with the past seven national championship winners in football, a new televsion network set to launch in 2014 and a multi-billion dollar TV deal in place with ESPN.
"Our focus is on the SEC," Slive said. "Our goal is to make us better and we've been very successful and we're comfortable here. There really isn't much more to add to that."