Take off the bow tie. That's our advice for Ohio State president E. Gordon Gee. Maybe your colleagues won't recognize you at national meetings of big-league academia. You apparently forced Buckeyes football coach Jim Tressel to resign Monday but waited a bit too long to keep your own credibility.

It was Gee who was asked back in March whether the school would fire Tressel, already caught hiding important information about rule-breaking within his program. Gee's lame quip of a response: "I hope he doesn't fire me." (Was Gee intentionally trying to channel a former University of Oklahoma president? That Sooners prez who once joked, "We're trying to build a university our football team can be proud of.")

Gee is the same man who, while in charge at Vanderbilt, once abolished the position of athletic director, bringing athletics nominally into the central administration. Some applauded it as a move toward cleaning up the cesspool of big-time athletics. Realists saw it as a straight power play.

Funny how Gee didn't make that same move in Columbus - funny how your actions change when you're actually swimming in the cesspool.

Penn State hoops . . .

The Nittany Lions reportedly interviewed Duquesne coach Ron Everhart on Tuesday. Last week, I advocated Drexel's Bruiser Flint for the job. But if Everhart gets it, I can't kill Penn State. He's the second guy I thought of. He'll get players, and his full-tilt playing style will at least be entertaining. I'd still hire Bruiser, though. (A former Inquirer sportswriter said: "What do you have against Bruiser?")

Bernard Hopkins-ville

The oldest man to win a major world title, at age 46, will get a little love from Mayor Nutter on Wednesday at a noon ceremony honoring the new WBC light-heavyweight champ. Where? At the Rocky statue outside the Art Museum. Where else?

If you go . . .

Hopefully, you'll have better luck parking than I did last week when I talked to Hopkins. I wasn't late, but wasn't early, so I was rushing when I parked on 20th Street just north of the Parkway, and found to my surprise that I had just paid $12 for parking at the kiosk, not realizing this block allowed you to stay (and pay) for 12 hours. There was no way to undo my mistake so I put the receipt on my dash at 3:20 p.m., good until 3:20 a.m.

When I got back an hour later, there was a ticket for an expired meter on the windshield, written at 3:22 p.m. I'd passed the Parking Authority guy rushing off. He obviously walked over, looked at the receipt, saw the 3:20 but not the a.m. Pending appeal, I'm out 48 bucks for parking legally for an hour.