Les Wexner sells a condo
According to multiple press reports, Limited Brands CEO and founder Les Wexner sold a duplex apartment on Fifth Avenue for $36 million in late February. The Wall Street Journal wrote that the property was the “highest price paid for a Manhattan co-op in more than a year.” Coincidentally (or not), Wexner, also the chairman of the Ohio State University board of trustees, announced on Feb. 16 that he would donate $100 million to OSU, his alma mater—$65 million of his own money and $35 million from the Limited Brands Foundation.
In early March, Ohio State University president Gordon Gee joined former WOSU “Open Line” host Fred Andrle for a discussion about restoring civility in politics at the Wexner Center. But things turned less than civil when Andrle called for questions. A few audience members used the opportunity to air grievances on an unrelated matter—about a particular OSU vendor—until Andrle said “this is not a general complaints session” and threatened to turn off the microphones.
Granville illustrator Tim Bowers got some big pub for his latest book, Dream Big, Little Pig!, on the “Today” show in mid March. It didn’t hurt that the author—interviewed by the program’s co-host Meredith Vieira—is ice skating star Kristi Yamaguchi. Vieira did note that the “pictures are fantastic.”
Before Ohio State hired him about a decade ago, Jim Tressel coached at Youngstown State University for 15 years, a remarkable tenure that was the subject of a Columbus Monthly cover story last year (“The education of Jim Tressel,” November). All the qualities that have earned him so much admiration in Columbus were on display in Youngstown, too: dignity, intelligence and loyalty (especially to his players). But he also made a mistake during that time that, in many ways, mirrors the one that rocked Central Ohio in March. As with the still unfolding memorabilia scandal at Ohio State—which so far has resulted in OSU fining the coach $250,000 and suspending him for five games this upcoming season—Tressel failed to follow up on a report of possible NCAA rules violations. The tip turned out to be accurate and four years later Mickey Monus, the founder of the Phar-Mor drugstore chain, admitted during a federal trial to providing $10,000 to a star quarterback. Tressel later explained he set aside the tip because he thought it came from a disgruntled employee. In an interview with Columbus Monthly last year, former Ohio State athletics director Andy Geiger said he looked into the incident before hiring Tressel. “There probably were some mistakes along the way, but they were not systemic with him,” Geiger said. Perhaps. But with a second eerily similar blotch on Tressel’s record, that’s become a more difficult argument for his supporters to make.
Kevin Boyce, who lost a bid to retain his job as Ohio treasurer in November, has landed a job outside of politics. He has joined the New York-based Rice Financial Products Company to run its bond underwriting operation in Ohio. This move, coupled with his decision to withdraw his name from consideration for a spot on Columbus City Council, where he got his political start, would suggest Boyce is through with public life. Probably not. It’s no secret Boyce has wanted to run for mayor one day, so look for him at some point to find a way to return to politics to position himself in case Mayor Mike Coleman, who is almost assured of winning his fourth term this fall, chooses not to run again in 2015.