- Associated Press - Friday, July 17, 2015

ATHENS, Ohio (AP) - A major contributor at Ohio University has apologized for email comments advising administrators to “play the race card” in a dispute.

In an op-ed published Thursday in The Athens News, Steven Schoonover apologized for the email he wrote April 2 after hundreds opposed spending $1.2 million on a new residence for President Roderick McDavis, who is black. In the note, Schoonover urged university leaders to do what he said Democrats do when Republicans criticize President Barack Obama: “call them racists.”

The email made public last week sparked student and faculty protests.

Schoonover says his statements weren’t intended to be serious. He says the “race card” comment was a criticism of how things are handled elsewhere, not at Ohio University.

Schoonover has donated $7.5 million to the Schoonover Center for Communication.

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