Evans isn’t out of the woods yet

Damon Evans, seen here with Mark Richt, will have to do more than apologize. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Damon Evans, seen here with Mark Richt, will have to do more than apologize. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

So, did Damon Evans do enough in his news conference late Thursday to save his job?

He struck the expected contrite tone, apologized for the shame he has brought on the University of Georgia and his family with his arrest on DUI charges, promised to learn from his “grave, grave” mistake, and thanked UGA President Michael Adams for standing by him.

Somehow, just learning a tough lesson doesn’t seem enough, does it? And it should be noted that Adams said in a statement released by UGA that he “will reserve further action pending a full review by staff and legal counsel,” so Evans isn’t out of the woods yet.

Frankly, I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t have to do a lot more than just apologize. UGA athletes arrested on alcohol-related charges must sit out at least 10 percent of a season. If Evans is going to get to keep his job, it would seem only fair that he at the very least forgo that $110,000 salary increase that went into effect today.

Beyond that, some sort of outreach program aimed at restoring his credibility with UGA students, employees and supporters would also seem a must.

And there’s still the possibility that the backwash from all this could result in Evans and/or Adams concluding that he no longer can effectively lead the UGA Athletic Association.

After all, he is in a position of responsibility over more than 600 student athletes at a university that’s put a big emphasis on trying to stem an almost endemic underage drinking problem. And on top of that he was the public face of those don’t-drink-and-drive messages that run on the scoreboard at Sanford Stadium in the fall.

DUI is a hot-button issue. You never know who might be coming over the center line straight at you or one of your loved ones out on the road late at night.

It doesn’t matter that Evans has been an excellent financial steward of the UGA Athletic Association’s $85 million budget since taking over the athletic director’s job six years ago today, managing to keep the program among the few in the country that are highly profitable in tough economic times.

While the bottom line usually rules in modern big-time college football, institutions like the University of Georgia are very sensitive to a public relations nightmare like having Mr. “If You Drink and Drive You Lose” accused of doing exactly what he’s warned UGA fans against.

So when that Atlanta DUI arrest mug shot of Evans looking more than a bit worse for wear hit TV and the Internet Thursday, the odds of him getting out of this with his career intact grew rather long.

All the facts of Evans’ case still aren’t known. And it has yet to be adjudicated. DUI cases don’t always stick, as has been proved this week in Gwinnett County with County Commission Chairman Charles Bannister.

But you’ve got to wonder how a guy like Evans, a graduate of UGA’s prestigious Terry College of Business and one of the youngest ADs in the nation when named to the position at 34, got himself into a situation like this.

Frankly, he seemed so much smarter than that.

461 comments Add your comment

Finally!

July 1st, 2010
7:09 pm

First! Maybe?

Finally!

July 1st, 2010
7:15 pm

I don’t know if he should be fired, but Damon Evans definitely needs to be disciplined for what he did last night. A stupid decision like this from the AD of a major sports school cannot just be ignored with no discipline.

Gwinnett Dawg

July 1st, 2010
7:20 pm

I really do not think he can survive this situation. First getting a DUI is really bad and send the worse message not just to student/athletes but all students. The second issue that you didn’t mention is why was he with a very attractive 28yo woman who wasn’t wife at midnight after having drinks? That second question could be the career killer more than the DUI

UGA grad 93

July 1st, 2010
7:21 pm

If he is a man of integrity he would have resigned. He has done a great job as AD but he should be fired if he does not resign. The matter is clear cut.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by teendawg, Tim Tucker, Gordo and others. Gordo said: DawgFan Evans isn’t out of the woods yet: Damon Evans, seen here with Mark Richt, will have to do more than apolog… http://bit.ly/dv1oxZ [...]

jack bull

July 1st, 2010
7:24 pm

pretty embarrasing…thanx Damon…and i’m not just talking about the DUI charge…a 28 year old?? and is it just me, or does this seem to happen with the ‘powerful’ black guy and pretty young white chicks…

Big time?? Not

July 1st, 2010
7:25 pm

Four tickets, four hot dogs, four cokes……arrested in the ATL by tech maggotts. Should have stayed/strayed in Athens.

One, two, free, fo, fi, dem der Gator don't take no jive!

July 1st, 2010
7:26 pm

If UGA does not fire him then they will be the laughingstock of the SEC if not the entire nation. How can they expect to discipline student athletes (Mettenberger) with dismissal and not do the same to a GROWN MAN that is twice their age?
I hope they fire him for the sake of the University. If not, then ya’ll will deserve EVERY BIT OF CRITICISM THAT WILL CONTINUE TO COME YOUR WAY!

Sinners

July 1st, 2010
7:26 pm

I would like to meet one person walking on this planet that has never made a mistake! Yes, it is a black eye for the University, but their is an opportunity here for Dr. Adams to use this in a positive way…don’t fire Damon Evans – chronicle his redemption from this mistake. I think the students of UGA and the public as a whole can learn a lot more watching a man learn, grow and change from one mistake. He deserves a chance to make this one wrong a positive for all in the Bulldog nation. I really think anyone in Sanford stadium on any given Saturday in the Fall will learn a heck of a lot more on drunk driving from someone that went through the experience then any of the messages that played on the jumbotron in 2009.

No Fan of Any Team

July 1st, 2010
7:28 pm

University and Pro players get off the hook with DUI’s and all manner of offenses. University coaches that do something shady get a golden parachute and the school usually buys out their 6 figure contracts. Your alumni donations at work.

Billy Jack could fight

July 1st, 2010
7:28 pm

I thought if you didn’t submit to a breathelyzer test that you can’t be charged with DUI….????? I don’t think he should be fired..but he should forgoe his pay raise..it’s a misdemeanor he had a couple 2 many beers….if he was a cop he would not have gotten a charged..(cops don’t give other cops a DUI unless they are really hamered)

Rabun Dawg

July 1st, 2010
7:29 pm

This is a very embarrassing situation for the University of Georgia. As the overseer of all of the hundreds of student athletes, he has put himself and the Univ. in a most unenviable position. I am not one to rush to judgement and say dump him, because I in my youth did some foolish things that I asked forgiveness for and desired a second chance. That being said, Mr. Evans is no kid, and he should do the honorable thing and resign. How can he stand up in front of young people and be taken seriously if he is sounding off about issues such as this? JMHO

layinlow

July 1st, 2010
7:29 pm

Fire him. How can he ever lead the program in disciplining student athletes. Evans has lost all credibility in my book. For example, can he ever look the football team in their eyes and warn them against alcohol related arrest? What a joke that would be! I’m diehard UGA and I want him gone.

Bill, do you think that this might have adverse affect on football recruiting? Would other schools somehow use this against UGA?

Dawg'em out!

July 1st, 2010
7:33 pm

he’s done, stick a fork in ‘em!

fedupdawg

July 1st, 2010
7:33 pm

People who do wrong are usually the ones who pretend to be so religious and upright in their community, therefore, they want to preach to the rest of us heathens it seems. I have attended the UGA games since I graduated in 1960 and no one ever told the alumni not to drink and drive and be good until Damon Evans took over. I find this very funny and amusing that the Administration got took for a ride with this three legged Dawg. I still don’t like the fact that Vince Dooley who put Georgia in the black does not get credit for this. I also do not like the fact that Vince was fired and Damon was allowed by the President to fire all the staff as well. All Damon did was take over a program that was already at the top. Why should students, alumni, fans and all the Bulldawg nation believe in Damon. I think he is old enough to know what he did was wrong to all involved. What a disgrace! He will never have another position of this importance ever again.

P.S. What was he doing with a woman with him. Possibly going over the budget?

Dawg'em out!

July 1st, 2010
7:34 pm

the ad over see’s the different athletic dept’s, he isnt a coach.

Shreveport Sam

July 1st, 2010
7:39 pm

This could be a diamond in the rough opportunity for UGA! Damon can take what he learns from this experience and help teach the UGA players who get DUIs (usually more than a few each year) how to beat the rap. And with a hoochie mama in the car, no less!

BugKiller

July 1st, 2010
7:40 pm

I am officially ashamed to be a Georgia Bulldog. I never thought in a million years I would ever say that. I am so angry I am shaking. There is NO integrity at my beloved university. Many already assumed that Michael Adams had little, if any integrity, and his decision to not fire Evans or demand his resignation is all the proof one needs if there were ever any doubt.

If Damon Evans himself had an ounce of integrity he would have resigned. Someone who is a REAL leader would resign. Instead, like a coward, he is pitifully clawing and crying for his job, and has convinced other cowards to let him keep this job he no longer deserves. How can this man look another student athlete or coach in the face when he has to pronounce judgment over an alcohol-related incident?

When I was in the Marine Corps, two guys I knew were killed by a drunk driver. It doesn’t matter if this was Evans’ “first real mistake,” or his only “blemish” on a spotless resume. The DECISION he made, not a mistake, the DECISION he made could have led to his death, or even more unfortunately, the death of innocent others.

Evans deserves NO empathy, NO sympathy, and NO mercy from the media and members of Bulldog Nation.

I will NEVER donate or give a single cent to UGA or the UGA AA until Evans is gone. Any ticket I buy will be through Stub Hub, so as to ensure that the money I earn never enters the pockets of Evans or of those who refused to do the right thing today. My money is too honest for UGA.

One, two, free, fo, fi, dem der Gator don't take no jive!

July 1st, 2010
7:41 pm

Sinners,
If he deserves another chance, then how do you respond to the kids that have been kicked out of the university for the same thing? He doesn’t “deserve” a damn thing except the same opportunities that everyone else has. If he chooses to waste those opportunities over a night of partying with a skank, then he “deserves” to be fired. Most of us in the private sector would lose our jobs for the same thing. There are code of conduct policies that most professionals must adhere to.
If he wants to act like a fool, then let him be a day-laborer. Then no one will give a damn what he does on his own time.

34

July 1st, 2010
7:44 pm

So who is the ugly chick that was with him? And why was she with him?

Richt's Butt Cut

July 1st, 2010
7:45 pm

Damon Evan Williams…

Virginia Dog

July 1st, 2010
7:46 pm

Damon has done a great job during his tenure. However, those at the top are held to a higher standard and I am sorry to say, he must be terminated. There is no way the athletic department will ever be whole if he remains. This is UGA’s opportunity to let their student/athletes know that they are serious about disciplinary actions for those that step out of bounds. If Damon is allowed to stay all future student/athlete discipline will be seen as hipocritical.

Mark "Crimson Crier" Ingram

July 1st, 2010
7:47 pm

Damon should have requested testing in Gwinnett County with County Commission Chairman Charles Bannister testers since two independent test came out magically 0.000 even after at least a couple of beers.

wallace cox

July 1st, 2010
7:48 pm

This is one of the easiest questions that i have ever answered Where I work they use the word terminated, but i like the word FIRED better. The alcohol problem at UGA is terrible. I have come to reasoning the best place to get a Georgia athlete autograph is to the Athens jail. This is so sad.. I would not want a child of mine at UGA. I have followed the Bulldogs for about forty years Enough is Enough..

70 Dawg

July 1st, 2010
7:49 pm

If I’m Dr Adams, here’s my position:
Damn it man, what were you thinking? I’ve been a strong supporter but you’ve got to live by the same rules as the players. We fired Mett for a lesser offense and rightly so. Unfortunately, you’ve got to go.

AUTIGER

July 1st, 2010
7:51 pm

You cannot keep Damon on the job, he is in an key administrative position that requires at all times integrity and a public image that is above reproach. He should be fired, end of story. If not then the University of Georgia will be the laughingstock of the SEC.

Sorry Dogs

July 1st, 2010
7:54 pm

Well said BugKiller.

Oh and Big Time, us Tech maggots would prefer all you drunks stay in Athens. Good place for you.

Mike T.

July 1st, 2010
7:54 pm

Sinners,
Yes we need to forgive him,but the Bible clearly teaches there are consquences for your actions.
Remember when Saul disobeyed God and he lost his crown as King of Israel?
DUI and in the company of another woman in your own personal vehicle after midnight. Good luck
at your next job.

Embarrassed and Angry Alum

July 1st, 2010
7:54 pm

Look at the mug shot folks. He hadn’t had “just a couple beers,” he couldn’t even look up at the camera! He was absolutely hammered. And yes, you can be charged with DUI even if you refuse the breathalizer. You can face some pretty stiff penalties for refusing. I’m not against a responsible adult having a few drinks – I enjoy them occasionally myself, but either sitting in my chair at home or with a DD if I’m out. I believe in extremely stiff and severe penalties for any DUI – I’ve both tried to stitch back together victims (child and adult) of drunk drivers and had family members violently killed (dismembered) in car wrecks caused by drunk drivers. A man in his position should be held to a high standard, and as an Athens native and UGA alumnus, I cannot condone anything less than his dismissal. I supported him as he was named Dooley’s successor, and now I’ll be just as vocal in calling for his firing. Yes, he has done a great job in filling some big shoes after Dooley, but we will be the picture of hypocrisy if we dismiss Mett for groping a girl and allow Damon to keep his job and over half a million dollar salary. Time to cut ties and try to salvage the image of the UGAAA. Fire. Him. Now.

Derrick G

July 1st, 2010
7:55 pm

1.) Probably not the first time he’s been drinking and driving. Just the first time he got caught.

2.) She’s probably not “just a friend”. (wink-wink) Stating the obvious. Sorry.

3.) Adams is just as big of a hypocrite as Evans, so I doubt he gets fired.

4.) If he doesn’t get fired, then he needs to be suspended without pay for 10% of the year
(”season” which his is all year).

5.) If he doesn’t get suspended, every student and student-athlete are going to think all
the don’t drink and drive talk for the next 4 years is complete B.S. and will fall on deaf ears.

ToccoaDawg

July 1st, 2010
7:57 pm

I love the Dawgs. I like Evans. But this sentence sums it up for me:

“And there’s still the possibility that the backwash from all this could result in Evans and/or Adams concluding that he no longer can effectively lead the UGA Athletic Association.”

I don’t see how he can effectively lead the program after this. He needs to step aside, concentrate on his family, and get back in the game at a later time…somewhere else.

Dawgs2010

July 1st, 2010
7:57 pm

His wife should be ashamed to even call him her husband. This she is just a “friend” BS is not going fly at home.

What a worthless excuse for a man. He had everything and now is just waiting for the ax to fall.

His wife will NEVER look at him the same again.

This is a turning point in his life. You cannot recover from this. You can make things less painful along the way, but his life will never be the same.

uga has problems

July 1st, 2010
7:58 pm

what a joke uga has become. the football team has no discipline on or off the field (leading the world in penalties the last few years, and arrests). it should not come as a shock that the lead dog runs around on is wife and gets popped for a dui. face it uga u sold any morals for a few wins. what a joke

Bulldoogmaniac

July 1st, 2010
7:59 pm

Fire him and move on!
This is a black eye for our entire sports program and university.

Hell'va an engineer/MIT wannabe

July 1st, 2010
8:00 pm

Hey Sorry Dogs/Tech Maggott
Stay out of this man.According to your fight song everyone that goes to Tech is a drunk.

Billy Jack could fight

July 1st, 2010
8:02 pm

Derrick G when I went to DUI school many years ago we were told the typical person drives 500 times drunk before getting a DUI…..and I believe this to be true…folks there are A LOT of people driving under the influence….especially professional alcoholics…people that get off work and go have a few drinks….just sayin

Errrrrbody get Tipsy

July 1st, 2010
8:03 pm

On other talk sports radio shows UGA is already a laughing stock because of Damon’s huge screw up. She was just a friend? Sure she was Damon ! Sorry Damon but its time to say adios !

Old Dawg

July 1st, 2010
8:04 pm

He has to go and he should resign. The DUI is bad enough but the fact of the woman in the car with him that late, drunk and disorderly, there is just not a good way to get beyond it. If it had been CMR or one of the other coaches, they would be gone. Hate to be so cut and dried but I don’t see another solution. I forgive him. We all make mistakes and we all deserve forgivness. He deserves a second chance but it will need to be somewhere else.

dawgy 2003

July 1st, 2010
8:06 pm

He needs to be gone. Period. Resign. Fired. Whatever. Just gone.

K

July 1st, 2010
8:06 pm

He’s gotta go. I can’t see any other way.

Errrrrbody get Tipsy

July 1st, 2010
8:06 pm

Those photos of Damon sure makes him look like he has a helluva lingering hangover !

browndog

July 1st, 2010
8:18 pm

Don’t see any way he can stay at UGA. What if this had been a member of the coaching staff? I imagine AD Evans would have come down really hard so what else can Adams do other than let him go or accept his resignation and pay him a great big severance, which is more likely. Big, big mistake on Evans’ part.

Peggy Sue

July 1st, 2010
8:24 pm

It’s real simple. Fire the bass turd. Today.

barneyb

July 1st, 2010
8:27 pm

Damon- if you were gonna get caught, couldn’t you pick a better lookin chick?

Maria

July 1st, 2010
8:28 pm

Arrest #40 in the past three years, I believe. Most of them for DUI or public drunkeness.

Disgraceful. Why hasn’t Evans been fired already?

ugacbh

July 1st, 2010
8:29 pm

What about the girl in the car at this late hour. It has been rumored in Athens on several occasions that he has been seen with coeds and the President knows about this. Also, our total sports position seems to be declining each year. So why the raise? The UGA graduate at Florida should have gotten the job in the first place.

Ed

July 1st, 2010
8:29 pm

This is a no-brainer. Evans must resign or be fired. Unless you happen to be a Democrat politician, getting busted with a skank who’s not your wife while driving drunk is pretty much a career killer for a high profile person like Evans.

browndog

July 1st, 2010
8:33 pm

Well at least he didn’t say he was reaching out for help and would be checking into rehab tomorrow.

FedUpDawg are you talking about Mark Richt?

July 1st, 2010
8:33 pm

Sure sounds like it. HAHA

Waitin' to see

July 1st, 2010
8:35 pm

If Adams retains Evans, the university will be the laughing stock of the SEC. Furthermore, Evans’ influence will be badly compromised by this immature act. Perhaps there may more to come out as well, sort of like the QB who Richt booted off the team. Turned out to be more then drunk driving, as I recall.