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

It's The University Georgia

July 1st, 2010
8:36 pm

what more would you expect? SWEET!

Glass House Dweller

July 1st, 2010
8:38 pm

All of you self righteous folks on here calling for Damon’s head have surely never ever made a mistake. He is a great guy and a great athletic director. Let him apologize, serve some sort of penalty and retain his job. We all deserve second chances-and Damon is no exception.

Elvis

July 1st, 2010
8:40 pm

Say goodnight Damon, enjoy the weekend picking up your clothes on the front lawn, Your wife should toss your butt out and so should Adams. drunk as a skunk out at midnight with a 28 yr old woman, whose not your wife, “she’s just a friend” yeah, nice try buddy. take your medicine and go away and thank God you didn’t kill anybody you moron.

FLA DAWG

July 1st, 2010
8:41 pm

This man must be held to a standard much higher than that of the players of any UGA sport.
The man must go and go now.

Dawg'em out!

July 1st, 2010
8:42 pm

Throw Stones

July 1st, 2010
8:44 pm

yeah we can and screw the glass house crap. You make 500K a year, you lead student athletes at a major university, your married and you’re stupid enough or have a big enough ego to get drunk with a prostitute and unfortunately get caught? Look up the definition of a MISTAKE, evans chose to drink too much, chose his company and chose to drive, that’s 3 for 3, and you call that a mistake, HELLO

Leroy Da Pimp

July 1st, 2010
8:44 pm

Evans was drunk as a skunk and the blue pill didn’t help my homeboy either. u still owe me $$$ evans.

George the DUI lawyer

July 1st, 2010
8:46 pm

Call me Damon, call me babe, can help with the DUI, but call a divorce lawyer too while you’re at it. LOL

JES

July 1st, 2010
8:47 pm

He obviously wasn’t driving her home from her nose job appointment.

AltamahaDawg

July 1st, 2010
8:47 pm

Gawdalmighty ladies, put on your big girl panties and deal with it. It will all work out and The University is going to come off good in the deal.

CONFEDERATE DAWG

July 1st, 2010
8:50 pm

I BELIEVE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION SAID IT BEST “I DIDNT DO IT, LAWYER SCREWED ME!”

DEF A TEC SET UP REGARDLESS

savannadawg

July 1st, 2010
8:51 pm

Sorry Damon, You were in the wrong place at the wrong time and with the wrong person. Got too go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AltamahaDawg

July 1st, 2010
8:51 pm

Did I actually hear that the football player are going to be more likely to go out and drive aorund after drinking, if he doesn’t get fired? Do you really think THATS the process by which those decisions are reached?

Early of the Squidbillies

July 1st, 2010
8:53 pm

Damon wuz you drinkin my Party Liquor or my Pine Cone whiskey?

FLA DAWG

July 1st, 2010
8:56 pm

Alta,
If you think this guy should be the UGA AD after this then you have lost all credibility.
This man calls what he did a mistake. WRONG – A mistake is an unintentional and erroneous act one commits. Evans was not forced to drink to excess, not forced to allegedly intend to cheat on his wife and not forced to drive while intoxicated. These were decisions he made……….not mistakes he was not in control of.

gadawg

July 1st, 2010
8:56 pm

70 Dawg – Mett did not get fired he got a$$ kicked of the program for sexual assault. Not quite a lesser offense. ‘Groping a female while drunk in public is alot more serious than DUI with a willing “friend”.

Everyone makes mistakes, I doubt he will ever make this one again. He has more issues with his wife and family than he does with us, The Bulldog Nation. I hope they can resolve whatever issues there are in that relationship. I agree with Glass House Dweller. What happened to second chances?

Uga bill

July 1st, 2010
8:57 pm

Evans should have used this news conference to resign his position. He could then have played the rehab game and landed a job elsewhere. IF ADAMS DOES NOT FIRE THIS GUY, THEY SHOULD BOTH GO !!!

Surprised?

July 1st, 2010
8:59 pm

He’s just following suit. All talk but the upper echelon are far too superior to follow the rules they set for anyone else. Just look at Washington. I have zero sympathy for him but feel badly for his wife and kids. What a bum. There are too many talented men and women who could do the job better than him. He made the choices let him pay the consequences.

Roy D. Mercer

July 1st, 2010
8:59 pm

I really feel he is a wounded leader. I feel for his family. I am sure alot of people in similar situations have done the same thing and got lucky and didn’t get caught. But you don’t play Russian roulette with a car and other peoples’ lives. I am afraid I would have to let him go. Once again I really feel for his family.

Denver Dawg

July 1st, 2010
9:02 pm

Amen FL Dawg, a UGA fan using his brain:
This man calls what he did a mistake. WRONG – A mistake is an unintentional and erroneous act one commits. Evans was not forced to drink to excess, not forced to allegedly intend to cheat on his wife and not forced to drive while intoxicated. These were decisions he made……….not mistakes he was not in control of.

Georgia State Patrol

July 1st, 2010
9:04 pm

WE RUN THIS STATE!!!!!!!!

Go DAaaaaaaaaaWGS

July 1st, 2010
9:04 pm

The embarrassment that UGA is just keeps getting worse.

longdog

July 1st, 2010
9:06 pm

Ricth butt cut You are so wrong real men don”t cheat only men of low morals do

Gators!

July 1st, 2010
9:06 pm

I don’t know if even Jeremy Foley could survive a DUI. that mugshot and on top of that being married but out with a strange younger woman. Color him G-O-N-E.

FORTY ONE POINTS to your seventeen points

July 1st, 2010
9:09 pm

zZZZZZZZZZZZZ ZZZZzzzzzzzZZZ No news here….just another arrest.

((((((((((((((((((((((((41-17)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

ugaclassof2004

July 1st, 2010
9:10 pm

I just don’t know if he will be fired. I just don’t think it will happen for some reason.

Fed Up with Athletic People who break the law

July 1st, 2010
9:11 pm

Fire Him Now!!!!!! He had so little regard for his wife, his children, UGA and even for himself.
The DUI was bad enough but the 28 year old girl friend at midnight drunk. He will not regain his
credibility with me. He is done. What a hypocrite and what a loser. If UGA gives him the $110,000 raise, I am out of here supporting UGA. We need athletes and especially athletic leaders to learn a lesson. People will not tolerate this kind of conduct. Give him his pink slip and send him packing back to Gainesville to help coach high school football. He has lost my respect and support forever. Adams, use that power you love, give him the pink slip as soon as possible.

George P. Burdell

July 1st, 2010
9:12 pm

You mutters must be reeeeeeeeaaally proud.

Warhorse

July 1st, 2010
9:13 pm

This is the guy who on the first day in his job, terminated three long-time employees by having armed security guards walk them off the premises. What was his reason? He wanted his people on the job. Disgraceful excuse for leadership.Now, he is exposed for conduct that reportedly has gone under the radar for several years.

Why give him a chance? So that UGA fans can watch the all-sports record plunge even further than its lowest ranking since 1997? So that UGA fans can watch the Gators beat the Dawgs like a rented mule? He is a mediocre AD who would not rank in the upper 3/4 of SEC leaders. Good riddance for mediocrity. Use this excuse to unload a poor hire.

Coach PJ

July 1st, 2010
9:13 pm

Maybe you should slap him up the side of the head.

Bill Roe

July 1st, 2010
9:14 pm

Having served as state Madd chairman for 4 years I have seen the horror and wasted lives caused by drunk drivers who kill helpless victims by their selfish act.Damon was lucky he did not end up with a manslaughter charge.These type of incidents dont just happen they have a pattern of attitudes.Late night,Atlanta,single woman. Damon if he has character can only solve the problem by resigning.

Gatorguy

July 1st, 2010
9:15 pm

You guys are something…..just remember:

7 out of 9
17 out of 20

(((((((((((((((((((((((41-17))))))))))))))))))

Hanky Panky Evans Deserves Knockout!!!!

July 1st, 2010
9:15 pm

Hanky Panky cost Tiger Woods greatly. Hanky Panky should cost Damon Evans his job. The DUI was bad enough but whoring around is the lowest level for someone who is suppose to be the model of integrity. How can any athlete at the University not say, “Look at good old Demon Evans, out boozing and whoring around and he don’t allow us to have a beer”. “If he can do it, we can do it too”. Truly, we are the laughing stock of the SEC. How can the University allow the face of the athletic program have a mug shot on tv and still stay we stand behind him all the way. What they do with Evans will determine if UGA is an institution of integrity or just another compromise because he makes money. If there was a vote, I would strongly vote “fire him now”. Hanky Panky just isn’t acceptable for those in Evan’s position.

rrich

July 1st, 2010
9:17 pm

I agree 100% that this is bad for all UGA fans, employees and anybody who likes SEC football I’m afraid of what will come out of the girl that was with him friend or not this is a bad deal just ask tiger fans

Where's the Cover Up?????

July 1st, 2010
9:19 pm

Damon Evans drunk with a 28 year old blond in his car at midnight. Has there been any response? Will there be any response? She was charged, she was drunk and she was headed somewhere with someone’s husband at midnight. In our wildest dreams we could not come up with an explanation for this event. If anyone ever deserved to be fired, it is Evans. This was more than bad judgment, it looks like a Tiger Wood outing. I have lost ALL respect for Evans and believe Adams and the Athletic Board should fire him as soon as possible. I can’t wait to see how Evans tries to spin the story of where he and the blond were heading. It should be one to top Tiger, Bill Clinton and Jim Baker. Evans was sorry he got caught, he did not seem sorry for what he had done.

AltamahaDawg

July 1st, 2010
9:20 pm

Fla Dawg did I SAY that’s what I thought? Because that would be news to me.

And I think you are confusing mistake with accident. Accidents are out of your control. Mistake can be made. Clearly he wasn’t trying to say “whoops, I unintentionally or erronously did something”. I don’t think there is any danger that he was trying to cleverly excuse his action by calling it a mistake and not decision. His decisions lead him to make a mistake, how’s that?

I said this afternoon what I think is going to happen.

Red

July 1st, 2010
9:21 pm

Herschel for AD!
Herschel for AD!
Herschel for AD!
Herschel for AD!
Herschel for AD!
Herschel for AD!
Herschel for AD!
Herschel for AD!
Herschel for AD!
Herschel for AD!
Herschel for AD!
Herschel for AD!
Herschel for AD!
Herschel for AD!
Herschel for AD!
Herschel for AD!

1

July 1st, 2010
9:22 pm

Gatorguy…..plz give me a quick rundown on who leads the GA-FL series.

Big Black Eye

July 1st, 2010
9:25 pm

The Big Black Eye Damon Evans gave the University of Georgia, deserves an immediate and total response from the Administration. I am madder than Hades at his lack of integrity. What a loser!
The Drunk charge was bad enough but the drunk single friend in his car at midnight. Come on, what could it be if he had so little resistance to drinking, how much resistance did he have for her. Everyone I have talked to are adamant that Evans should be fired as soon as possible.
He will never regain his credibility or respect. He gave the University of Georgia a Big Black Eye and now it’s time for Adams and Company to Bloody His Nose. If no serious actions are taken, it will send a message that UGA has double standards for high level administrators.
If this were a football player, he would be kicked off the team as we have seen with Mattenburger… sex and drinking. Sex and drinking with him and drinking and possible sex with Evans… kick Evans off our team now.

jer_jin

July 1st, 2010
9:27 pm

granted i think dui laws are a bit harsh now the law is the law. athletes get suspended he should lose his raise at least, do hundreds of hours of real community service, and some jail time. whatever average poor man would get. that is if he keeps his job. think he gets fired should be fired broke his own rule/standard. would be hard to quit a job that pays that much. to our salt in the wound he got caught cheating too.

ball lickin' dawg

July 1st, 2010
9:28 pm

Nice the AD is a hypocrite and gets a DUI after coming down hard on the student athletes who have done the same. More importantly, what was Evans doing with a trampy drunk chick, not his wife in Buckhead around midnight? No possible good going on there.

At least she did not get caught polishing his helmet in the middle of the act. Evans needs to fall on his own sword, what an embarrasment. Maybe there is a reason a young punk should not be chosen for an AD leadership role. Just not mature and wise enough.

fire-damon.com

July 1st, 2010
9:30 pm

operation ZERO tolerance……
means everybody hoss.

AltamahaDawg

July 1st, 2010
9:31 pm

It’s also absolutely absurd to believe that the Universtiy or Damon Evans has anything to gain to try to resolve his employment issue before sundown on the day the story broke. Adams will figure out the best thing for the University. Evans has to rebuild his life, feed his kids. None of those thing were going to happen tonight.

Mobile Dawg

July 1st, 2010
9:32 pm

We all make mistakes. Some are just permanent. This was a permanent mistake that can’t be taken back. Adams has also made a huge mistake by not taking the immediate action of relieving Evans of his responsibilities. First, how can Evans focus on his job with this looming over his head? Second, what message has he sent? Third, a sign of the times, you can get away with murder these days….Sad day and this sickens me….No accountability these days….Good Day Dawgs, our Country is going to hell in a handbasket…..As I said in an earlier post, it’s OK to be warm and fuzzy, offer Evans the opportunity to get help and keep him on at the University in another position. Anything less is inexcusable….Good Day Dawgs….

Roy D. Mercer

July 1st, 2010
9:34 pm

I would love to have Billy Payne as A.D. but I don’t think that is possible. A name I think shoud be mentioned is Steve Greer if he is interested. He is a true Dawg and has been there through alot of transition. I believe he would support all sports. He should know the ropes and has paid his dues. Evans was handed the job before he was ready. Coach Dooley should have been able to stay as long as he wanted and by then Evans would have probably been ready. Thanks Adams!

Mike Oxbig

July 1st, 2010
9:35 pm

At least our school is relavent enough that people are fired up about this. Nerds Athletic Director could get caught w/ a male cheerleader in his office and no one would care

Black

July 1st, 2010
9:35 pm

Herschel for AD!
Herschel for AD!
Herschel for AD!
Herschel for AD!
Herschel for AD!
Herschel for AD!
Herschel for AD!
Herschel for AD!
Herschel for AD!
Herschel for AD!
Herschel for AD!
Herschel for AD!
Herschel for AD!
Herschel for AD!
Herschel for AD!
Herschel for AD!

good ole days

July 1st, 2010
9:35 pm

Bring back Vince !

Mobile Dawg

July 1st, 2010
9:37 pm

Altamaha, I disagree with you 100%. He needs to be relieved of his duties immediately. Not fired, offered help and repositioned. He can still feed his family. Where is the accountabilty these days. Quick decisive action by Adams would have gone a lot further, faster, to minimize the damage and crap we’re going to hear about this….Gone like a freight train, gone like yesterday….

Delbert D.

July 1st, 2010
9:37 pm

Fire him. If he resists, use propane.