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

#2 BAMA FAN

July 1st, 2010
9:39 pm

Well Alabama had a football coach who got drunk in a strip bar and made a fool out of himself and was
fired for the being stupid!! Georgia has a AD who should be fired on the spot and messing around with
another lady friend!! As ever heard of Tiger Woods? RTR

What will parents and recruits think?

July 1st, 2010
9:43 pm

What will be in the minds of recruits and their parents with Damon Evans actions? As Christian and as quality a man as CMR is, Damon has proven just the opposite. Drunk, with a young totally drunk woman, a night in jail, a meaningless apology and he still has his job. To restore image, integrity and pride, Evans must be fired. Zach should be reinstated if Evans is kept. I just don’t think a double standard will work in this matter. Evans should have resigned at his news conference. UGA can’t possibly win if they keep Evans as Athletic Director.

Roll Tide

July 1st, 2010
9:43 pm

Sonny Perdue, Michael Adams, Donleebern, Suzanne Yocalan, Damon Evans. What a sleazy state. What a sleazy university. “just a friend” right. Does anybody tell the truth up there? Where’s the lysol

Mobile Dawg

July 1st, 2010
9:45 pm

Think I will call Paul Finebaum and get his opinion, I didn’t get to hear his show today, Ron Zook was his guest….Finebaum actually referred to him as the former “Georgia” coach. I wondered if he was smart enough to do that purposely to continue his assault on the UGA Nation….

Zook had just returned from a trip overseas to support our troops. That was admirable, he had a lot of good things to say about our Military Personnel, their attitude, and their committment to purpose. Go America ! ! !

DILLIGAF

July 1st, 2010
9:45 pm

While everyone is preaching about credibility, hypocrisy and accountability let’s take into consideration the acts of the 535 members of our U.S. Congress.

Numbers from 1999: from http://www.capitolhillblue.com/Aug1999/081699/criminalclass1-081699.htm

* 29 members of Congress have been accused of spousal abuse.
* 7 have been arrested for fraud.
* 19 have been accused of writing bad checks.
* 117 have bankrupted at least two businesses.
* 3 have been arrested for assault.
* 71 have credit reports so bad they can’t qualify for a
credit card.
* 14 have been arrested on drug-related charges.
* 8 have been arrested for shoplifting.
* 21 are current defendants in lawsuits.
* And in 1998 alone, 84 were stopped for drunk driving, but released after they claimed Congressional immunity.

I say fire them all.

Evans needs to go….period. Like the guy couldn’t afford a cab.

His credibility as a role model and advocate against drinking and driving can never be restored.

Jacksonville State is looking for someone. Send em’ a tweet.

UGA/85

I might could have handled the DUI

July 1st, 2010
9:46 pm

I might could have handled the DUI as a lapse in judgment, but the young totally drunk woman in his car at midnight, is totally unacceptable. He’s a husband and father not a street cat out looking for some action. Is there any doubt what a totally drunk Evans had on his mind with a totally drunk woman in his car weaving down the street at midnight? Give me a break! This cost Tiger Wood $750 million and should cost Damon Evans his job. Fire him now!!!!

Mike Oxbig

July 1st, 2010
9:49 pm

Roll tide– are you sure you want to start comparing sleaze? your school practically invented it. Basically every recruiting rule in the SEC is direct result of having to put up w/ Bear Bryant

Mobile Dawg

July 1st, 2010
9:50 pm

Congressional Immunity? Why not just tell them you’re an illegal. Is that true? Never heard of CI, I’ve got to look that one up….

Hey DILLIGAF

July 1st, 2010
9:52 pm

Your stats are from an ancient forwarded hoax email. Your link doesn’t even work. Ever heard of snopes.com??

RxDawg

July 1st, 2010
9:52 pm

I’m torn.

Part of me says that we just can’t have a senior leader of the university riding around with young mistresses and getting DUI’s.

Another part of me thinks it’s sad that our self righteous society demands that someone on a pedestal falls after any mistake they make.

I’ll just defer to Adams on this one. Damian is probably fired. WTH D!? You get paid too much money to drive yourself around when your drunk.

AltamahaDawg

July 1st, 2010
9:52 pm

You’re letting “crap we are going to hear”, over-ride common sense. This is a pretty big HR issue, legal issue, moral issue, direction of the program issue. You don’t knee jerk the same day. We all know the outcome. Do you want to control the story of have it control you.

There is no further damage going to happen in one day or one week. You might just have to listen to some nerds for a fesw days, but could that be any more annoying anyway.

I would submit that in the big picture, the University has more to gain from a planned resignation, or even a well-considered dismissal bringing to LIGHT the university standards, rather than letting the story dictate that UGA had to scramble and fire somebody.

[...] Junkyard Blawger Bill King’s blog. [...]

Old Gold

July 1st, 2010
9:56 pm

Hes a “tiger”….hahaha

McDawg

July 1st, 2010
9:57 pm

He definitely needs to resign or needs to be fired. It doesn’t make any sense to pay an A.D. half a million dollars a year who has lost all credibility with fans, students, and players. Time to start looking for a good replacement.

Mobile Dawg

July 1st, 2010
10:01 pm

You totally missed my point, I didn’t say anything about a firing or a resignation. I said relieve him of his duties and responsibilities immediately, reason being he can’t focus on his job with his personnel problems. Now the University has taken quick and decisive action, no one can say anything to the contrary.

This man has made a mistake of gigantic proportion, if his judgement was this poor he can’t be trusted with making decisons concerning young peoples lives at this time.

Offer him the opportunity to seek help, find him another place where he can “serve” the University, let him work, feed his family, and if someday he is judged as a person who has learned from his mistakes he can “reclimb” the ladder. This happens every day in the real world. Been there, done that….

This is controlling the story….Anything else is the story controlling you….

Mobile Dawg

July 1st, 2010
10:04 pm

DILLIGAF, I didn’t go to Snopes but if that happened it wouldn’t surprise me. It would however be just one more unconstitutional thing our lawmakers are doing. Something has to change quickly. See how this Evans issue just parallels where our Country is going, correction, has gone….

Bride of Chucky Knapp

July 1st, 2010
10:05 pm

“Just a friend” my a$$!

Bride of Chucky Knapp

July 1st, 2010
10:09 pm

Isn’t it convenient that this story broke at the absolute low point of UGA football news. I bet an AJC reporter sent the lady friend (w/ UGA j-school degree) over to Evans at some bar and they plied him with drinks just so they could break this story on a slow news day. No, wait, they’re not that clever, never mind.

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

Stinger

July 1st, 2010
10:11 pm

How about hiring Dave Braine. Maybe he can fire Mark Richt and get Chan Gailey for you. LMFAO

Roll Tide

July 1st, 2010
10:14 pm

Sonny Perdue, Michael Adams, Don Leebern,Suzanne yocalan, Damon Evans. WHAT A SLEAZY STATE. WHAT A SLEAZY UNIVERSITY. Where’s the lysol. Goergia fans act like nothing is wrong. Don’t go into denial on this one. I’m sure this isn’t the first time for Evans, it just when it involved a DUI the sleazebags at UGA weren’t able to cover it up. You’ve got a sleazy University run by sleazy people in a sleazy state that sees no need to clean it up. At Uga, it’s ok, as long as your not caught. Evans stated the hag was “just a friend”. Don’t you Georgia people knows he’s lying? That’s suppose to bother you. What is wrong with you people.Nothing offends you losers. His lying should be offensive enough, yet ya’ll are on here saying he should be retained! It’s incredible. What a school. what a state. Where’s the lysol!/ ROLL TIDE

Scott W.

July 1st, 2010
10:15 pm

You people who keep saying he’s too rich to drive himself drunk don’t get it. You don’t exactly want too many people involved if you’re running around on your wife. The people who say a second chance is needed. DE had three strikes in one outing. He needs to step down but probably wouldn’t get severance that way, so he’ll get fired instead.

Courtney Fuhrmann, burp

July 1st, 2010
10:16 pm

Who’s a girl gotta sleep with around here to get another drink and a ride home? Why Damon Evans you’ll do.

Mobile Dawg

July 1st, 2010
10:17 pm

Roll Tide, you have a great football team and a proud University, it’s your fans that suck. What year did you graduate? War Eagle ! Mindya….

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

Mike Oxbig

July 1st, 2010
10:18 pm

Roll tide- people would agree with you except consider the source. ‘Bama talking sleaze is like Tiger Woods talking about how to be a good husband. Stop with your stupid comments. you have no credibility; go talk about how to stop causing the ncaa recruiting rulebook the keep expanding because of your sleazy school

Sandyspringsjacket

July 1st, 2010
10:18 pm

THUGA has reached a new level. Let’s see Adams and Evans spin this one. This should bring THUGA’s over inflated self image of better then everyone else back to reality. Maybe the THUGA fans will now see THUGA as all of its rivals do, really sleazy; reality hurts.

I must admit as a Jacket, i am loving this and will watch this movie in 3 D as it unfolds!!

THUGA rules the state…… in arrests and DUI’s.

Scott W.

July 1st, 2010
10:21 pm

Jackets proudest moment, when the rivals AD gets arrested. Have some self-respect.

gatorgay

July 1st, 2010
10:22 pm

Even with that you still trail the series, so you guys really sucked a looooong time. Oh and have the shock paddles ready, old Urbane may just go vapor lock at any moment this season.

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

jacket backer

July 1st, 2010
10:23 pm

What a classy school. Sounds like where I would like my son to go. NOT !!!!!!!!! They need a house cleaning from the AD to the mascot. Well maybe not the dog. He seems to be the only one with a little class.

sandyspringsjackass

July 1st, 2010
10:24 pm

Just as much as we loved the Rueben Houston drug deal, the Lil Joe MJ drive, the pizza parlor girl beatdown, the recent DL that b*tchslapped his ho….Ya Tech is such a goody two shoes.

Damon Evans, same time next year

July 1st, 2010
10:24 pm

Would you like some fries with that order, sir?

jacketsuckoff

July 1st, 2010
10:25 pm

Hey let your daughter get slapped by some Yech DL or maybe she can score some dope from old Rueben.

AltamahaDawg

July 1st, 2010
10:26 pm

I guess I did. Good point. I don’t know if the timing, summer, 2 days before the long weekend had anything to do with his duties not being in play.

Anyway, I think it will play out very quickly and the outcome is already cast in stone.

I don’t really have an issue with repentance, or trust, or forgiveness. To me it’s not that complicated. All he could do is to just NOT get caught DUI again, but that would only be doing what was assumed all along. That doesn’t really make up or compensate. I don’t even think anybody needs him to compensate. Either he can do the job now or he can’t.

Roy D. Mercer

July 1st, 2010
10:26 pm

Responsibility and Accountability are no longer in the English vocabulary. You have to fire him. I was hoping he would resign.

Sandyspringsjacket

July 1st, 2010
10:27 pm

Scott W, I have self respect, i would have resigned. Alas, it wasn’t me in that car at mid night drunk and cheating on my wife, it was the BIG DAWG. How amusing!

Leedawg

July 1st, 2010
10:27 pm

Time to go, plain and simple. And to all the a-holes who want to spout scores, including fellow Dawgs, this goes way beyond scoreboard.

Mike Oxbig

July 1st, 2010
10:28 pm

Sandyspringsjacket – isn’t it time for you to get out your prayer rug and face mecca?

PaulHewitt

July 1st, 2010
10:28 pm

Hey man I’ll take that fine white sista off your hands…..

Mike T.

July 1st, 2010
10:32 pm

Roll Tide

What a sleazy state. What a sleazy university

This from someone from the number one redneck state, that leads the nation in dirt roads.

Don "Vito" Leeburn

July 1st, 2010
10:32 pm

It’s not “your” Athletic Association…it is MY Athletic Association…

…and I will decree what will and will not happen with my employees who consume too much of the products my company distributes.

Roy D. Mercer

July 1st, 2010
10:32 pm

Why is everyone surprised? This is the way society is today. At a little league game in Pooler, Ga. and kid gets mad and takes his jersey off and stomps on it and they put him back in the game. There is no accountability anymore. He needs to go and show that this behavior will not be tolerated and if you are going to do it you better go to ten buck two to do it and not get caught. That doesn’t make it right but nowadays these high paid people think they are above the law.

AltamahaDawg

July 1st, 2010
10:33 pm

“yet ya’ll are on here saying he should be retained!”

You wouldn’t be playing pretend, now would you? Ya’ll who?

Sandyspringsjacket

July 1st, 2010
10:33 pm

Yes Jacket athletes have had a few doozies, but THUGA rules the state. Sometimes we act like Dawgs in the cesspool of the south, Athens. Now your AD has made a statement about the crime DAWGS that can not be overlooked no matter how you spin it. Lovin it!

FNFAL

July 1st, 2010
10:35 pm

Gee, i hope uga is going to be alright.

The Ghost of Wally Butts

July 1st, 2010
10:36 pm

Look on the bright side, at least he spent the night in the Atlanta Jail and not in the Clarke County Jail…

…imagine the drama if he would have run into some of his “playas” while being booked at the Clarke County Jail!

Roy D. Mercer

July 1st, 2010
10:36 pm

Roll Tide – Wait a minute the state of Alabama is pretty sleazy. They say when the Greyhound bus goes through Pheonix City, it is so rough the dog gets on the inside the bus.

So Long Damon

July 1st, 2010
10:40 pm

So Long Damon!!!!!!

Budwieser Bob

July 1st, 2010
10:40 pm

Hey Bill

What about the girl too

He is married you know

Thats another issue that needs to be talked about here