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

cordele,ga

July 1st, 2010
10:41 pm

so this is who Adam’s replaced with legendary Vince Dooly with ?? Please,, anyone ever heard of the old saying that your “chickens come home to roost” ,, Adam’s promoted him up as his on personal henchman who fired anyone that was on the Dooly team.. I just wonder what Coach Dooly is thinking right now ?? I think that Adams should be fired and Evans and bring back Vince Dooly as AD. !! anyone out ther in BullDawg nation agree ??

Sandyspringsjacket

July 1st, 2010
10:42 pm

MIke Oxbig, need a little help here, humor me. Was Damon on his way to mecca last night?

Roy D. Mercer

July 1st, 2010
10:43 pm

cordele, ga. Adams has made two good hires, Damon Evans and Jim the Crook Harrick. Both have embarrassed the University. His ass needs to go to.

Dawg man

July 1st, 2010
10:45 pm

This person should be fired. He talks about no drinking and driving, then he hypocrits hisself. No wonder our athletes get into trouble—no examples from higher up. GT would have run Rad off.

keith l

July 1st, 2010
10:45 pm

I hope Russ can sleep tonight…maybe Sonny has the blocker on the internet in the doghouse

FNFAL

July 1st, 2010
10:46 pm

booze and coke with a white girl. nice job.

Roy D. Mercer

July 1st, 2010
10:46 pm

a great AD for UGA would be Jay Russell, son of the late Coach Erk Russell. He is a former player and would be a solid candidate. That is if Coach Dooley doesn’t come back.

Dixie Clear

July 1st, 2010
10:48 pm

Evans ain’t going anywhere….he’s a perfect fit for UGA!!

Otto

July 1st, 2010
10:48 pm

Dooley only got us on probation twice, knew about the Jan Kemp deal, but at least he didn’t embarrass the university by driving around drinking!!!! Adams needs to go!!!!!

Mike Oxbig

July 1st, 2010
10:48 pm

ss jacket- he was just partaking in one of his 7 virgins or whatever the reward is…

Tractor driver

July 1st, 2010
10:48 pm

Is Adams the culprit or Evans?

Mobile Dawg

July 1st, 2010
10:49 pm

We have one thing in common, we care about our school and are loyal Dawgs. I won’t be a hypocrite and say I’ve never been in the position where save God’s grace or maybe by just good luck I could have stood in Damon’s shoes and faced the same situation. Difference being was my age and maturity, and the position I held. I’ve never seen a jail cell from the inside, but I have put my son in one to try and teach him there is a consequence for negative behavior, at 28 he’s my business partner now. Forgiveness is devine, and Damon will be forgiven by God if he wishes. His actions however, at this time, warranted immediate action from Dr. Adams and he hasn’t taken action. He has taken the political status quo, we will review the facts (when the facts are obvious). What a shame IMO….Good night….The crazies are on the board and in control now….

Roy D. Mercer

July 1st, 2010
10:50 pm

Otto I agree about the Jan Kemp thing. But I hate to tell you that sort of thing goes on just about at every big time program. Dooley built what may have been the best overall athletic program in the country. He would be welcomed back anytime.

Mike T.

July 1st, 2010
10:52 pm

cesspool of the south, Athens. NOT. That would be Hotlanta,especially the area around North Ave.
Home of the MIT wannabee’s.

Otto

July 1st, 2010
10:56 pm

Roy D Mercer, I hate to hear that excuse “it goes on everywhere”, if so, why haven’t we read about other teachers suing? Evans must have something on Adams–any other university president would have ran they’re “embarrassement” off. Even a Clemson or Tennesee would have ran theirs off.

cordele,ga

July 1st, 2010
10:58 pm

Hey Roy D. Mercer and the rest of ya’ll dawgs out there ,, hey read the book “Vince Dooly My 25 Years at UGA” , Coach Dooly knew that Damon had potential but wasnt ready yet and that Adams was and is a power/money hunger Czar of UGA .. and both need to go and bring back some of the good UGA that we were raised loving !!! and fyi,, how can you kick football players of the team for drinking and Damon keep his sorry A@@@ on the 550,000.0 job ?? Something aint right up there in Athens ( and I’m an Alumni by the way),, and it’s time to get back to the basics.. Fire Evans , force Adams out and beg Coach Dooly to come back on an interim basis to try to straighten out this mess !! anyone agree??

GT man

July 1st, 2010
11:00 pm

At least we only beat up our girlfriends and stay out of vehicles as to not drive and injure other folks. In 1990 one of our lineman beat up on a waitress and it must have been a rallying call, because we were National Champs. So now one of our players bops his girlfriend—maybe this will rally us.

Mike Oxbig

July 1st, 2010
11:02 pm

If this was Tech AD he would have been fired for the girl not being Indian…

Mike T.

July 1st, 2010
11:02 pm

That picture of Evan’s wife at the press conference, I wonder if that was his lawyer,or her lawyer
sitting beside her?

Dixie

July 1st, 2010
11:02 pm

I tell ya one guy it really hurts, St Richt. How is he going to spin all of his Jesus speak with these recruit’s mamas and then explain that his boss is a drunk and a womanizer?? His job just got ALOT harder!! What a bunch of losers.

DILLIGAF

July 1st, 2010
11:03 pm

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

It’s a link to their site, you have to go throught the archives to find the articles. Have you ever heard of snopes.com? Research the criminal history of your appointed representatives, you would be appalled, it’s all public knowledge.

Lars

July 1st, 2010
11:04 pm

I agree cordele,ga. I really miss hearing dooley’s excuses everytime he lost a game. ” the field was wet, we we not ready for the humdity, our lineman was injured, the wind kept our kickers kicks low, we couldn’t get the big play”—never omitted the other team was better.

ceph

July 1st, 2010
11:05 pm

He’s not worried about the embarrassment he has caused the University all he is worried about is his posh job that he should have never had to start with. He was Dooley’s hand-picked guy without any credentilals for a job of that magnitude. AS usual they didn’t take enough time to look around and make the best hire. If they don’t fire him it will show a total lack of control about the direction the University should be going. Anybody that stupid shouldn’t hav e the job to start with!!!!!!!

DILLIGAF

July 1st, 2010
11:05 pm

Fire Michael Adams and give Evans another raise so that he can afford cab fare and better looking hookers.

Lars

July 1st, 2010
11:06 pm

Dilligaf, thats a good one !!!

Mobile Dawg

July 1st, 2010
11:07 pm

Cordele, tell you what Dooley will be doing. Enjoying his retirement, watching his children and grandchildren grow and enjoying them, trying to keep Barbara in line, nah, believe it or not cheering for not his Alma Mater, AU, but the University of Alabama, and University of Tennessee. He won’t personally take pleasure in seeing Evans struggles, but most of all, internally, he will feel a sense of satisfaction seeing Adams reaping the rewards of what he has sewn. Mobile Dawg is not an Adams fan. Did you know he was a desciple of “The Ohio State University”. Any wonder he and Vince didn’t bond immediately? Of course this is just “my opinion”. Want to join Barbara and I for lunch?

cordele,ga

July 1st, 2010
11:09 pm

Hey Lars !@! ,, at least learn to spell ! Vince Dooly never “admitted” that the other team was superior not “omitted” ! Lars , you must have graduated from Tech ?? and Vince Dooly was and is a class act. You just need a dictionary .

Top Dawg

July 1st, 2010
11:10 pm

Suspend him without pay NOW. If he is convicted or enters a plea of nolo contendere, fire him.

Lars

July 1st, 2010
11:17 pm

cordele,ga., I did graduate from Ga., thats why I cant spell. I was an athlete for Dooley and didn’t have to worry about my grades, because they were always changed to a better grade. I do miss seeing the homecoming queen grazing in Sanford stadium

Cuz

July 1st, 2010
11:19 pm

Let ye who is without sin, buy the first round.

I have never driven an ugly woman home, sober.

Don’t drunk and drove.

Dink and dive.

Dunk and dove.

Whatever.

cordele,ga

July 1st, 2010
11:20 pm

I agree with Top Dawg ,, except that Adams should be held accountable also !! Damon did all his(adams) :ax” jobs for last 6 years and the decisions that Damon made reflect directly on Adams. Does anybody in this state have the guts and balls to put Adams in his place ??? and send his A@@$$## back where he came from ?? Maybe a new Governor will ?? Roy Barnes can you help us out with this Czar in Athens ???

Cuz

July 1st, 2010
11:22 pm

Us Dawg fans are reasonably upset. But the real tragedy is the effect this will have on her parents and Damon’s wife and kids.

cordele,ga

July 1st, 2010
11:25 pm

Lars ?? I apologize and you aren’t Lars Tate by chance ?? Lars Tate was an excellent Tailback who had the impossible job of following in Herchel’s footsteps back in the mid- 1980″s ?? If so I apologize because you were a good ball player , however Vince was never caught in a deal like this and in this regard you must admit as truth.

kevin

July 1st, 2010
11:25 pm

i hope to God that “Black” is kidding about Herschel for AD……

thomas

July 1st, 2010
11:26 pm

He really has to go. Dr. Thomas Johnson Class of ‘74

cordele,ga

July 1st, 2010
11:30 pm

Enter your comments here

Roy D. Mercer

July 1st, 2010
11:31 pm

OTTO – I agree he needs to go. But if you get on here and think there isn’t corruption at most big time programs you are crazy. Is it right, no. Do I condone it, no. You need to get your head out of the sand.
Look a USC, just a prime example. The others just haven’t gotten caught.

Roy D. Mercer

July 1st, 2010
11:32 pm

Cuz – I agree, I really feel for his wife and kids. No excuse for what he did.

Rob

July 1st, 2010
11:33 pm

Maybe I’m seeing this differently from others, but Adams’ comments sound to me like a president who is probably going to fire Evans, but wants to consult with University lawyers to make sure proper procedures and due process are followed to avoid having to pay a large buyout. If he wants this to be a “dismissal for cause”, then he has to follow proper procedures.

I know people sometimes find this frustrating, but the state cannot simply fire employees the way a private sector employer can. In Cleveland Board of Education vs. Loudermill (1985), the Supreme Court ruled that certain public-sector employees must be given due process in any termination of employment. This is why you sometimes see public employees suspended with pay pending an investigation – the state/local government/school is simply following the necessary due process procedures to make sure the termination won’t be overturned in court.

col fot

July 1st, 2010
11:37 pm

It will be certainly interesting to see what Adams does, and what is Dooley’s take on this? For the integrity of the program he should be dismissed immediately. This is a black eye on the program but it can and will recover, but not with Evans at the helm. You can’t set values for others without living up to same yourself.

cordele,ga

July 1st, 2010
11:38 pm

Thank you Rob ! , you sound like an attorney. However Damon could have done the admiral thing today and just resigned and not embrassed the UGA and alumni like myself with this ” apology” . I found it quite nauseating.

Chuck Uga

July 1st, 2010
11:52 pm

This is just a sad, sad mess. A DUI is one thing, but a girl 12 years younger (and single I assume) in your car is another. What the heck was she doing in the car? Not to mention I ain’t seeing anything there that would want me to give her a ride somewhere. Something just isn’t right. They say large money can turn a man into a corruptible person, especially during challenging times and personal crisis. Looks to be the case.

I’ll leave it up to Mike Adams and support his decision. This is just too hard for me.

Whopper Dawg

July 1st, 2010
11:53 pm

UGA must fire Evans. Absolutely ludicrous that your AD would be busted for DUI with a 28 year old female friend in the early AM. If people cannot connect those dots, then you are an idiot.

He apologized. NO KIDDING, wants to keep his job, NO KIDDING.

He should resign, if not he should be fired, it is not even remotely debatable.

Hill Dawg

July 1st, 2010
11:59 pm

If you can’t do your job you shouldn’t expect to get paid. Can Damon tell the game day crowd at Sanford Stadium not to drink and drive without 93,000 fans rolling their eyes? Can he hold himself up as an example to the 600 student athletes at UGA? Can he address moral issues with student athletes? Can he discuss moral issues with their parents? Can we present him with pride to recruits and their families?It is really sad, but he shouldn’t still be “growing and learning” that you you don’t drive drunk and get caught with a 28 year old woman. Minimum wage employees may still be learning that, not $500,000 employees. Its sad, but he did it to himself. Not smart. Not anyone else’s fault.

Mobile Dawg

July 2nd, 2010
12:02 am

Tragedy’s happen every day to untold numbers of people. This tragedy is one of their own making. Perhaps as a society if we didn’t tolerate this kind of galootin by our citizens we would slowly but surely slow these types of tragedys down. Once again, Evans should be relieved of his duties immediately. Legal wrangling can take place afterwards. Adams should have shown leadership, compassion can occur behind the scenes as far as helping Mr. Evans is concerned. Sometimes people get bloody noses in fights, what a novel concept.

Observer

July 2nd, 2010
12:29 am

Still laughing.

2nd funniest thing I’ve read tonight. The pride of the Dawg nation in their “all student-athletes convicted of an alccohol related charge must sit out 10% of their season”.

Keyword here is convicted, right ?

ooooooooo We’re sooooo impressed. A whole 10 percent! (and if convicted) In football, that’s a whole game… like against one of the three 1-AA teams you play every year. Boy that’s a source of pride!

But it also does give Mr. Hiporicht the leeway to ’suspend’ for (4) separate quarters against (4) separate teams, which he’s done on more than one occasion.

Then he spouts his FAKE hypocritical Christian BS.

What a joke of a program! But he learned the routine well from Bubby.

And you brain-dead followers eat it up.

Pathetic

RED DOG 77

July 2nd, 2010
12:30 am

Observer…7/2…12:02am………Your racist remark may delight you, but you sir, are a pathetic little man……………Now, to the subject of Damon Evans………..His position as leader of young college atheletes demands that he resign now, of be fired first thing Friday morning. Any less would be a disgrace to the University of Georgia.

Allen

July 2nd, 2010
12:34 am

Vince Dooley would have never placed himself in this situation. I feel for Damon, but “you make your own bed . . .”; “Do the deed; do the time”; “Actions have consequences”; etc., etc. A sad day for UGA.

RED DOG 77

July 2nd, 2010
12:47 am

Allen…….point taken, however, for me?……….It’s an angry day. No man or woman is larger than the organization they lead……….especially if they are leading youth. We are forgiving people, but as you say so aptly………..” Actions have consequences “……….We should forgive, as he is shown the door…………..GO DOGS……SIC’ ‘EM WOOF……WOOF………WOOF !!!!

Observer

July 2nd, 2010
1:01 am

Red Dog … you da man