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

FLA DAWG

July 2nd, 2010
10:32 am

If this man is not terminated very soon it will be a continuing disgrace to The University of Georgia. He should have been forced to resign during his presser. Is there a double standard here?

cindy

July 2nd, 2010
10:41 am

Just another THuga! Aii the way from top to bottom. How is CMR going to explain this??

Scott W.

July 2nd, 2010
10:44 am

Just win baby!

schmeckdawg

July 2nd, 2010
10:47 am

Sad, really sad. Right now, it is not “Great To Be A GEORGIA BULLDOG!”

Wes

July 2nd, 2010
10:52 am

I never knew Georgia had some many Perfect people! He made a mistake. How many of us have never made a mistake? Even a bad mistake! He is a great AD and a nice young man. Give him a brake!

wesleywhatwhat

July 2nd, 2010
10:52 am

Elle

July 2nd, 2010
10:55 am

Damon Evans should be fired from Athletic Director from UGA just for being plain stupid.

This is a guy who makes over $500,000 per year and you tell me he can’t afford a taxi home, even if he had to ride with his “friend.”

Yes, he drives to Buckhead about 60 miles from Athens away to have dinner and drinks with his “friend” and gets busted for DUI. No wonder his wife was shooting daggers at him at the press conference.

You set a fine example, Mr. Evans, a fine example indeed!

UGA XX

July 2nd, 2010
10:58 am

Who’s the hot white chick he’s hangin’ out with? Was she part of his new contract with UGA?

winfield pup

July 2nd, 2010
11:01 am

no wonder the dawgs have dropped so low in the Sears cup rankings with Damon dawg out cheating on his family and the University! We need new leadership!

Dawg Tired

July 2nd, 2010
11:04 am

This whole thing sticks. I count several “mistakes:” (1) Drinking and driving; (2)a married man carousing with a 28 year old girl at midnight in Atlanta; (3) describing the 28 year old girl in his news conference as “a friend” (who beleives that crock of crap?); and (4)possibly a DUI hanging in the winds.

In addition he seems to be unaware of the seriousness of his failures here. “I want to keep my job.” Well, la de da! Everyone wants to keep his job! The man obviously has a problem! Does Tiger Woods ring a bell?

It’s one thing for Joe the plumber to get cited for DUI. It’s quit another thing for a man who appeared on the Jumbotron every Saturday before 90,000 people preaching the evils of drinking and driving and then going out and drinking and driving! Plus having this “friend” in the car is actually at least as troubling if not more troubling than the drinking and driving “mistake.” Finally, his lying about who she is (yes, I am assuming she was actually something more, or perhaps less, than a friend) is extremely disturbing.

The facts need to be found out. If they turn out as I suspect they will, he should be fired.

wiley

July 2nd, 2010
11:06 am

No way should you keep your job after making a mistake like this. UGA’s Athletic Association is going to feel some pain from this either way. Oh and shouldn’t the states flagship university be the leading research university? GT does almost twice as much research and has a one billion dollar endowment. If being a flagship university was based on how many students you have….than should GSU and Georgia State be considered for “flagship” classification? No because the academics are not on par. The people in the state of Georgia really dont understand or (maybe) realize the amount and importance of the research that is going on at GT. Many technologies that will directly impact your life are being developed with your tax money, and a substantial amount of private investment as well. Its amazing really that GT is able to compete in all the major sports and continue to maintain and even improve institutional prestige. So to the state of Georgia and all the rest of the UGA fans on this blog that love to hate tech…..thank you very much for paying your taxes. Your support is one of the many reasons that GT is a top ten public university(#7 for the last two years).

winfield pup

July 2nd, 2010
11:07 am

Enter your comments here

gdawginkalamazoo

July 2nd, 2010
11:10 am

Lawyering up! That’s the word this morning. Talk to my attorney.

El Slappo

July 2nd, 2010
11:12 am

maybe he wasn’t cheating. maybe he and his wife are swingers. you don’t know. don’t be judging him.

Scott W.

July 2nd, 2010
11:12 am

This is the blog for expounding the virtues of Tech…if only there were a UGA blog.

Starring Kam Fong as Chin Ho

July 2nd, 2010
11:13 am

Maybe there should be a new award in conjunction with the Fulmer Cup. Kind of like the Heisman for stupidity, It will be known simply as “The Evans” and will be given to a coach or administrator that commits the most stupid act of the year.

longdog

July 2nd, 2010
11:19 am

Let’s get a blackwoman this time and see if it changes our luck

El Eddo

July 2nd, 2010
11:22 am

A lot of food for thought. Part of the problem is this guy is a symbol for the U., that’s part of the job description, and he torpedoed that. He is not the first nor will be the last collegiate athletic official to pull something like this — I would venture to guess that many a Hall of Fame SEC coach has been up to such over the years. But the Spitzer-like setup with Evans’ advocacy against drunk driving and cleaning house of miscreants in the program are pretty hard to overcome.

LMFAO

July 2nd, 2010
11:22 am

Enter your comments here

schmeckdawg

July 2nd, 2010
11:24 am

4 Jacks

July 2nd, 2010
11:26 am

For Evans not to resign, proves he is a little boy, sorry he got caught, but not sorry enough to think about the light or should I say cloud he has put over his school, not mine. The shame he has brought to the university and the laughter which all of your competitors are reveling in becuase of the hypocrisy of the situation, you would think he (Evans) would man up and resign on his on. However, he has chose to put the ball in Mr. Adams court, the man who dumped Dooley in such a classy manner. Personally if I had an employee put me in that situation and turn all the guns back at me because of something he did, I would fire him in the blink of an eye. However, we all know how classy Mr. Adams has been. So lets see what happens at the “state university”, make a real statement or stay classy (not) as has mostly been the case. I am sorry for the families, but it is the low character jerks that put their families in harms way, and then try to prey upon these sympathies to save their sorry butts. I would advise Mrs Evans to get a good divorce attorney. This probably wasn’t the first time, and won’t be the last.

Crackhead

July 2nd, 2010
11:42 am

what are yall talking about that chick is hot

Ed

July 2nd, 2010
11:50 am

Let’s be honest about something…it’s conceivable that this could be the first time that Evans drove drunk, it could also be the first time he solicited a prostitute. It’s possible that he’s one of the unluckiest guys in the world to get busted the first time he committed these offenses. But how likely is that? We’re probably talking about repeat behavior that he’s gotten by with for so long, it didn’t even occur to him that he’d ever get caught.

The AD of UGA, getting caught drunk driving with a belligerent prostitute. Forget the violations of the criminal code for a second – just the lack of judgment and common sense from someone who is one of the faces of the university is scary enough.

Is there anyone out there who seriously thinks Evans should keep his job?

Ed

July 2nd, 2010
11:53 am

Good point 4 Jacks – besides a divorce attorney, Mrs. Evans might want to consider a penicillin shot.

If Evans has even the tiniest bit of class, he’ll resign before the end of the day without being forced to do so.

gdawginkalamazoo

July 2nd, 2010
12:06 pm

Ed,
“getting caught drunk driving with a belligerent prostitute”

She was only belligerent becasue she hadn’t turned her trick yet. No big payday for her. Or is it pay morning? I don’t know how those things work.

Person

July 2nd, 2010
12:09 pm

fire him…
and I hope more will be made about the person that was in the car with him. This man is not a good role model.

robbie wright

July 2nd, 2010
12:10 pm

…and the sorry part of this is they’re having to THINK about whether he should be fired? When you’re drawing down that kind of salary when the University is having to cut, cut. cut…H*** yes, he’s gotta’ go!

gdawginkalamazoo

July 2nd, 2010
12:18 pm

I don’t think they are thinking about firing Evans. Isn’t Adams on vacation? So when he gets back the hammer falls. Adams is currently calling all his old cronies to see who would like to be our next AD.

Ed

July 2nd, 2010
12:19 pm

gdawginkalamazoo, I don’t know how those things work, either – but I bet Damon Evans does.

Scott W.

July 2nd, 2010
12:19 pm

Again the Athletic Asso and the Uni are two different entities.

Gators!

July 2nd, 2010
12:22 pm

Sounds like UGA is treading lightly on this one and rightfully so since it seems that Mr Evan’s priority right now is seeking the advice of attorneys….including a personal one. I’m sure he wants to protect himself both legally and professionally (the money) and his seeking of council sends a strong message to the athletic board not to make a quick decision.The last thing I’m sure that the athletic dept there wants to do is hastily fire the guy and then his case gets thrown out of court on some technicality. Can you say major LAWSUIT!??? (I knew you could). Of course, moral clauses in his contract could well come into play as well. What UGA has NOT done properly is to not suspend Mr Evans IMMEDIATELY until his case is resolved and THEN making a move. That would not only save face for the university but also send a clear message to Mr Evans. That would also give the powers that be the time to research a successor. At this point, I would like to thank the Levin School of Law at the University of Florida.

Scott W.

July 2nd, 2010
12:26 pm

Adams has been due this vacation for sometime now and no little trivial thing will interrupt it. He’ll fire and hire on Tuesday.

gdawginkalamazoo

July 2nd, 2010
12:28 pm

Gators! All good points. I like the suspend immediately point. As I have said the blood alcohol test results may be the key here. What were they? Commissioner Bannister has experience with that. Also IF Mrs. Evans comes out and explains away the “girl in the front seat” then what harm has been done. He got pulled over for nothing driving a family friend home after a Sting concert. Mr Evans exonerated.

rx-dawg

July 2nd, 2010
12:44 pm

Mettenberger was NOT dismissed for his alcohol arrest…he was dismissed for mouthing off to an officer and sexually harassing a bartender. Try reading the news sometime….

GT for life

July 2nd, 2010
12:58 pm

just a normal day for UGA

crossdawg

July 2nd, 2010
1:01 pm

Hey UGA XX I guess you know that it’s not politically correct for you tO point out that he was out with a white girl. His wife probably doesn’t appreciate it either.

koverdawg

July 2nd, 2010
1:04 pm

On Damon’s first day on the job six years ago, he fired almost every staff member…..without cause. These were good people who served the bulldawg nation, players, staff and coaches-with a wealth of experience. For Damon’s recent offenses, he should be forgiven. He should not remain as the athletic director or in any position with the university. We do not need him representing us at our flagship university……..

Ben

July 2nd, 2010
1:13 pm

This is all true but there’s one thing people are missing I think. Doesn’t he remind you of this guy? http://TwitPWR.com/Lpr/

POSER

July 2nd, 2010
1:15 pm

The best friend I’ve ever had in my 70+ years was killed by a beer drinking, inebriated fool speeding and argueing with his airhead girlfriend. The police officer that was on scene said there were over 20 empty beer, and malt liquor cans in his car. He was passing in a no passing zone and hit my friend “who was on a motor cycle” head on. You can imagine how that he was killed instantly. I have NO SYMPATHY for these people!

Gen Neyland

July 2nd, 2010
1:20 pm

Jimmy Swaggart, John Edwards, Damon Evans. aka Larry, Curly and Mo’…From another angle : Lawyer’n up AFTER the presser..? Is the guy still drunk or did he have a fool (his conscience) representing him before the presser..? Jiminy Cricket..!

Marshall Wellborn

July 2nd, 2010
1:20 pm

Evans should definitely go, but he stays on in some capacity because he has all the dirt on the rest of the administration. The political correctness that permeates our University, the entire lack of leadership from President Adams and his respective boards has now put us in a position where we are becoming a laughing stock.

Terry

July 2nd, 2010
1:29 pm

President Adams and his respective boards has now put us in a position where we are becoming a laughing stock.

Not really. UGA has been a laughing stock for years. If you doubt that, Google “Jan Kemp.”

Damon Evans is just the latest humiliation.

bug spray

July 2nd, 2010
1:30 pm

“Let he who has never sinned cast the first stone.”

GT for life

July 2nd, 2010
1:31 pm

I guess he was coming back for M Vicks party

Gen Neyland

July 2nd, 2010
1:35 pm

bug spray : Original thought. The way I see it, there would be alot of stones laying on the ground…including your pious one.

Evans meeting with atty may be to eyeball an effort to negotiate a settlement with UGA. Stay tuned, huh..?

Flyin' Dawg

July 2nd, 2010
1:45 pm

Obama fir Heisman

July 2nd, 2010
1:47 pm

Bill – not one single mention of the 28-year-old female arrested for drunk and disorderly in the car w/ Evans? NOT ONE MENTION!! Judging by her mug shot, she was hard at work at the worlds oldest profession that night. Evan’s has a wife and kids at home!! Extremely low character and you didn’t even mention it in your story. TAKE OF THE BLINDERS!!

georgiadawgg

July 2nd, 2010
2:14 pm

WHY DIDN’T THE AD’S WIFE COME AND PICK HIM UP. I SAT THAT THERE WAS A LITTLE HANY PANY GOING ON. BUT NOTHING WILL EVER HAPPEN TO THIS MATTER, POLITICS.

georgiadawgg

July 2nd, 2010
2:16 pm

WHY DIDN’T HIS WIFE COME AND PICK HIM UP. LOOKS LIKE A LITTLE HANY PANKY GOING ON. BUT NOTHING WILL EVER HAPPEN TO THIS CASE. POLITICS

Courtney Fuhrmann, burp

July 2nd, 2010
2:19 pm

gdawginkalamazoo, yes he did with a big bite of peach, sweet and juicy.