UGA’s Michael Adams as NCAA president? Could happen

Michael Adams keeps denying, sort of, that he’s interested in being the NCAA president. Funny thing, though. More than a few folks believe otherwise.

To the Associated Press back in September, Adams said this:  “I’d never talk publicly about two things, jobs or money. I love the University of Georgia. My plan is to be here until retirement.”

To the AP during the NCAA convention here last week: “We’re Georgians. We love it here. My family is happy here, and if the Regents will let me stay, I expect to be here. Is that clear enough?”

Uh, not really. Neither time did Adams say, “If nominated, I will not run. If elected, I will not serve.” He has left the door ajar just enough that nobody is counting him out.

Here, from Steve Wieberg of USA Today — I should note that Mr. Wieberg knows the inner workings of the NCAA better than any outsider — is this breakdown:

“Penn State president Graham Spanier, who once led the Division I board of directors and remains active in the NCAA, also has support as a prospective candidate, say several people within the NCAA who talked on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the search. Georgia president Michael Adams is another widely speculated but less certain prospect, according to those same people.

“Another name submitted to the search firm is Donna Shalala, who spent eight years as U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services under President Clinton and has been president at Miami (Fla.) since 2001.

“Shalala …  said via e-mail: ‘I am not a candidate and really have no interest. I am sure there are good candidates.’ “

See? That’s a denial.

If Adams is interested — and he was a close associate of the late NCAA president Myles Brand, who died in September — it makes sense to soft-pedal it. He has overplayed his hand before: During the messy back-and-forth with Vince Dooley, whom Adams shoved aside as athletics director, and again when he advocated in January 2008 that the BCS be junked in favor of a playoff system. (The proposal, for which Adams believed there was broad support, never came to a vote.)

And it’s unclear how many allies Adams truly has. He’s an indefatigable networker, but many in collegiate circles recall that he recommended Dooley interview Jim Harrick for the Georgia basketball job back in 1999, and many also recall that Adams overruled his AD in 2000 and fired Jim Donnan, who had won 67 percent of his games.

But there’s also this to consider: Parker Executive Search of Atlanta is doing the NCAA’s headhunting, and that firm who ran the search when Adams was hired by UGA in the first place. Georgia has continued to throw business Dan Parker’s way: The searches for the AD to replace Dooley (turned out to be Damon Evans, who was working down the hall) and the basketball coach to replace Dennis Felton (turned out to be Mark Fox) were also Parker productions.

Wieberg reports the NCAA wants to have a new president by summer. Could UGA be about to bid adieu to its Prez? Despite Adams’ protestations, there’s a good chance he’ll be headed to Indianapolis. And if he does, you folks out there would feel … how?

88 comments Add your comment

the toip dog

January 19th, 2010
12:21 am

it would be great!!!!

the top dog

January 19th, 2010
12:26 am

I have never been a big fan of Adams. He always rubbed me the wrong way.
Kind of reminded me of Fred Davidson who was president when i attended in the early 80’s. How he could have recommended Harrick and not be blamed for the mess left behind is amazing. Georgia can do better. Much better. And no Michael I do not consider you a Georgian.

Mark Bradley

January 19th, 2010
12:26 am

Kudos on the first, Toip Dog.

the top dog

January 19th, 2010
12:27 am

It must be a slow night.

Worm

January 19th, 2010
12:43 am

Michael, PLEASE don’t let the door hit you on the way OUT!

shane#1

January 19th, 2010
12:55 am

the top dog, How could Adams skate on naming Harrick? That’s small potatoes! Adams got by with buying a Buckhead condo and a vacation spot in Costa Rica with our money. That’s all of us that pay taxes in Georgia. IMO, Adams should be in jail for misuse of funds. Please take the NCAA job, Dr Adams, please! The only thing worse than Donna Shalala slopping at the public trough in any fashion is Adams staying at UGA! Both of the aforementioned are a waste of the air they breathe and human kind would be much better off without them. I am all for Adams ramrodding the NCAA. It’s a win-win situation. Adams is out of Georgia and Donna Shalala can dry up and blow away in Miami.

Benjamin

January 19th, 2010
1:25 am

Benjamin

January 19th, 2010
1:31 am

I’m the Boise St. of this blog; always ranked, but a mid-major champion at best, and playing on an odd field to begin with…

That said, I’ve never really agreed with Georgia fans who disliked Michael Adams. He’s the university president, and doesn’t have to yield to the athletic whims of the school. His job description goes beyond the importance of selecting the next dog with a roman numeral… not to say he hasn’t made some bad decisions or choices that could be looked at differently in retrospect, but there are too many people who believe the University of Georgia is just a football team and not a school. And that’s common elsewhere, too.

If he goes, he goes. I, frankly, could care less either way.

Benjamin

January 19th, 2010
1:36 am

Also, to Adams’s credit in terms of the athletic stuff: he’s served his time in an era where the baseball program was restored and presided over the selections of Richt and the campus’s newest light, Coach Fox.

Honestly, much as I like sports/this blog, none of that matters in my opinion when it comes to whether he’s a credit or discredit to the university itself. A university’s president has a reach that goes far beyond the playing fields and the courts, regardless of where the money is coming from.

JB

January 19th, 2010
1:38 am

Good riddance and good bye Mr. Adams! Coach Dooley, I hope you’ll enjoy this discussion.

UGA75

January 19th, 2010
2:31 am

Adams is a complete narcissist, he makes decisions like the house in S. America, firing Dooley, etc…. without second thoughts. He has cost the University millions of dollars in contributions. He would be good for the NCAA simply because he could do little harm in that position. I will help load the moving van free if that will help getting him out of town.

Adams is a damn sorry Dawg.

DirtyDawg

January 19th, 2010
3:59 am

As much as I’d like to see Adams gone from UGA, I’m not sure he wouldn’t eff the NCAA up to the point of non-recognition. On the other hand, I doubt he’ll be able to run ‘rough-shod’ over the members the way he did the ’schools’ at the University…to summarily dismiss, long-standing, accomplished, Department Heads just so he could replace them with ‘butt-kissers’ obligated to him alone. Well, he finally got Vince to complete his purge, but as a result the man cannot show his face, or have his name mentioned at a Georgia public event, without getting booed.

He’s no Georgian, unless it happened to be part of Lookout Mountain that lops over into Georgia…and we’d trade it for that section along the Tennessee River some miles to the east with all the water…So go Michael. Feed your monumental ego and take the NCAA job, because, since you won’t be able to load the board up with your ‘boys’, they’ll figure you out in no-time and send you packing…but by then it won’t be back to UGA.

Vince for (at least, interim) University President! Now that would be the ultimate irony.

Chief Nocahoma

January 19th, 2010
4:08 am

If he could get the BCS to change the bowls into a playoff system, he would be a hero to all. However, there are few good old boy networks as strong as the college bowl system. Heck, the photos the keepers of the bowls have on the NCAA university presidents must be the best in the land if those guys can keep up the justification for the current bowl system in the face of such overwhelming fan support for playoffs.

Conyers Yellow Jacket

January 19th, 2010
4:38 am

Being a GT fan, I would rather Dr, Adams stay at UGA. Enough said.

17 of 20

January 19th, 2010
5:02 am

Adams needs to stay with Georgia.

"Chef" Tim Dix

January 19th, 2010
5:20 am

Buh bye Dr. Adams and we’ll put YOUR statue in Bogart.

Go to Hell Tech

January 19th, 2010
6:20 am

Georgia’s most unpopular president ever. Please take the job and get out of our lives.

JesupDawg

January 19th, 2010
6:20 am

Hopefuly when he hits the road we can get the name changed to Sanford-Dooley now!

puff

January 19th, 2010
6:24 am

As a J School grad, I have despised Adams ever since he ran off Dean Tom Russell and tried to do a mash-up of journalism and speech. Reportedly it was his wife’s idea, she had a speech background. His true colors were evident when he tried to pay for his son’s graduation shindig with Foundation funds, got caught and had to reimburse. Wouldn’t trust him as far as I could throw Jeff Owens.

JPDawg

January 19th, 2010
6:38 am

Adams is not now, has never been and will never be a true Dawg. Just another arrogant, pillow-biting Californian. Good riddance Adams….ya jerk!

Spike

January 19th, 2010
6:38 am

Good riddance to this prima donna. Anybody who wants to ban the term “Worlds Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” is not getting any more of my alumni money while he is there. The NCAA and Adams deserve each other. I nominate Vince Dooley as UGA president.

Big time?? Not

January 19th, 2010
6:44 am

Don’t let the door hit your butt on the way out!

working dawg

January 19th, 2010
7:21 am

I’m a faculty member at UGA and a REAL Georgian. Lived here all my life and earned my degrees here. As a REAL Georgian, I say to the NCAA, “Take my President, please!”

While Mr. Adams may be competent in some ways, he is arrogant and without honor. I would not hire him for any job, but since he is also “in” with the most crooked GA gov. (Sonny) we’ve ever had, this is the fastest way for us to be rid of him. Good luck in your new job Mr. Adams. Please, don’t feel you need to come back and visit us.

F-105 Thunderchief

January 19th, 2010
7:44 am

Please God, yes. Get him the heck out of Athens and slap Dooley’s name on the dang stadium while he’s still with us.

Bride of Chucky Knapp

January 19th, 2010
7:45 am

Good riddance! And take the Gubbernor, too!

willie martinez

January 19th, 2010
7:45 am

i would not at all be disappointed if my former friend Mike left UGA. He’s been the president longer than than anyone I can recall other than Fred Davison. Time to go.

Balderdash

January 19th, 2010
7:46 am

Oh, and Adams is from Chattanooga, which last I checked is not in California.

Bubba

January 19th, 2010
7:50 am

How about some analysis here, Mark? It’s one thing to “report” on speculation and innuendo, and another thing entirely to apply a cohesive analysis. First: Is Adams qualified to do the job? What would he add? Detract? The “Dooley Affair” is a “local” issue, and it should be stated that he “won” the argument, personal feelings notwithstanding. Does that “winning” add to or detract from his ability to lead the NCAA? Harrick is a black mark, yes, but he’s not going to be hiring an NCAA coach.

Substance, Mark. Give us something besides chatter and scuttlebutt.

NXS

January 19th, 2010
7:50 am

This would be almost too good to be true. Adams is as arrogant as they come and runs his administration as his own little fiefdom, paying little to no attention to faculty concerns and adding layers of administrators between him and the people he oversees. Good riddance! It can’t come too soon for most of us who have seen this guy in action at the UGA.

Bride of Chucky Knapp

January 19th, 2010
7:52 am

Adams defenders should get a copy of “Behind the Hedges”, to get the scoop on Adams and all his friends. Sadly, academic interests seem to be his last concern. That’s if you can find a copy that hasn’t been bought up and burned by those in power. I seriously doubt it’s at your local library.

You can read a few intro chapters at Google books, here: http://books.google.com/books?id=wl9DwjdLfrYC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Behind+the+hedges&cd=1#v=onepage&q=&f=false

F-105 Thunderchief

January 19th, 2010
7:53 am

Adams will probably stay just to tick everyone off. He really is a world class (rhymes with class).

Rosedale

January 19th, 2010
7:58 am

Michael Adams is the worst UGA president of the modern era. Despite his failings, he has been so politically entrenched that shaking him loose from this job hasn’t been possible. So for him to leave for perceived greener pastures would be the best thing to happen to my alma mater.

Rosedale

January 19th, 2010
7:59 am

The NCAA may not hire him, though, until he gets those braces off his teeth.

UGADawg83

January 19th, 2010
8:00 am

Go Mikey and take Damon and his concern for the bottom line over on-field performance with you.

Coach Saban

January 19th, 2010
8:02 am

Here we go again, all the good college presidents around the country are going to get raises.

The Grinch

January 19th, 2010
8:03 am

If Adams truly has “bigger” things than concerning himself with athletics, then tell me why he has been so involved with athletics. You overrule your AD and make a coaching change, then you shove the AD (a UGA legend) out from his job. Perhaps someone needs to tell him he has better things to do than immerse himself in the highly profitable athletic department. The fact that the football program IS so profitable may explain why Adams likes to get so involved.

RGP

January 19th, 2010
8:05 am

Well, I know it was painful for a substantial segment of the population in the State, but Charles Knapp slugged it out and turned UGA in a better direction, academically speaking. Though the bar is pretty low among the SEC institutions (if you ain’t Vanderbilt or Florida, just look it up), there is little doubt that UGA has, over the past twenty years, climbed to a respected position among public universities. If it is ever to even begin to compete with the best of the latter (i.e., UVA, UNC, Michigan, Berkeley, etal), however, it helps to have a President who understands what it takes (a legislature with some brain cells helps as well). If Adams departs, maybe there is a shot that this can happen.

Iron Dawg

January 19th, 2010
8:08 am

When M. Adams wouldn’t talk face to face with some of the basketball team after he’d ended their season early some years ago (a knee jerk, incorrect response I might add), he lost me. I didn’t care for him during the other issues and the fact that he thinks he’s better than most others. The fact that he calls himself a Georgian kind of makes my skin crawl. The NCAA needs someone good and while MA isn’t what I’d put in that class it would be nice for him to GO.

Good Riddance

January 19th, 2010
8:12 am

Michael Adams is one sneaky conniving power hungry ruthless man! I can just imagine how he’d pillage the NCAA. On the other hand he’d be gone from UGA.

It was Michael Adams that was responsible for Jim Harrick. Adams made Dooley hire Harrick. Adams waived UGA’s nepotism rule so that Harrick could hire his son. It was Harrick Jr. that came up with that ridiculous test in that silly class for coaching basketball. It was Adams that overruled the committee that denied Tony Cole entrance into UGA. Tony Cole being the player that got IGA’s basketball team into NCAA trouble. He was originally denied admission for not meeting the minimum academic requirements and the ethical standards by the entrance committee. Harrick then asked Adams to overrule the committee so that he could get Cole on the team. Adams, who was a close friend of Harrick’s since their days at Pepperdine was eager to do so.

Michael Adams IS responsible for UGA’s NCAA probation in basketball from the early 2000’s!!!!

richtfan

January 19th, 2010
8:14 am

please get this turd out of georgia. he is a cancer. and then the new governor needs to replace the board of regents.

vtfalcon

January 19th, 2010
8:14 am

Adams sucks, UGA should ditch him, and the NCAA should shy away.

RE: Benjamin

January 19th, 2010
8:16 am

Benjamin,
You obviously lnow nothing about Michael Adams and UGA. It was Michael Adams that hired Jim Harrick to coach basketball at UGA. They were close friends from their years at Pepperdine. Adams waived the UGA’s nepotism rule so that Harrick could hire Harrick, Jr. Remember Jr’s basketball test. Adams overruled the entrance committee that denied Tony Cole admission to school (upon Harrick’s request) based on his failure to meet the minimum academic requirements. Cole is the sole player involved in UGA’s NCAA probation.

Truth

January 19th, 2010
8:19 am

Michael Adams is the person MOST responsible for Georgia’s basketball team going ob NCAA probation in the early 2000s. How could the NCAA consider such a power hungry unscrupulous man for their top job?

ICMIII

January 19th, 2010
8:20 am

Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, Mikey.

TZ

January 19th, 2010
8:21 am

As a UGA employee (I’ll just leave it at that) we have had a number of challenges regarding Mr. Adams. I can say in all honesty that UGA is worse, not better, with Mr. Adams than before he arrived. He wants to take credit for academics at UGA when he had nothing to do with the HOPE scholarship and has even supported the reduced allocation in the steering committee. And, although the average SAT score has increased for entering freshman because of the HOPE (not his efforts) it doesn’t mean that our students are receiving a better education. In fact, his dismissal or forced retirement of significant, long-standing, tenured department heads is unconscionable. It is faculty that defines the academic reputation of a university, not the football team or the average ACT/SAT of the student. His recent furlough program further erodes availability of professors, reduces student participation, motivates the best professors to leave, reduces the attractiveness of the university to prospective professors, and is forecasted to reduce the number of research grants received! So, instead of improving UGA’s academic reputation Mr. Adams has done nothing but erode it! And then, you have the less important but still significant debacle with a UGA icon, Vince Dooley. No, Mr. Adams is NOT a DGD! Good riddance indeed!

Biff

January 19th, 2010
8:21 am

Benjamin: Vince Dooley hired David Perno and Mark Richt.

Mark Bradley

January 19th, 2010
8:21 am

By the way, I’ve never been convinced that Adams made Vince Dooley hire Jim Harrick. But Dooley’s first choice — Mike Brey, then of Delaware — was waiting to see if he’d get the Notre Dame job. (He didn’t that year but did a year later when Matt Doherty left after one season to go to North Carolina.) I’ve asked Dooley point-blank if Harrick was Adams’ hire, and Dooley said it wasn’t — the final decision was Dooley’s.

ICMIII

January 19th, 2010
8:21 am

Crap!! I won’t be able to use Adams as an excuse for not contributing to the Georgia Fund anymore.

UGA Alumni

January 19th, 2010
8:23 am

Charles Knapp was the president that built up UGA’s excellent academic rating. It was already in place when Michael Adams arrived. All that Adams has done was create the mess that led to UGA’s NCAA probation in basketball a few years back!!!! Adams has also lost the support of the academic community with his conniving ways!

SimpleDawg

January 19th, 2010
8:27 am

I think the NCAA is the perfect place for an over-blown, self-promoting piece of $#!+ like Michael Adams. How could he f=<% up that mess any worse than it is now? At least he'd be outta our hair….

As for Shalala, are you kidding me? That little gnome needs to stay in Miami where she can blend in with the populace. From which carnival did she escape, anyway?