Evans says he’s sorry, but UGA should say, ‘See you later’

Damon Evans says he's sorry. Mrs. Evans (center) looks on. (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

Damon Evans says he's sorry. Mrs. Evans (center) looks on. (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

Athens — Damon Evans is a lucky man. At least for the moment, he still has his job. Were I the president of the University of Georgia, Evans would be out of work.

The Bulldogs’ athletics director met the press here 12 1/2 hours after he left an Atlanta jail. He spoke without notes and with great conviction. “I’m very ashamed and embarrassed by my actions,” Evans said. “I let this university down; I let my family down, and I let so many people down who have supported me along the way.”

Not to be a raging skeptic, but contrition costs nothing. At such a time, contrition is the kneejerk response. What was noteworthy about Evans’ mea culpa was what he didn’t offer.

He didn’t offer to resign.

That gesture would have carried more weight than all his stated remorse. That gesture would have been the right one to make. And it would have been only right for president Michael Adams, who risked what political capital he had left when he anointed Evans to replace Vince Dooley in 2004, to accept the offer.

There’s a difference between losing a ballgame and forfeiting credibility. The images that will chase Evans forever are the video spot he did advising Sanford Stadium patrons not to drink and drive — if you do, Evans said, “”you lose” — and the regrettable mug shot that has already become all the Internet rage. How, if you’re an institution of higher learning, can you square the two?

And how, if you’re the flagship university in a state where an intern in the governor’s office was killed last month by an allegedly drunk driver, can you fail to send the message that there are more important things than ballgames? Evans has done a fine job as AD, but that’s no longer the issue. At issue is that a man heading a department that is charged with educating young men and women has become an issue unto himself.

Said Evans: “My actions have put a black cloud over our storied program,” and there is, sorry to say, only one way to change that. Georgia needs to fire Evans because he has breached the first commandment of leadership. He has failed to practice what he preached.

Evans again: “I think, ‘You’ve got to be the leader you talk about being; you’ve got to be the role model’ … It’s going to take a while to earn trust back, and it should.”

The sad truth is that we can never look on Damon Evans the same again. His teams could win every national championship known to man and woman, and we’d still think of him as the guy with his eyes closed in his booking photo. This isn’t to suggest he’s guilty of a crime — he’s entitled to the presumption of innocence, same as everyone — but clearly he was deficient in judgment.

He was stopped by police driving a car in erratic fashion late at night an hour and a half from home with a woman (who was herself arrested) who wasn’t his wife. “Just a friend,” Evans said of Courtney Fuhrmann. Seated to his right as he spoke was Kerri Evans, his wife and the mother of his two children.

“I have some shortcomings,” Evans said. “That’s part of life.” And it is. None among us is perfect. But not everyone is hired to lead young men and women and paid a half-million dollars to do it.

Should Georgia fire Damon Evans?

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Evans made it clear he wants to stay as AD but conceded: “I don’t know what is coming my way.” And Adams, who was out of town Thursday, released a statement after Evans spoke. Two lines resonated.

The first: “Certainly this is not an example of the kind of leadership I expect our senior administrators to set.”

The second: “[I] will resolve further action pending a full review by staff and legal counsel.”

The most difficult day of Damon Evans’ life ended with him still employed. That might not be the case much longer. And it shouldn’t be.

1,034 comments Add your comment

Montell J

July 1st, 2010
7:58 pm

Fire a man and end his career over 1 DUI? Get real. If he was white, these members of the media wouldn’t be calling for his firing.

Jamie

July 1st, 2010
7:59 pm

1ST! How can he suspend players for alcohol related incidents now?

Ed Tolley

July 1st, 2010
8:00 pm

JTH

July 1st, 2010
8:00 pm

He’s only sorry he got caught.

Jamie

July 1st, 2010
8:01 pm

Montell, don’t make this a racial issue. Like the article said, he didn’t practice what he preached.

CESSPOOL OF THE SOUTH

July 1st, 2010
8:03 pm

HOW BOUT ‘CHA DRUNKYARD DAWGS? YOU KNOW DRUNK INBRED AND STUPID IS NO WAY TO GO THRU LIFE…YOU CANNOT MAKE THIS UP, I REPEAT, YOU CANNOT MAKE THIS UP….I GUESS CESSPOOL OF THE SOUTH IS THE CORRECT STATEMENT AFTERALL

Truth shall Prevail

July 1st, 2010
8:03 pm

Right on Montell.

Rodney King

July 1st, 2010
8:05 pm

Yeh Montell. You tell ‘em brother. They trying to keep the black man down. He was set up. I say all the brothers on a free ride at that crap school threaten to transfer if they take away his half million dollar cash flow. That brother was just spreadin the wealth. Every black deserves a white sista on the side.

Tech fan

July 1st, 2010
8:06 pm

I voted yes, but……I rather UGA keep him.

College Fan

July 1st, 2010
8:06 pm

Just say’n… try not laugh when you watch the intro to the first of these, then watch the second.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAH7pr5fbrg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3BEW6PHMXWk

bad brad

July 1st, 2010
8:07 pm

Agree with Mark; he’s needs to go.

bad brad

July 1st, 2010
8:08 pm

First time ever for me to be in top ten.

dentaldawg

July 1st, 2010
8:08 pm

Hey cesspool, that ass whuppin at Grant Field still hurts huh? Hurts sooooo good!

SOWEGA DAWG

July 1st, 2010
8:09 pm

The black cloud over our storied program needs to move on!!!!!!!!!!!

CONFEDERATE DAWG

July 1st, 2010
8:09 pm

GA TEC SET HIM UP!!!

Joe M

July 1st, 2010
8:09 pm

Montell, you’re an idiot!

Truthpaste

July 1st, 2010
8:09 pm

If I had his salary, I could afford a driver.

86Dawg

July 1st, 2010
8:09 pm

This is about an absolute failure of leadership on Damon’s part. I believed Coach Dooley when he went on national T.V. and said, “Damon will be the Herschel Walker of A.D.’s.” But sadly, Evans has fallen way short of that standard. Walker never once did anything approaching this level of ignorance, and Evans shouldn’t be allowed to continue to lead bulldog nation. This is very sad, but Evans has to go.

benadawg

July 1st, 2010
8:10 pm

If he was white he woulda been fired this morning, its clear he has got to go, black, white green or yellow…….see ya, wouldn’t want to be ya.

Fan

July 1st, 2010
8:10 pm

So Mark, everyman who is arrested/convicted for DUI needs to lose their job?

Kennesaw Dawg

July 1st, 2010
8:12 pm

He has to go, and don’t try to make it a racial issue. That would be idiotic. How does he maintain disipline with a team that already is in need of more disipline?

What About Bobby Cox???

July 1st, 2010
8:12 pm

Mark –

Since you are adamant Damon Evans should be fired for a DUI, please refer me to your article calling for Bobby Cox’s firing after he was arrested for domestic battery charges against his wife.

Rick

July 1st, 2010
8:13 pm

Damon says don’t drink and drive. He does. He says you lose if you do it. He still has a job. So if we are to believe him, he has to be fired.

[...] Evans says he's sorry, though UGA should say, 'See we later' | Mark … [...]

atlanta mom

July 1st, 2010
8:14 pm

“late at night an hour and a half from phone”
I didn’t think anyone was an hour and a half from a phone these days, unless they were on a plane.

Dawg Man

July 1st, 2010
8:14 pm

Here we go again with Montelll. It’s all about race.

Gale

July 1st, 2010
8:14 pm

If he doesn’t resign tonight, fire him. Immediately.

TampaGator

July 1st, 2010
8:16 pm

I can’t see Adams keeping him as AD…..too many Georgia supporters are against it….that is obvious…and they are very right to hold that opinion. This is about position, responsibility, and leadership….and Evans has lost two of those…and he should lose the third as well.

Tech fan

July 1st, 2010
8:16 pm

[quote]

dentaldawg

July 1st, 2010
8:08 pm
Hey cesspool, that ass whuppin at Grant Field still hurts huh? Hurts sooooo good!
[/quote]

Vote [i]dentaldawg

[/i] for AD…..

Bill Lampton, Ph.D. and Sandra Lampton, M.Ed.

July 1st, 2010
8:17 pm

Michael Adams has been concerned throughout his UGA presidency with image. As a former UGA faculty member and a former staff member (Athletic Ticket Office), we believe that unless Adams fires Damon Evans now, Adams’ own image will be ruined forever. Top-level executives like Adams should get rid of anyone who imperils the University’s reputation. Clearly, Evans did that.

We wonder- -what if one of UGA’s Academic Deans had been caught on a DUI, in the company of a woman who was not his wife? Would that Dean keep his post? Not likely. Once again, there are special rules for athletics leaders.

Face it, Michael Adams. The flag of the flagship university has gone to half mast, or lower. Do the right thing and dismiss Evans. Even the most tear-filled apology doesn’t atone for incredible stupidity. Keep him, and your reputation goes down the tube with his.

Worst of Athens

July 1st, 2010
8:17 pm

Get rid of Evans and Adams.

Todd

July 1st, 2010
8:18 pm

Grammar mark haha

He was stopped by police driving a car in erratic fashion late at night an hour and a half from phone with a woman

Dexter Jenkins

July 1st, 2010
8:18 pm

I agree he should have offered his resignation. The only reason I’m sold that the president should have accepted it is that I don’t see how Evans gets out of this hole. Perhaps his spin could be talking about the price he paid himself, like a junkie telling school kids not take drugs. I don’t see that working.

I have a hard time accepting that someone with a otherwise spotless record can lose his job over a mistake outside the workplace. Most people like stories of redemption, but I don’t see how he could pull it off with it being this public.

Final thought; I’m hate UGA and I’ve never been married, but keeping his job may be easier than keeping his wife. How many wives let their husbands get drunk with women 12 years their junior?

Saluki Mike

July 1st, 2010
8:18 pm

Let him apologize while scanning the employment want ads.

Eric

July 1st, 2010
8:19 pm

Actually if he was white montell, he would have already resigned or been fired you moron.

Billy O

July 1st, 2010
8:19 pm

I was so proud of Damon…..he needs to offer his resignation and let Pres Adams make the decision one way or another.

Woodstock Joe

July 1st, 2010
8:19 pm

Everything rises and falls on leadership. Evans must go. Remember, DUI is not the only element of at play. Who is this mystery women and what is her relationship to Evans. As the AD of UGA you are held to higher standard. Be a man and a leader and do the right thing for UGA – resign.

Fan

July 1st, 2010
8:19 pm

And the Braves should have ‘fired’/released Furcal as well?

barneyb

July 1st, 2010
8:19 pm

Montell, you are a PUNK, just like Damon. If he were white, he should be GONE, too. I am sick of the race card. DUI is DUI. If it were Saint Vince, I would say the same thing. Even as a graduate, I can sadly say that UGA is rotten to the core.

Beast from the East

July 1st, 2010
8:19 pm

What About Bobby Cox???,
Is Bobby in charge of college students or professional ahtletes? Has Bobby kicked students out of the flagship university for the same offense he made? Apples and oranges. Are you trying to play the race card?
Get a clue you moron!

Pi$$onaDawg

July 1st, 2010
8:20 pm

The first thing out of his mouth and action he should have done publicly is to walk from the Podium and to his wife and get on his knees and beg, and I MEAN BEG for her forgivness. Honey, I was so wrong and if I lose my job can you still forgive me. We built this life. We built this family. I don’t want to lose you and the children. Please, I will do whatever it takes to repair the damage I have done. I love you and our children more than the School or this Job. You are my heart and my Life not the University of Georgia. BUT NOOOOOO. He let down The MASTER first. He is so upset the PAYCHECK could go away. He wanted to tell UGA that he was sorry. Maybe your cheating A$$ can spend your nights on UGA fans hide-a-beds for the rest of your life.

TampaGator

July 1st, 2010
8:20 pm

Montell…..yes, they would! The black card has already been dealt…and the pot won….millions of white people voted and helped get Obama elected…a black man. And Oprah is the most popular and successful person on TV…and the last time I check…she is a black woman. So get over it…and get over yourself.

Bobby Cox Fan

July 1st, 2010
8:20 pm

Bobby Cox is not up on a billboard in front of 80,000 fans telling them not to drink and drive. He also was not arrested for a DUI and having a passenger (a woman other than his wife) in the car arrested too. There are people in certain jobs that are held to a higher standard especially those who work with college students and make half a million dollars. UGA should fire him and end this scandal for the school.

jack

July 1st, 2010
8:20 pm

Fire him now, he will have no credibility with the students especially if he tries to discipline someone for being out of line. Cut the losses and fire him now!

Jigger

July 1st, 2010
8:20 pm

Coach Dooley did not have any choice but to support Evans for the job. Like Vince or not, he has always been a gentleman. He was in a difficult situation, being forced out by Adams. He showed true class through out the situation, although he was very unhappy. Fire Adams & Evans and be done with it. First Harrick, now Evans. Boy, Adams looks good now.

firedog

July 1st, 2010
8:21 pm

Montell, you must be on to something as most of the cops are white looking for black guys driving all over the road. Thanks for opening my eyes. The guy needs to go, end of story.

CMR

July 1st, 2010
8:21 pm

Man and I had to cut one helva QB for the same. Save Adams the greif and hit the road Jack!

Ed

July 1st, 2010
8:21 pm

Some of you ignorant people don’t get it. He was the face of uga athletics. He runs the program. UGA is A PUBLIC inst. It is not a PRIVATE business. You can’t compare what happens to someone at a PRIVATE business to that of a public inst. Get it now?

Probably not.

Gdog

July 1st, 2010
8:22 pm

People make bad choices everyday. He had owned up to his bad choice in front of thousands of people. Most people can’t do it in front of one person. Was he wrong? YES! Should he lose his job? NO!
People need to get a grip. Give him a chance to redeem himself. I for one don’t condone what he has done but I also believe he deserves the benefit of making things right.

Charles Bannister

July 1st, 2010
8:22 pm

Charles Bannister walks and Damon Evans gotta talk to keep his job.