UGA AD Damon Evans and his DUI: It’s no laughing matter

Damon Evans' mug shot. (City of Atlanta)

Damon Evans' mug shot. (City of Atlanta)

We make jokes, but there’s nothing funny about a DUI. There’s especially nothing funny when the man arrested is, by job definition, a leader of young people, and when some of those young people have had alcohol-related issues of their own.

Damon Evans warrants the same legal protection as everyone else: He’s innocent until proven guilty. But men in positions of leadership are held to a standard above and beyond legality: They’re supposed to be exemplars.  Just by putting himself in position to pose for an unflattering mug shot, the Georgia athletics director has thrown his stewardship into question.

Michael Adams doesn’t like a lot of things — the BCS and Vince Dooley, to name two — but mostly the president doesn’t like being embarrassed. That’s why Jim Harrick, whom Adams had both befriended and championed, was pushed out the door within a month of Tony Cole’s appearance on ESPN in 2003.

You disappoint the president at your peril, and the president cannot be pleased today. This president chose Evans to replace Dooley, which means Adams leveraged much of what political capital he had left on the promotion. This president, as we know, has crusaded against underage drinking;  he surely expects better of the adults on his staff.

There can be no quibbles about Evans as AD: Even with a difficult act to follow in Dooley, he has done well. He presides over a department that mints money and fields teams of high quality. He made a difficult decision to fire Dennis Felton and found, in Mark Fox, a coach who effected an immediate upgrade. In his public statements about Mark Richt and the football program Evans has sounded the proper notes — supportive but expectant of improvement.

Alas, there are no proper notes when you’ve been hauled to jail. There’s no way to explain the incongruity of a DUI being incurred by the man who made a video — it’s screened on the Sanford Stadium message board before and during games — imploring Georgia fans not to drink and drive.

“If you drink and drive,” Evans says in the video, “you lose.” He’s about to learn how difficult it can be to win back a good reputation. Fair or not, he’s no longer the bright and brassy AD of the state’s flagship school; he’s the guy who’ll spend the next decade trying to live down one unfortunate mug shot.

UPDATE: Georgia has scheduled a news conference for 6 or 6 :30 p.m. Thursday, and esteemed colleague Chip Towers has been told Damon Evans will appear. So that’s where I’m headed.

1,388 comments Add your comment

Reality

July 1st, 2010
12:28 pm

clickdawg

July 1st, 2010
12:31 pm

Dixie Clear

July 1st, 2010
12:31 pm

how ’bout them alchidawgs!!!!!

hilarious….

clickdawg

July 1st, 2010
12:31 pm

let him hit the road.

dap01

July 1st, 2010
12:32 pm

He forever lost credibility.

UGA Fan

July 1st, 2010
12:32 pm

Fail, first?

[...] to hold off commenting until we see what Evans has to say and how he handles this. In the meantime, Mark Bradley has a post up on this and you can comment on it there if you wish. [...]

First

July 1st, 2010
12:32 pm

Enter your comments here

Mark Bradley

July 1st, 2010
12:33 pm

Reality takes the kudos.

Bull

July 1st, 2010
12:34 pm

Lapse in judgement. Still a Dand Good Dawg

[...] UGA blog readers: Mark Bradley has commented on the DUI arrest of AD Damon Evans on his blog at this link. [...]

smoore54

July 1st, 2010
12:34 pm

Go ahead Techies.

Let us have. We know it’s coming and we can’t even defend it. This is a horrific embarrasment to our school and our program.

George Stein

July 1st, 2010
12:34 pm

Call me Damon!!!

Chris

July 1st, 2010
12:34 pm

Got to let him go, unfortunately.

59bulldawg

July 1st, 2010
12:34 pm

Damon . . . What the hell were you thinking?

Herschel Talker

July 1st, 2010
12:35 pm

This is a disgrace. The whole program is a disgrace. There is nothing that can be said to defend this by anyone.

Old Dawg

July 1st, 2010
12:35 pm

If only it had been Darth Adams who was arrested for DUI. Then the butt of so many jokes would have gone the way of too many bad jokes. Has the man never heard of a taxi cab and a local hotel? They’re the best route to avoid a lifetime of embarrassment!

Lowcountry Bulldawg

July 1st, 2010
12:36 pm

Sorry but he has to tender his resignation or be fired. He has lost all credibility and can no longer be side by side in CMR, CMF or any other coach within the university that has to dish out punishment for alochol based offenses. It is an unfortunate incident, one that he regrets I am sure, but he has left the President not much of a choice.

College Football FAN

July 1st, 2010
12:36 pm

He should join the ranks of the unemployed. Unfortunately, he will join the ranks of high profile people to go to rehab and be healed forever. He will get a slap on the wrist from Adams and keep his job. I guarantee it.

JR

July 1st, 2010
12:36 pm

he looks WASTED.

GTHorsie

July 1st, 2010
12:37 pm

Jo

July 1st, 2010
12:37 pm

What goes around comes around. If all the truth be known Adams has been running the AD – Evans was his puppet.

The Ghoul

July 1st, 2010
12:37 pm

Look at that picture….I mean, the guy is just destroyed!

Lindsay Lohan

July 1st, 2010
12:37 pm

Damon, give me a call.

Our group meets every other Wednesday.

Nerd

July 1st, 2010
12:38 pm

I am speechless. He must have been hammered if he didn’t even try to look presentable in his mug shot.

Avatar of Snarkiness

July 1st, 2010
12:38 pm

He refused the test. That will make it more difficult (but not impossible) to convict him. Assuming that he shut his mouth while in custody, the odds are good that he beats this.

That said , he’s win , place and show in todays hypocrisy sweepstakes. He’d better hope that Zach Mettenburger is not on his jury. He better hope that UGA pulls all traces of that video that shows him preaching what he (probably) doesn’t practice. If he’s innocent, good for him. If he’s guilty, he deserves the same punishment that he would mete out to any member of the UGA athletic department under his supervision.

Joe

July 1st, 2010
12:38 pm

Fire him today. Pathetic. What a pathetic embarrasement.

I would like to point out how ridiculous Adams’ stance on drinking has been throughout his tenure, as the largest alcohol peddler in the state has been the President’s only backer on the Board of Regents.

Bunch of scum bags, the whole lot.

Jacket Backer

July 1st, 2010
12:38 pm

This picture says a thousand words!!…..We don’t have to say anything. Thank God I’m a Jacket!!

Go Jackets!!

Educated Idiot

July 1st, 2010
12:39 pm

@ smoore54

A bulldog who owns up to the flaws in his program? And uses proper capitalization and doesn’t say something along the lines of “LAWL BULDAWGS STILL RULEZZZZ GO UGAAAAAA”?

No sir, I will not harass you with insults about this incident. I will just say it’s a shame that the majority of your fans and, apparently your AD, exist to give you the negative stereotypes you have.

DIT

July 1st, 2010
12:39 pm

Every comment from another school is warranted. This is an absolute disgrace to UGA. I liked Damon, it’s unfortunate how he just ruined his career and any credibility. To be an AD at any major college or institution and to conduct yourself like he did is just stupid. No second chances here!

Reality

July 1st, 2010
12:39 pm

Bradley — the Reality of the situation is that you’re exactly right. Men are hired for these positions to improve the program’s performance in sports. At the same time though, a responsibility they hold to their institution and program is to be role models for their players. Damon Evans has clearly failed in that responsibility he holds, and this should not (and will not) go overlooked. Today is a sad day for the University of Georgia — they’ve had their reputation tarnished across the country and have generally had embarrassment brought upon them for this issue. It’ll be interesting to see what (if anything) comes from this regarding the future of Evans as the AD.

Vince Neil

July 1st, 2010
12:39 pm

Hey bud, let’s party!!

techfan1

July 1st, 2010
12:39 pm

GO YOU BIG HAIRY DAWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWGS!!!!
No wonder you guys can’t keep your players out of jail…they’re partying with the dayum coaches and AD there in Athens!!!
BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA….yet another shining example of the “higher learning” that goes on at THUGA!!

Alum

July 1st, 2010
12:39 pm

Any thoughts Bradley on who the passenger was in his car? Hearing some pretty bad rumors.

AltamahaDawg

July 1st, 2010
12:39 pm

The spot previously occupied by his DUI message on the jumbotron will forever be a reminder. Well for a year or so anyway till the news cycle changes. Then it’s just a inside joke about the previous AD.

crackbaby

July 1st, 2010
12:40 pm

What a monumental screw-up. Let’s see what the spin doctors come up with now.

Pulpwood Smith

July 1st, 2010
12:40 pm

Absolutely hilarious. This is the guy (Evans) who is featured on that obnoxious, threatening, and paternalistic video they blare 2 or 3 times a game over the Sanford Stadium scoreboard warning 96,000 people that drinking and driving will not be tolerated and that that UGA has a “zero tolerance policy”. What a joke. They need to fire this hypocritical philanderer immediately. With the rigid and harsh stance we’ve taken on drinking related arrests with our athletes (most or all of which do not even rise to the level of DUI), I don’t see how we can keep this lout around as our AD without looking like complete buffoons. Rehire Dooley?

TechFan

July 1st, 2010
12:40 pm

This is worse than having reggie ball as our quarterback. Sorry guys.

Rick DuBose

July 1st, 2010
12:40 pm

He’s innocent until proven guilty. Keep your head up!!

Sid

July 1st, 2010
12:40 pm

@JR

July 1st, 2010
12:36 pm
he looks WASTED.
***********************************************************************
Is he asleep…………………lol?

dap01

July 1st, 2010
12:40 pm

He deserves to be fired. He is being paid with tax dollars. But if he is fired, he will be said millions in severence.

He is unfit to continue to lead young people.

UGA Grad

July 1st, 2010
12:40 pm

Whatever happens in the courts will unfold with time. In the meantime, let him suffer the same administrative fate one of his football players or other athletes would suffer under the circumstances. Suspension? Removed from the program? I’m sure it is a matter of record – look it up and give him the same thing. Maybe more, since he needs to set the example.

Old Fan

July 1st, 2010
12:40 pm

At least he wasn’t driving a Cadillac Escalade. He had the class to avoid taking a player’s car.

jey hey

July 1st, 2010
12:40 pm

sluuuuuuuurrrrrrr

Jo

July 1st, 2010
12:41 pm

Evans has never had any moral character.

outasite

July 1st, 2010
12:41 pm

What’s this guy doing out so late on a Wed. night drinking and driving at his age? If it was a Sat. night, “oops…I had too many glasses of wine at my friends home”…it would be a little less embarassing.

Sid

July 1st, 2010
12:41 pm

So who do you think the new AD will be…………….?? Anyone want to venture a guess….?

Jo

July 1st, 2010
12:41 pm

Many have known for years about escapades.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

July 1st, 2010
12:41 pm

Avatar,

If he is innocent? Did ya look at the picture? He is blasted out of his mind. I know its late/early in the night but wow, he had no business getting behind the wheel. Also, how in the world did anyone who was with him that night not step up and say,”Hey Damon, I got this man, let me take ya home.” He is the AD of UGA, you would think he would have someone looking out for him in a moment like this.

Dixie

July 1st, 2010
12:42 pm

UGA is an embarassment to the state of Georgia.