The end of the Evans era came quickly

ATHENS — The same people who months earlier voted enthusiastically to give Damon Evans a new five-year contract moved swiftly Monday to end his tenure as the University of Georgia’s athletics director.

The executive committee of the UGA Athletic Association board of directors spent about 15 minutes on a conference call, voting unanimously to accept Evans’ resignation and approve a separation agreement that will pay him three months’ salary as severance and a $100,000 bonus for prior service.

The board’s action came five days after Evans’ arrest in Atlanta on a DUI charge and three days after the release of a police report with damaging details about the incident.

The settlement means Evans will get about $237,500, a small fraction of what he would have made under the contract he was given by the Athletic Board at a Feb. 3 meeting.

That contract, which was scheduled to take effect July 1, mere minutes after he was pulled over by the Georgia State Patrol, would have paid him $3.25 million over the next five years.

The contract required Evans to “act at all times in a manner consistent with . . . the appropriate moral, ethical and academic standards of the university” and gave Georgia the right to terminate it for a variety of reasons, including conviction of a “crime of moral turpitude.”

Evans said on the day after the arrest that he hoped to keep the job he had held since 2004, but by Saturday night, after discussions with UGA President Michael Adams, he told colleagues that he was out as athletics director. Evans met with Athletic Association attorney Edward Tolley on Sunday, signed a three-page settlement agreement and submitted his resignation to Adams.

Monday’s executive-committee teleconference was a perfunctory conclusion of a series of events that saw Evans, 40, plummet from the top of his profession.

At the February meeting, the Athletic Board expressed its enthusiastic approval of Evans’ job performance by giving him a new contract with a $110,000-a-year raise. At that meeting, Adams said of Evans: “He’s already become a nationally recognized figure in athletics, and we are fortunate to have him. . . I think he’s done an extraordinary job. . . . And there’s not been a whiff of impropriety during that six-year period. If you’re the president of an institution, that means a whole lot.”

Fast-forward to Monday, when Adams convened a to-the-point teleconference to end Evans’ tenure.

Fourteen media members gathered at the Butts-Mehre athletics headquarters building on Georgia’s south campus to listen to the call on a speaker phone and were ushered into the only conference room large enough to accommodate them -– the one in what used to be Evans’ fourth-floor office suite. The adjoining door to his private office was closed.

From the black leather chairs witha red “G” emblazoned on the back of each, you could look out the windows and see two major ongoing construction projects Evans championed — the massive expansion of the Butts-Mehre building and, in the distance, the renovation of Stegeman Coliseum.

Adams convened the conference call and quickly received a motion to go into executive –- closed –- session to discuss “a personnel matter.” Within 10 minutes, the committee returned to open session, and Adams announced Evans’ separation agreement had been approved.

“As I said on Thursday morning when I first learned of the situation, this is not an example of the kind of leadership that I expect our senior administrators to set,” Adams said. “I have high regard for Damon personally; I care deeply about him and his family.”

Adams added: “We acknowledge the many positive accomplishments of his tenure, including an increased focus on the academic success of student-athletes, the overall financial strength of the athletic department and the hiring of many very good people as head coaches and senior leaders in the athletic department.”

Adams would not entertain questions from the media Monday but said he will do so during a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

Within minutes of Monday’s conference call, Evans’ name had been removed from the staff directory on the UGA athletics website. In its place, the acronym “TBA” — To Be Announced — was placed beside the position of athletics director.

Evans was not on the conference call and has not returned repeated calls from the AJC the past few days. He provided a written statement Monday afternoon.

“I would like to once again offer my sincerest apology to the University of Georgia people –- the president and administration, athletic staff and coaches, fans and supporters, and especially the student-athletes,” Evans wrote.

“It had been my hope since taking the [athletics director's] job in 2004 that I would have a long career at UGA. But because of a serious mistake in judgment, that won’t be the case, and I understand that I have a long road to rebuilding my reputation and career.”

Evans thanked his supporters, encouraged the athletics department staff to keep the student-athletes “first and foremost in everything you do” and concluded: “God bless and Go Dawgs.”

Bob Bishop, a long-time executive-committee member and retired Athens banker, told the AJC late Monday that he “never would have suspected” the turn of events involving Evans. “I was just totally amazed by the whole thing — shocked,” Bishop said. But he saw Evans’ departure as inevitable under the circumstances.

“There wasn’t any dissension in the Bulldog Nation that I know of, and certainly none on the board,” Bishop said. “I just feel sad for his wife and children and for him, too, quite frankly.”

Evans’ settlement will be paid from Athletic Association funds. Aside from three months’ salary, he’ll receive on Aug. 1 the $100,000 “longevity bonus” that was called for in his past two contracts. The most recent contract said he would be entitled to the bonus by staying on the job through June 30, 2010, and would receive it within 30 days of July 1, 2011.

As part of the settlement, Evans released the university, the Athletic Association and the state “from any and all claims.” Evans and UGA agreed to make “no statements . . . which are disparaging, critical or negative toward each other.” Evans agreed to return all university property, including vehicles provided for his use, before noon Tuesday. And Evans “will receive a reference mutually agreed-to” by him and Adams.

Adams promised to discuss “the future leadership of the athletic department” on Tuesday. He likely will outline an interim arrangement for the department’s operation as well as the process for finding Evans’ successor.

Major-college athletic-director searches typically take months to complete, usually involving search committees and/or executive search firms.

When Evans was chosen to succeed Vince Dooley as Georgia’s athletics director, a search committee interviewed five candidates and forwarded three of them to Adams for final interviews.

The finalists, in addition to Evans, were Lee Fowler, then athletics director at N.C. State, and Eric Hyman, then AD at Texas Christian. Fowler was forced out at N.C. State last month, and Hyman now is athletics director at South Carolina.

The other candidates interviewed by Georgia’s search committee in late 2003 were Greg McCarity, then and now Florida’s associate athletics director, and Mark Lewis, then General Electric’s vice president of Olympic sponsorships.

In-house candidates for the job this time could include Frank Crumley, the executive associate athletics director who has gotten much credit for the Georgia program’s strong financial performance; Carla Williams, the senior associate athletics director and a former UGA basketball player; and Arthur Johnson, the associate AD for internal operations.

106 comments Add your comment

Paddy

July 6th, 2010
12:27 am

Now we can move on and look forward to football!

Dawg House

July 6th, 2010
12:39 am

Enter your comments here

Dawg House

July 6th, 2010
12:44 am

Captain Renault: I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!

Croupier: Your winnings, sir.

Captain Renault: [sotto voce] Oh, thank you very much.

– from ‘Casablanca’

You Stupid Rednecks

July 6th, 2010
12:46 am

Which is worse: The AD getting a DUI, or the dozens (hundreds?) of fans who defecate on the campus grounds to celebrate each home game? You’ve got great traditions up there in Athens!

POAD

July 6th, 2010
12:55 am

Being Drunk & Stupid ain’t OK @ UGA starting July 1, 2010. Only current UGAA members are Grandfathered in. Zero tolerance from now on for anybody new to the UGA Family.

Dawg House

July 6th, 2010
1:03 am

The Evans episode, through the comments posted on this weekend, has revealed that racism (from readers both black AND white) is unfortunately still deeply ingrained in our state. It’s unfortunate and ultimately embarrassing.

SICKnTired

July 6th, 2010
1:12 am

@ Dawg House I sadly concur.

Meow

July 6th, 2010
3:03 am

You Stupid Rednecks – Can’t agree with you more.
Woof woof?

bitter race divided nation

July 6th, 2010
3:44 am

here we have a A.D. who actually makes a bold statement and demands perfection within the program. he damon evans steps away with his dignity and allows the program to continue without a hicup, yet there are those writing today that still play the race card, some people just cant get over a black man making the right call, i would have done the same including take that hott chick panties off, look stop you fools that have a problem with a black man in a high position taken a tumble. white folks are use to there leaders fu—-g up and blacks need to learn to deal with the bill clinton like behaviour. p.s. i did not have sexually relations with that women, good luck damon

Bamafan

July 6th, 2010
4:27 am

Evans and Mike Price could tell a few stories about being drunk and stupid!!

CoastDog

July 6th, 2010
5:17 am

Wow, brdn. Having to watch every foe’s fans wearing/waving red panties for who knows how long is going to be more than a hiccup. Sounds like you are proud of Evans instead of embarrassed. I don’t get it. He “stepped away with his dignity?” Really?

Where the Bodies are Buried

July 6th, 2010
5:26 am

Dead things need to be buried or they stink worse and worse. It’s time to lay this issue aside and place it where the bodies are buried. Damon Evans did an outstanding job at UGA. What was inside him eventually came out and it wasn’t pretty. He issued his apology, his name has been removed from the staff directory, he is vacating his office. It is now time to not look back but to look forward to a new chapter. Michael Adams is not likable at all but he will cover his tail and get a quality AD that he can and will control. I think it is time for UGA boosters and fans to take a closer look at Adams and the way he operates. He has the AA in his hip pocket, the board of regents (with all the free perks and smoke blowing) in his corner. He is the man few can stand and wish he would disappear. Evans is gone, the body is buried but the stench coming from Michael Adams is worse than with Damon. What would it take to get rid of Michael Adams?

BuLLdawg

July 6th, 2010
5:30 am

AltamahaDawg, tell us again how this is :

“The university will not be harmed by this”

“The University of Georgia didn’t go get a DUI”

“Going to come out of this without a scratch”

You missed the whole entire point AltamahaDawg in your rush to pooh-pooh this as bad for The University of Georgia (while being the 1st to run in here and give Georgia tek heck for Little Joey Hamilton’s DUI (and drugs in his vehicle and leaving the scene of the accident.))

The University of Georgia Athletics Director hired when Michael F. Adam$ fired Vince Dooley, married to a gorgeous wife with lovely daughter and handsome son, had a Pantiless Skank’s Red Panties between his legs at midnight celebrating his new contract of $3.25 million dollars 2 hours from his home, and asked the State Trooper to take them to a motel, while admitting that he was taking her home, drunk.

1 of every 6 Google Searches Friday were of Courtney Nay Fuhrmann here in this city of 6 million.

This is a very bad reflection on Michael F. Adam$ who installed this yes man. He fired Vince Dooley for this. The University of Georgia is the laughing stock of the entire nation that we allowed him still drunk to sit in front of the fabled G and say he wanted to keep his job and apologize.

You are a hypocrite, so is he and so is The University of Georgia.

the former Mrs Evans

July 6th, 2010
6:05 am

he got more than he deserves

dagnabit

July 6th, 2010
6:23 am

Mrs. Evans will get it all. Damon Evans drunken episode may be over with. The red pantie defense will never go away.

Reality Check

July 6th, 2010
6:24 am

Does this effect recruiting anyway?

fred

July 6th, 2010
6:37 am

adams is a nerd turd … he has caused countless problems ….. leave our state and take leeburn with you …….

Dr.Phil

July 6th, 2010
6:52 am

Shows how easily these board of directors can deceived! The fans knew this was a BAD hire to begin with because it was made for political correctness and not by hiring the most qualified person! Hope they don’t make the same mistake twice!

FBI

July 6th, 2010
7:22 am

President Adams needs to remember that Vince Dooley served our university as A.D. with dignity and honor, and might still be doing so if not for him.

BDAWG

July 6th, 2010
7:29 am

Can we please end the Damon Evans discussion? He’s gone, let’s move on. Let’s talk about football and football recruiting. Big time players still out there. Can we lock up some of the big time players we need or will we miss out again? Vince Dooley is the past. He was a good coach and A. D., but let’s move on to someone that can take this program nationally and win championships.

Private eye

July 6th, 2010
8:07 am

On further review, moderate it into the trash, please. Thanks.

Douglas

July 6th, 2010
8:09 am

I met Damon and his family in the past year on several occassions — he was very down to earth and always willing to talk to anyone. It is sad that he made this mistake but these nasty comments are totally uncalled for. He made a mistake — admitted it — took responsibility for it — how many other folks try to blame others? He is still a Georgia Bulldog and alumni and he did a great job while he is AD. This board just goes to show how many ignorant folks still exist in this world who have absolutely no class at all.

bye, bye, miss american pie

July 6th, 2010
8:15 am

Heard Lane Kiffen, is applying for the AD job….

Not Being Sarcastic

July 6th, 2010
8:23 am

All I care about is if the Dawgs win their football games. The AD, Prez, Coach, Players, Graduation, Salaries, Morals, Ethics, Injuries, or Opponents does not amount to a hill of beans. Just win the damn game and the money rolls in and everybody is happy. Soothing, Blissful, Winning.

CONFEDERATE DAWG

July 6th, 2010
8:28 am

AJC WE GE IT, ; HOW MANY DAYS HAS IT BEEN NOW? DAMON EVANS OUT! GOT IT. CAN YALL MOVE ON AND TELL US ABOUT RECRUITS OR PEOPLE THAT ARE ACTUALLY STILL AT GA NOW?

MOVIN ON DOWN THE LINE DAWG!
ONELOVE GA

William F. Casey III

July 6th, 2010
8:30 am

Damon Evans made the right call for Damon Evans’ future career prospects and UGA avoided further humiliation. This old, die-hard GT fan invites Damon to join a wonderful fellowship and get his life in order.

i used to love her, but its all over now

July 6th, 2010
8:33 am

yeah, had this happened to another SEC school, uga fans would be waiving the panties.
but instead, we try to deny and deflect. funny how that works….
thank you, Damon Evans, for making us the laughingstock of the conference.

William F. Casey III

July 6th, 2010
8:33 am

NOT BEING SARCASTIC: you must live a very limited and self-centered life. As my Mom used to say: “more to be pitied than censured.”

Perry Mason

July 6th, 2010
8:34 am

Douglas – You are right. What sad is alot of people on here are serious. Wouldn’t you like to coach or teach their children.

SimpleDawg

July 6th, 2010
8:38 am

The events of this past Wednesday, and the inevitable dismissal, has nothing to do with race.

This has more to do with a person who lost track of who he is, who’s important in his life, and who he represents. He became “10 feet tall and bullet-proof”……and he started letting the little head make the plans for the evening. Bad move.

Now, he’s lost his high profile, high dollar job. He may very well lose his family. It is a very sad story, and now it’s the catalyst for the shallow and insignificant to poke fun at a rival on a different level…..or even worse, it brings out those wanting to make this a commentary on black folks screwing up grand opportunities…

….well, all kinds of people screw up grand opportunities every day. There’s nothing funny about any of it.

Resist the urge to pick up the stone.

TONE

July 6th, 2010
8:41 am

anybody think they are going to hire the most PC candidate for AD now no matter what ? I am thinking that’s what will happen

sbeck

July 6th, 2010
8:51 am

You drank. You drove. You lost.

CONFEDERATE DAWG

July 6th, 2010
8:54 am

HOW ARE PEOPLE GOIN TO CALL GA RASCIST? WE PUT A BLACK MAN IN CHARGE AS OUR AD. DID FANS STOP SHOWING UP? NO WAS THERE AN OUTCRY TO REMOVE HIM? NO. WHAT WAS GA REALLY GONNA DO AFTER THIS. HUGS GOT FIRED FROM CINCY FOR JUST A DUI. PRICE GOT THE BOOT. EVEN GEORGE OLEARY JUST LIED ABOUT WHERE HE PLAYED 30 YEARS AGO. THEY ALL GOT THE AXE AND NOT EVEN A BUY OUT. COME ON YALL GOT A BLACK PREZ! YOU CAN MOVE ON NOW. YOU HAVE BLACK TV AND THE NATIONAL ADVANCEMENT OF COLORED PEOPLE. ITS A JOKE PEOPLE STILL PULL RACE ALL THE TIME. ALL DAMON HAD TO DO WAS HIS JOB WHICH HE WAS VERY GOOD AT. DRIVE HIS NEW BEAMER MAKING MORE THAN DAMN NEAR EVERY PERSON IN GA WHITE OR BLACK. HE COULD EVEN HIT UP ATL AND PULL YOUNG WHITE HO’S. HE JUST HAD TO DO IT WITHOUT DRIVING DRUNK PLAIN AND SIMPLE. ITS 2010 WHITE PEOPLE AND BLACK PEOPLE AINT GOIN ANYWHERE. AS AMERICANS YALL NEED TO JUST TEAM UP AS THE BEST COUNTRY ON THE PLANET AND GET TO GRINDING. EVERYONE STOP COMPLAINING. KICK BACK A HUNDRED YEARS WHEN PEOPLE USE TO BUST THEIR ASS ALL DAY AND NOT SIT ON FACEBOOK ALL DAY.

ONELOVE GA
COME ON DAWGS!!!!!!

GriffDawg

July 6th, 2010
8:54 am

Hunker down you red panty hounds

willdave

July 6th, 2010
9:10 am

Wow. Absoulutely incredible. Again some of you are trying to turn this into a race issue. If Adams and the UGA Athletic Association were motivated by race, they never would have hired Damon as AD in the first place. They certainly never would have extended his contract. Indeed, at least two of the candidates they are now considering to replace Evans are African-Americans.

Come on, man. Let’s stop trying to play this racism excuse all the time. The simple fact of the matter is, the head of one of the most successful and prominent college athletic programs in the nation cannot conduct himself at any time the way Damon did last week. Period. I don’t care if he or she is black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American–whatever. UGA had absolutely no choice but to remove this man as its AD.

Bama in Atlanta

July 6th, 2010
9:13 am

Does this mean Damon Evans will be on the next “Celebrity Apprentice”?!? Or, after Mrs. Evans is done with him, he could be on “The Bachelor”!

Chip

July 6th, 2010
9:24 am

Should have never did what you did to Dooley.

mitch

July 6th, 2010
9:26 am

Hate seeing UGA giving him a dime.

wiley

July 6th, 2010
9:28 am

Come on UGA fans we know you can’t just move on. This is a big deal and you will face a great deal of red panties at your away games this year. I guess its good to be optimistic but this cant just go away when you want it too. Oh I cant wait for the UF game…

BIG PAPI

July 6th, 2010
9:33 am

Damon’s a smart guy. He’ll figure it out. To hell with all yall haters! Comes round goes round.. The end.

watchingGA.

July 6th, 2010
9:34 am

It is hard to view this as racism. The guy made a stupid mistake. However, it is important that Blacks who are in prominent positions realize that acts of stupidity do not help themselves or their race. The board, in this case, had no choice other than to fire Mr.Evans.

Crimedog

July 6th, 2010
9:42 am

Adams hired his friend Jim Harrick, who was not known for running a clean program. Adams admitted Tony Cole, who is now in federal prison. Adams hired Damon Evans as his personal puppet. It will take years for the University to recover from Adams’ “leadership.”

Pago Pago DAWG

July 6th, 2010
9:51 am

The lib quota system says UGA “has” to hire a woman this time..Pretty sad.

bo Williams

July 6th, 2010
9:53 am

As for Ga. police officers (and arrest of Evans), I attended a Ga. Police Officers/Sheriffs convention in Atl many yrs ago. I clearly remember walking down the hall of my hotel and seeing those guys in their tank-top shirts openly drinking confiscated liquor from Mason fruit jars and playing poker with the money on the tables. Hipocracy still alive and well in Ga.

RxDawg

July 6th, 2010
9:54 am

I just found out this am that Carla Williams is a coworker’s sister in law. That’s pretty cool.

SICKnTired

July 6th, 2010
10:01 am

@ confederate dawg & @wildave

You are missing the point. NOONE black is claiming the situation is Racist. The racisim has entered with the comments. That are being made on here. That he was never qualified! That he was a PC hire etc etc.
Comment on those please. or is it just easier to only reply when a spade is called out?

BIG PAPI

July 6th, 2010
10:04 am

when youre white it’s right when youre black you better watch your back – nuff said!

keep dreaming dogs

July 6th, 2010
10:05 am

You WISH the red was forgotten…right Alt?

SICKnTired

July 6th, 2010
10:07 am

As for being the laughing stock of the country:

We are not that important. Most people only care about thier school and could care less about what happens in Athens.

Get a F*ckin life. It’s not the end of world, in fact I am more concerned about how the secondary will shape up than I am about what happened with Damon. In fact I bet UF, GT et al are more concerned about that as well.

And if some idiot swings a pair of red panties (that he probably had to buy) in your face just share the laugh and point to the score board (unless we happen to be losing then feel free to punch him in the face) and keep it moving.

Are we Dawgs or a bunch of P~ussies?

And for those of you who continue to play race games and promote ignorance (and for those of you who don’t speak up when it is obvious) U S*ck Balls!

Perry Mason

July 6th, 2010
10:08 am

Big Papi – Keep making excuses!