Archive for July, 2010

Two UGA football players arrested (UPDATED WITH DETAILS)

(Updated 11:35 a.m., 3:10 p.m. and 9 p.m.)

Two University of Georgia football players were arrested on alcohol-related charges early Saturday after their vehicle was pulled over by UGA Police.

Dontavius Jackson, 20, a backup running back, was charged with six misdemeanors: driving under the influence of alcohol, underage possession of alcohol, following too closely, leaving the scene of an accident, violation of the move-over law and violation of learner’s permit.

Tavarres King, 19, a starting wide receiver, was charged with underage possession of alcohol.

According to Clarke County Jail records, Jackson was booked into the jail at 6:25 a.m. and, as of 9 p.m., had not been released. King was jailed at 5:55 a.m. and released at 7:05 a.m. on $500 bond.

UGA Police Chief Jimmy Williamson told the AJC that the arrests occurred after a series of events on East Campus Road.

Williamson said two patrol cars were at an unrelated traffic stop when a vehicle — later determined to be …

Continue reading Two UGA football players arrested (UPDATED WITH DETAILS) »

Ready to talk some football?

Just three weeks until the start of preseason practice.  Just 57 days until the season opener between the hedges.

I’m guessing, after more than a week of fallout from Damon Evans’ DUI arrest, you’re ready to talk some football.

So, for leisurely weekend reading of any you might have missed, here are links to our recent position-by-position look at Georgia’s football team.  Please click on the positions, each of which is open for you to express your hopes, concerns or other comments about that group.

Offensive line: Experienced unit with 155 college starts should lead offense.

Wide receivers: Is this A.J. Green’s final season? Marlon Brown’s breakout season?

Tight ends: Orson Charles reprises high school role as Aaron Murray’s target.

Tailbacks/fullbacks: How will Washaun Ealey and Caleb King divide carries, starts?

Quarterbacks: Dogs need a solid (and injury-free) season from Murray.

Defensive line: Do Dogs have a nose for the new scheme?

Inside linebackers: Sorting out the …

Continue reading Ready to talk some football? »

Interim AD Crumley presides over the calm after the storm

ATHENS – Starting his first full day on the job as Georgia’s interim athletics director, Frank Crumley addressed more than 100 staff members Wednesday morning, imploring them to carry on “business as usual.”

Exactly one week earlier, at the start of the day that would end with him being pulled over by the Georgia State Patrol, Damon Evans had gathered the same folks in the same room for a quarterly staff meeting. At the end of that meeting,  door prizes were handed out.

So when Crumley opened the floor for questions after brief remarks Wednesday, he got only one:

“Are there any door prizes?”

Rocked by the arrest and resignation of Evans, and still absorbing UGA President Michael Adams‘ statement that he’ll “first look outside” for a permanent successor to Evans as athletics director, Georgia’s staff seemed to seek some normalcy on Wednesday — and even an occasional laugh.

“It was short and sweet,” Crumley said of his remarks to the staff. “I said, ‘We’ve all had a stressful …

Continue reading Interim AD Crumley presides over the calm after the storm »

Richt shares thoughts on Evans’ arrest, resignation

ATHENS — Georgia football coach Mark Richt met with a few reporters in the atrium of the Butts-Mehre building late this afternoon and talked publicly for the first time about the arrest and resignation of  Damon Evans. Richt expressed sadness for Evans and his family, endorsed the selection of Frank Crumley as interim athletics director and expressed confidence that UGA President Michael Adams will make a wise decision on Evans’ permanent successor.

Following are excerpts from the conversation with Richt.

His general feelings about what has happened:

“I do feel for Damon and his family. I’ve been working with Damon for almost 10 years now. I had a very good working relationship with Damon and a very good personal relationship, too, with him and his family. I’m definitely sad for everyone from that regard.

“Moving forward, I think President  Adams has done a really very fine job of handling the situation the way he did. I think having Frank Crumley as the interim AD right …

Continue reading Richt shares thoughts on Evans’ arrest, resignation »

Adams’ media briefing: Just one question about anything other than Evans fallout

ATHENS -– The six days since a shocking telephone call interrupted his vacation in Nashville have been “clearly one of the most difficult times I have been through,” University of Georgia President Michael Adams said Tuesday.

The early morning call last Thursday brought the news of Damon Evans’ arrest in Atlanta on a DUI charge. By the time all the details emerged, Adams said, there was only one possible conclusion: Evans, Georgia’s highly regarded athletics director, had to go.

“The tragedy of all of this is what a terrific job he has done the last six years,” Adams said, speaking publicly about the matter for the first time. “I regret deeply the closure and the kind of closure this relationship had. But, once I learned all the facts, I felt like there was no choice in my role to do what is best for the university.”

Adams, who cut his vacation short and drove home Thursday night, made it clear to Evans in a meeting Friday that he could not remain in the job. …

Continue reading Adams’ media briefing: Just one question about anything other than Evans fallout »

Adams names Frank Crumley interim AD, will look outside for Evans’ successor (UPDATED)

UGA president Michael F. Adams (left) announces the appointment of Frank Crumley (right) as interim athletic director on Tuesday. (Photo by Phil Skinner, pskinner@ajc.com)

UGA president Michael F. Adams (left) announces the appointment of Frank Crumley (right) as interim athletic director on Tuesday. (Photo by Phil Skinner, pskinner@ajc.com)

(Click here for full report on Adams’ news conference.)

ATHENS — University of Georgia President Michael Adams on Tuesday named Frank Crumley interim athletics director and appointed a search committee to seek a permanent successor to Damon Evans.

Adams said the search for a new AD could last as long as six to 12 months, and he said UGA would look first at outside candidates for the position.  In the meantime, Crumley, who had been executive associate AD for finance and administration under Evans, will oversee the athletics department.

While acknowledging the difficulty and sadness of recent days, Adams said: “We still have important work to do, and it is time for us to move on.”

He named UGA law professor and faculty athletics representative David Shipley to serve as chairman of the search committee. …

Continue reading Adams names Frank Crumley interim AD, will look outside for Evans’ successor (UPDATED) »

UGA football player’s arrest ‘a breakdown in communications,’ police chief says (UPDATED)

Georgia football player Jordan Love was arrested late Monday night on a misdemeanor charge of obstruction of a law enforcement officer, but UGA Police Chief Jimmy Williamson told the AJC today that the arrest now appears to have stemmed from a “breakdown in communications.”

Williamson said UGA Police responded to a complaint about three individuals shooting off fireworks outside McWhorter Hall, an East Campus Village dormitory, and arrested Love at the scene for obstruction because he would not provide his full name to the officer. Williamson said Love would not or could not give  his middle name.

However, Williamson told the AJC that, after talking with Love’s family this morning, there are  extenuating circumstances that will be presented to a Municipal Court judge, who will decide whether to drop the charge.

“Mr. Love, I think, was honest in his attempt, and the officer felt he was being evasive,” Williamson said. “It was a breakdown in communications.

“The circumstances …

Continue reading UGA football player’s arrest ‘a breakdown in communications,’ police chief says (UPDATED) »

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 …

Continue reading The end of the Evans era came quickly »

Damon Evans offers apology, says ‘Go Dawgs’

ATHENS — This statement was just received from Damon Evans:

“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. It had been my hope since taking the 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.

“I do want to thank all those who have supported me and the Athletic Association over the past six years and would encourage all those in our Association to remember that they are there for the student-athletes. Keep them first and foremost in everything you do. God bless and ‘Go Dawgs.’”

Damon Evans

July 5, 2010

Continue reading Damon Evans offers apology, says ‘Go Dawgs’ »

Evans’ settlement: 3 months salary plus previously earned $100,000 bonus

(Updated 12:20 p.m.)

ATHENS -–The UGA Athletic Association board of directors’ executive committee this morning approved a settlement that will pay departing athletics director Damon Evans three months salary as severance, plus a $100,000 longevity bonus earned under his previous contract.

UGA President Michael Adams told the board that Evans submitted his resignation, “which I have accepted,” on Sunday.

The meeting, by teleconference, lasted about 15 minutes, most of that in executive — closed — session.

“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 told the committee.

“We acknowledge the many positive accomplishments of [Evans'] 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 …

Continue reading Evans’ settlement: 3 months salary plus previously earned $100,000 bonus »

Five months later, a very different Athletic Board meeting

The same board that five months ago approved a new five-year, $3.25-million contract for Damon Evans will convene at 11 a.m. today to hear details of his resignation.

This morning’s meeting, via conference call, of the UGA Athletic Board’s executive committee is expected to reveal Evans’ resignation settlement and perhaps the game plan for choosing his successor as Georgia’s athletics director. I’ll be listening in on the call from the Butts-Mehre building and will post updates on Twitter (@ajcuga), so please follow me there.

Meanwhile, I keep thinking about that meeting barely five months ago -– Feb. 3 -– at which the Athletic Board expressed its enthusiastic approval of Evans’ job performance by giving him a new five-year contract and a $110,000-a-year raise.

At that meeting, UGA President Michael 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. . . . …

Continue reading Five months later, a very different Athletic Board meeting »

Police report damning for Georgia AD Damon Evans

The police report from the Georgia State Patrol officer who arrested Damon Evans in Atlanta Wednesday and it’s a damning document for the Georgia athletics director.

According to the report, filed by GSP Officer Mark Cabe, Evans’ black BMW was weaving noticeably on Roswell Road, which initiated Cabe to U-turn his cruiser and execute a stop. After Evans pulled into a parking space at the corner of Roswell Road and Chastain Drive, Cabe reports that he “noticed that the subject had a pair of lady’s red panties between his legs.” Later in the report Evans admits that the panties belonged to his passenger, 28-year-old Courtney Fuhrmann of Atlanta.

“She took them off and I held them because I was just trying to get her home,” Evans said, according to police.

While trying to conduct a field sobriety test on Evans, Cabe reports that Fuhrmann got out of the passenger side of the car several times despite instructions from both the officer and from Evans to remain in the vehicle. After …

Continue reading Police report damning for Georgia AD Damon Evans »

Damon Evans’ story not one sports writers relish covering

Damon Evans faces a room full of reporters during a press conference on the UGA campus Thursday evening. (AJc photo by Curtis Comption)

Georgia AD Damon Evans faces a room full of reporters Thursday evening at UGA. He was charged with DUI Wednesday night. (AJC photo by Curtis Comption)

Athens – It has been a pretty long 30 hours or so. That’s about how long I’ve been following the Damon Evans story.

Normally I wouldn’t be as involved as I have since I am no longer on the UGA beat. Nowadays I cover recruiting on the AJC Recruiting Blog and my talented colleague Tim Tucker normally covers the Bulldogs for us. But Tim, like the better part of the working world it seems, is on vacation this week. So I’ve been having to fill in.

I don’t think I’m off base here in saying I don’t care much for covering stories like these. I talked yesterday to virtually every one of the Georgia beat guys and assorted TV and radio reporters, most of whom I have known a long time, over at Evans’ press conference. I can tell you in all honesty that they all feel the same way.

It was a pretty surreal scene over at the Rankin Smith …

Continue reading Damon Evans’ story not one sports writers relish covering »

The Damon Evans story

I’m away on vacation — hey, this is supposed to be a slow time on the UGA beat — but my esteemed AJC colleagues have full coverage of the Damon Evans story. Please click on the links below:

  • The latest news on Evans’ arrest, press conference and future from AJC reporters  Chip Towers, Christian Boone, Larry Hartstein, Kristi E. Swartz, Chelsea Cook and Laura Diamond.
    • Curtis Compton’s photos from the news conference.
    • A story on student reaction by Chelsea Cook.
    • Junkyard Blawger Bill King’s blog.

    Continue reading The Damon Evans story »

    Evans DUI no laughing matter

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

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    Continue reading Evans DUI no laughing matter »

    Georgia finishes 20th in Directors’ Cup standings, worst since 1997

    Georgia finished 20th in the Directors’ Cup national all-sports standings released this morning — two spots lower than a year ago and the Bulldogs’ worst finish since 1997.

    The standings rank college athletics programs based on a points system tied to success at the national level in up to 20 sports, 10 men’s and 10 women’s.

    Before finishing 18th last year, Georgia had been in the top 15 of the Directors’ Cup standings for 11 consecutive years, including top-10 finishes in eight of the 11 years. This year’s showing is Georgia’s poorest since finishing 28th in 1997.

    Georgia athletics director Damon Evans acknowledged the disappointing performance in the national standings, telling the UGA Athletic Board in late May:  “We are not where we want to be nationally. I think our program should be much higher than it is. This is probably one of the toughest years from a competitive standpoint that we’ve faced in quite some time.”

    Georgia ranked 25th in this year’s standings after …

    Continue reading Georgia finishes 20th in Directors’ Cup standings, worst since 1997 »