I learned a lot about myself. Sometimes, through the storms, you come out on the other end ... a better person.
The assumption in both cases is that there's actually something to the "Richt on the hot seat" meme – that he was feeling some kind of pressure from Evans himself or his bosses, who Evans was somehow able to keep at bay – which still defies public statements from UGA power brokers and common sense. What was Evans supposed to be protecting Richt from? Criticism of his pace to become the winningest coach in Georgia history? Antsy boosters looking to grill him over four straight top-10 finishes, or two SEC championships in four years after a 20-year drought since Herschel Walker's final season? The unlikely late-season run to No. 2 in the final polls in 2007?
Despite Bradley's optimistic take, the conventional wisdom is that new athletic directors are a threat to coaches: Personalities may clash, and if the record suffers at all, the new boss has no incentive to remain loyal when he can bring in "his guy." But as Bradley also notes, Richt wasn't Evans' guy; he was hired by Evans' predecessor, Vince Dooley. Whatever the internal impatience with Richt, Evans was certainly aware of them; for all we know, he originated them. But unless someone high up the chain is specifically looking for a hatchet man who'll have Richt's head at the first opportunity, whoever inherits the AD's chair won't have any more reason to put Richt in his crosshairs than Evans did.
An utter disaster of a season could change that equation. If there are high-placed Richt skeptics, the end of the Bulldogs' 12-year bowl streak could conceivable force a heavy hand or two to try to sweep him out. Short of that kind of wholesale collapse, though, Richt shouldn't need any buffers or friends in the short term beyond his own resumé.
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.’
In both cases, an individual broke the law, then tried to minimize the impact of those revelations in a way that severely damaged their credibility with the rest of the University of Georgia community. Now, an athletic director is expected to be a strong leader, a savvy evaluator of coaching talent, and a shrewd businessman -- but he's also expected to be, to some degree, a role model for the athletes who fall under his purview. If Zach Mettenberger was stripped of his status as a Georgia Bulldog, but Damon Evans was allowed to retain not only his job but also his half-million-dollar salary, what kind of message would that send to the athletes at UGA? Among other things, it'd say that our leaders have less of a responsibility to obey the law -- or even tell the truth -- than the people they're supposed to be leading. It might also send the message that once you get to a certain level of wealth, power, or public stature, you're not held to the same standards of integrity as everyone else. And that's a dangerous signal to be giving to young, up-and-coming athletes whose talents may soon earn them big money in the pros -- or, heck, major stardom at UGA itself.
So no, this isn't about me, my diploma, or how much shame I feel about going out in public with a super-G on my jacket or a Bulldog logo on my license plate. (Which is still zero, in case anyone was curious.) It's about Damon Evans' ability to do his job effectively, an ability that -- in spite of all his demonstrated talents and intelligence -- has been severely damaged by his actions on Roswell Road last Wednesday night.
None of this is to say that I don't hope Evans can rehabilitate his career, or his public image, or his relationship with his family; I certainly hope all of those things happen. But based on the events of the past week, it's become clear that he's going to need to do a lot of soul-searching -- and, as condescending as it might sound, a lot of growing up -- to make that happen. And while I wish him well on all those tasks, I don't think it's UGA's obligation to let him do them on company time.
According to the Associated Press, University of Georgia president Michael Adams made an official announcement regarding the future athletic director Damon Evans in the wake of last week's DUI arrest. The announcement? Evans is officially resigning, as was widely rumored over the past few days.
Following a conference call with the school's executive committee, Adams made the brief announcement to the media, but refused to comment further until at least Tuesday.
The buyout for Evans' contract remains a point of speculation, but according SB Nation Atlanta, Evans will be paid his salary for the next three months, and then receive a $100 thousand severance fee.
All told, it's a fairly small severance fee for an athletic director at a school of Georgia's magnitude, and it speaks to Evans' profound lack of leverage here. So, a lesson to all the kids out there that want to grow up to be ADs at major college programs: Don't drink and drive, and if you do, don't do it with a mistress in the passenger seat and her panties in your lap.
MOTHER FRACKING HELL. SOMEBODY KILL A GOAT AT THE ARCH OR SOMETHING.
One issue Damon Evans said he discussed was kickoff times. While he said he expects a continued propensity for night games at Sanford Stadium, he's hoping to find a better balance than last year. He said a few more early kickoffs would appeal to a broader demographic of fans and cause less of a burden on the campus police and support staff.
There's a new sheriff in Stegeman. A sleeping Dawg has been awakened. . . .
Even in his own house, Stegeman Coliseum, [Dennis] Felton was upstaged by Bruce Pearl and the magic touch he brought to Tennessee basketball.
I have a very different first impression of Mark Fox.
As the new coach walked off the court Saturday after his Georgia Bulldogs dominated No. 8 Tennessee 78-63, he gratefully raised his right arm, pointing to the celebrating crowd, then bumped knuckles with one fan and clasped several happy hands extended his way. . . .
[T]he only time I heard anyone belting out "Rocky Top" was before tipoff. After Georgia raced to a 14-4 lead there wasn't much to sing about. . . .
"I want people to know,'' said Damon Evans, "that this is what a true basketball atmosphere feels like.''