The members of this committee have strong ties to this place and a deep understanding of its history and its culture.
Michael Adams, on the search committee
Since Jason Kirk generously credited this weblog with the ability to come up with a better take than his on the search committee charged with the duty of finding a new athletic director, it’s only fair that I take a stab at it. Carla Williams’s membership on the committee virtually assures that she is not a candidate, and Adams’s statements that he wants "an outside opinion to take a hard look at what we’re doing" and a candidate "with a high level of experience in the business of athletics" suggest that hiring from within and looking outside athletics are not options. To me, that suggests strongly that Greg McGarity is our man, but we will have to wait and see.
While I am no fan of Michael Adams, even a broken clock is right twice a day, and the beauty of career-advancing opportunists is that they may be relied upon to behave opportunistically in ways that will advance their careers. After being passed over as a candidate to head up the NCAA, Adams’s primary career goal is the cementing of the legacy he leaves from his stewardship of the nation’s oldest state-chartered university. Whether you think well or ill of that legacy thus far, Paul Westerdawg is right about the place this hire holds in it:
This is an absolutely enormous hire, and it's a tremendous part of Adams legacy. That's why I've got more confidence in his role in this search than many others. He knows how big a job this is, and what leaving us with a mess would do to his "place in history." Am I resting easy with Adams running the ship on this? No. But, I'm a lot more optimistic than others because the job offers so much.
Paul is right. Irrespective of whether we would be right to place faith in Michael Adams on his personal and professional merits, we may safely say that he knows how crucial a hire this is, and he will act accordingly. One thing I learned long ago about politicians (which Michael Adams most certainly is, by nature, by training, and by position) is that they ought to be judged by their results rather than by their motives, which always are mixed. Even though this situation arose while the president was on vacation and the full facts came to light on the first day of a holiday weekend, Adams acted with appropriate swiftness; his response was not knee-jerk, but neither did he drag his feet. His public statements have been measured and prudent while enunciating clearly the expectations the institution imposes upon its employees. He assembled a search committee with which no reasonable person could find fault.
Many of us who are proud to claim the University of Georgia as our alma mater are not particularly pleased that Michael Adams is the president of it. That fact should not cause us to be concerned about a process that, thus far, has been handled appropriately and well. Although the last two and a half years have taught Bulldog Nation to expect the worst, there is too much that is good about the flagship university of the Empire State of the South for the darkness to last forever without a dawn. There may yet be other bad things on the horizon---I would bet on it, in fact---but, as far as the athletic directorship is concerned, the other shoe had already dropped by the time we learned that the arresting officer had cause to ask why the driver he was interrogating had his passenger’s red panties in his lap.
No, I’m not telling you to trust in Michael Adams to do the right thing, nor am I telling you that it is morning again in Bulldog Nation; too many times, we have wondered whether things were looking up, only to find that our hubris has invited further disaster. I’m simply saying that Michael Adams has a strong incentive to make the right hire, regardless of the reasons, and his actions so far justify our faith in the process, if not in the president.
Also, after the sordid saga set forth in lurid detail in the police incident report describing the events of one week ago, it is hard to imagine matters getting much worse without a meteor shower obliterating Athens, so we’re either about to start moving in the right direction or we’re about to be destroyed en masse. One way or another, the steady downward spiral is about to be over . . . and, if we do have a meteor shower in our future, well, it was a meteor’s impact with the earth that turned Susan Murphy into Ginormica and brought Kal-El to Smallville, so even the absolute destruction of each of us and all we hold dear might end well. I’m just saying.