Category Archives: Michael Adams Wants To Rule The World

Profiles in stupidity

If you wonder why I can’t wait for the door to finally close on the Michael Adams era in Athens, let me take you back to the man’s reminiscence of the Harrick hire.

“I said to coach Dooley, ‘Would you like for me to get Jim Harrick in the pool,” Adams said. “He said, ‘Yes. I think the better the pool, the better.’ We interviewed three finalists. Coach Dooley made a recommendation to me for whatever reasons. I think, and still think, that he and coach Harrick got along very well.”

Dooley’s first choice was then Delaware coach Mike Brey, who turned down the chance and eventually landed at Notre Dame. Harrick won the national title at UCLA in 1995 but was fired the next year over expense reports from a recruiting dinner that violated NCAA rules.

“Ultimately on decisions on the head basketball coach and the football coach, I make the decision only from the standpoint of that was my recommendation to the president,” Dooley said.

Adams said Dooley recommended Harrick twice, the second time after Harrick decided he wanted to stay at Rhode Island before changing his mind.

“I think the AD was involved in the hiring, he played the lead role in hiring Jim Harrick, not once but twice,” Adams said. “I think that I can document all that.”

Adams still calls Harrick “one of the best final-two-minute coaches that I’ve ever seen, and I know enough about basketball to know the difference. I regret what happened to him, but he made mistakes here at a level that would have made it impossible to stay whether I was making that decision or coach Dooley was making that decision. It was just obvious to both of us.”

That wasn’t the only obvious decision Adams and Dooley made about Harrick.

Now keep in mind that Harrick’s career wasn’t exactly a mystery at that time.  He’d already been canned at UCLA –  after winning a national title –  for falsifying expense reports and asking others to lie about that and at Rhode Island managed to raise a few eyebrows by letting Lamar Odom on to the team after Odom’s departure from UNLV.  But nobody at Georgia thought it was wise to pick up the phone and make a couple of calls to get some more background on the guy.

That’s basically how you wind up a few years later with an academic fraud scandal on your hands.  Too bad nobody judged Adams by the same standard he judged Harrick.

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Just go already, man.

Michael Adams wants you to know at heart he’s another Dawg fan, nothing more, nothing less.

“I don’t have many regrets,” Adams said during an interview in his north campus office in his final weeks as president before his retirement on June 30. “You want to know what my biggest regret is? Not getting the final five yards against Alabama. To have gone out in the national championship game, and I felt that night that was the national championship game and I think the following events proved me right. I’m not sure I’m over that one yet.”

See?  That’s just like you or me or any other slob who didn’t preside over the hire of a man who would preside over an embarrassing academic scandal.

But in Adams’ mind, Harrick doesn’t count as his biggest regret because his hire wasn’t really Adams’ fault.

“I said to coach Dooley, ‘Would you like for me to get Jim Harrick in the pool,” Adams said. “He said, ‘Yes. I think the better the pool, the better.’ We interviewed three finalists. Coach Dooley made a recommendation to me for whatever reasons. I think, and still think, that he and coach Harrick got along very well.”

Dooley’s first choice was then Delaware coach Mike Brey, who turned down the chance and eventually landed at Notre Dame. Harrick won the national title at UCLA in 1995 but was fired the next year over expense reports from a recruiting dinner that violated NCAA rules.

“Ultimately on decisions on the head basketball coach and the football coach, I make the decision only from the standpoint of that was my recommendation to the president,” Dooley said.

Adams said Dooley recommended Harrick twice, the second time after Harrick decided he wanted to stay at Rhode Island before changing his mind.

“I think the AD was involved in the hiring, he played the lead role in hiring Jim Harrick, not once but twice,” Adams said. “I think that I can document all that.”

“I think that I can document all that.” ?  Who in the hell talks like that in a beat writer interview?

The sad thing is that he probably did make an effort at the time to document it… just in case.

Weiszer wrote a fair piece, which means what you’d expect.  But there is one uncontaminated bit of good news in it.  We get a vacation.

Adams, who turned 65 in March on what he called his “Medicare birthday,” plans to take a year off from the university. He said he will spend time at his lake house and travel next year to Australia, New Zealand and California and may write books.

Don’t feel any need to rush back on our account.

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Michael Adams wants you to know he’ll always be there for you.

Woo, what’s that smell?  Oh, yeah, it’s the familiar odor of BS wafting from Michael Adams’ mouth.

“I think it [a nine-game conference schedule] could happen,” Adams said. “I know more and more conferences are going to that. The fans don’t like the games against some of the competition that we play, and I don’t blame them. It’s one of the reasons I voted against going from the 11th to the 12th game, because I thought it was going to do to us exactly what it has done…”

The fans, hunh…

This is the guy who thought nothing of passing money under the table to Jim Donnan, pushed Vince Dooley into hiring the Harricks and fashioned some of the most restrictive drug and arrest policies in the country for Georgia’s student-athletes, but we’re supposed to believe that Mr. Hands On couldn’t have come back from that meeting where he lost the vote on schedule expansion, picked up the phone and ordered his AD not to schedule another cupcake opponent with that extra game?  Sorry, not buying that one.

And is he so caught up in giving the fans what they want that he’s ready to storm the Bastille and push for that ninth conference game?  Hell, yea… wait, what?

Adams, whose tenure ends in June 30, will still be a voting member at SEC meetings later this month in Destin. He said he hasn’t decided how he personally feels between staying at eight or going to nine.

“But I think ultimately what will win out is fans are properly tired of seeing two or three really poor games per year,” he said.

No doubt ultimately he’ll take credit for the schedule change when it occurs long after he’s left office.  Because he cares.

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Michael Adams, smh

If you want a distillation of what makes Butts-Mehre run the way it does, look no further than Michael Adams’ explanation of why the guy running the most profitable athletic department in the country ranks twelfth in salary in the conference.

“I think there’s a fundamental issue there that we have to solve going forward,” Adams said. “I think Greg is great; I think we have to be cognizant of the market. Whether or not we have to be completely bound by the market is a decision that somebody else will make. Greg is basically a senior administrator. He now makes more money than any other senior administrator but me. How far do you go down that road and you’re speaking out of both sides of your mouth. You’re preaching unity with the body politic on one hand and you’re creating division on the other…”  [Emphasis added.]

There you have it.  It’s not a matter of how well you do your job.  It’s a matter of how willing you are to subordinate yourself to Adams.

I’m really gonna miss that guy.

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Going quietly into the night

David Paschall gets the early jump on what I expect will turn into a torrent as we get closer to June 30th.

“I hope I’m remembered as someone who has helped to create proper balance,” Adams said. “The academic interests at Georgia come first, and I don’t think there is any doubt in anybody’s mind about that, given some of the decisions I’ve had to make through the years. I also hope I will be remembered as a supporter. I think that athletics, if done properly, brings significant advantages to a place of our size.”

Yes, it’s Mikey Adams playing the favorite game of retiring egotists everywhere, Spin My Legacy!  Gah.

Paschall’s piece is pretty balanced.  And I like the flow of these two paragraphs.

“You don’t have a physics section every day,” Adams said. “You have a sports section, and you’re usually writing about either football or basketball in large measure. I wanted people in those jobs who shared my values and who thought that protecting the name of the university and doing things right was important, and whose ethics were impeccable.”

The first prominent athletic hire Georgia made under Adams occurred in the spring of 1999, when Jim Harrick was tabbed as basketball coach to replace the fired Ron Jirsa. Adams recommended Harrick to Dooley, with Adams having worked as vice president of university affairs at Pepperdine from 1982 to ’88 while Harrick was coaching the Waves to four NCAA tournaments.

In a world where people at the top of the food chain are held accountable for their screw-ups – and make no mistake about it, the Harrick scandal was about as monumental a screw-up for somebody who claims to be all about making sure academic interests come first as you can get – we would have been looking back on Adams’ tenure at Georgia a long time ago.  That we’re going to be subjected to three months of ass kissing over his legacy should tell you all you need to know about how serious Michael Adams and his supporters are about academic interests.

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Atlanta Dawg fans, you won’t want to miss this.

We won’t hear from Mark Richt on the spring speaking tour, but on May 15th, we do get what looks like Michael Adams’ farewell to arms.

You may never get another chance to heckle the man in public.

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One good class and they go crazy.

It’s getting a little weird for some at Ole Miss.

The most talked about recruiting battle after National Signing Day has been that of Laremy Tunsil of Lake City, Florida. The behemoth tackle has coaches drooling over his projection to be the next Michael Oher at Ole Miss.  His recruitment was a strange one.  He was long thought to be headed to Georgia and had a change of mind at the end that has fueled speculation and a ton of anger from UGA fans and possibly even their administration. Does the current news of Georgia president Michael Adams stepping down play into this?

Adams plans to step down after 16 years at the helm of the state’s flagship university. Adams did a great job growing UGA and its enrollment nearly 6 times of its total when he started.  [Ed. note:  What?]  I’m sure you are wondering why this has anything to do with Laremy Tunsil. It was announced that Adams is 1 of 8 new members on the NCAA infraction committee. In Craig Powers article on SBnation he said, “The NCAA says the move is to allow the committee to handle more cases and process more efficiently.” Powers went on to add, “Many are likely hoping this will be a step towards a speedier and more consistent process in the future.”

As little sense as this makes on its face, as it’s unlikely Michael Adams knew about Tunsil’s change in college plans before Georgia’s coaches did, it makes even less when you look at the rest of the time line – Adams announced his resignation months before being appointed to the infraction committee – for which the poster has conveniently supplied the links.  So either Michael Adams has a prodigious ability to forecast the future which was previously undisclosed or some of the Ole Miss faithful are turning into a bunch that would be right at home talking to Finebaum.  Occam’s Razor, peeps.

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You got to spend money to make championships.

To what should be nobody’s surprise, Michael Adams thinks Georgia spends enough money on its football program, thank you very much.

Adams is comfortable with what UGA has done to provide the football program with the financial means to success. He made the point when asked about the renewed confidence in the direction of the team.

“Winning helps everything,” he said, with a laugh. “I think there’s confidence in the building blocks that are in place here. Look at the facilities, look at the practice fields, look at the stadium additions, look at what we’ve done to be competitive with assistant coaches. (We) may not be the top in every little category, but across the board I’m not sure anybody provides any more total support than we do. … One of the things I’m proud about is you build great programs brick-by-brick and stone-by-stone over a period of time.”

Of course, it would be helpful if everyone else running a football program saw things the same way.

The subject of regulating the staff size of football programs – in other words, the amount of off-field, quality-control type coaches – has been a hot one recently. Adams said he proposed limiting the non-coaching staff positions “in certain sports,” but it was voted down.

“I haven’t changed my view,” Adams said. “It’s all about balance. You don’t control this. But you manage it. You can’t control it all, but you can manage it, and we’ll see where some of it goes.

The problem is that Nick Saban doesn’t have time for Adams’ shit.  He sees the NCAA’s liberalization of the recruiting rules and is off to the races.  You can almost sense the glee in Tuscaloosa over Steele’s hire (if Saban lets anybody show that).  As Scarbinsky lays it out,

Steele was known as one of the best in the business in that area while he was coaching. He was one of the first assistants Saban hired at Alabama in 2007, and he was a big part of building and running Saban’s recruiting machine.

That machine got up and running so quickly and effectively that, at the end of its first full year of operation, it landed the 2008 class that, with its full body of work complete, has to be judged one of the best in modern history.

Imagine how well Steele will be able to keep the talent flowing into Tuscaloosa now that he doesn’t have to worry about actual coaching.

This is the door the NCAA opened in January when the Division I board of directors, as part of a sweeping package of reforms, eliminated the rules defining recruiting coordination functions that must be performed only by a head or assistant coach.

In theory, programs will be allowed to hire an entire staff, beyond the coaching staff, to do nothing but recruit on campus, to send out the unlimited number of calls, texts, mailings, etc., to prospects that the new rules also will allow. On-field coaches will remain the only off-campus recruiters.

He goes on to note that “(i)n practice, not many programs beyond Alabama will be able to hire someone the caliber of Steele to direct those efforts.”  True, but don’t forget about the programs that could afford to hire someone like Steele, but choose not to do so because they are run by folks who think they’ve already authorized enough spending.

And remember that the next time you want to bitch about Saban coming into Georgia and signing away a couple of high-profile recruits from Richt.

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The comedic stylings of Michael Adams

Dickhead, heal thyself.

University of Georgia president Michael Adams warned against letting football become too powerful…

“(The university’s athletic interests) are increasingly dominated nationally by media and entertainment organizations and their values. We have worked hard to improve the balance, but it is a constant battle,” said Adams, who steps down as UGA president June 30.

“The academic establishment has to control the athletic establishment, not the other way around. Last year’s troubling news out of Penn State made that quite clear.”

Honestly, if Charles Knapp were saying that (and later in the article Adams actually has the gall to pretend that he’s somehow a continuation of Knapp), I’d take it seriously, perhaps.  But Adams?  Don’t make me laugh.

If you want “the academic establishment to control the athletic establishment”, take the school out of the SEC.  Otherwise, shut the hell up.

By the way, if all it takes to keep Adams out of the public eye after his retirement is not enclosing Sanford Stadium, keep that west end open.

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Now that you’ve got that ol’ righteous indignation stoked…

Big talk from Greg McGarity:

“If you see it, you own it,” said McGarity, who took over at his alma mater in August 2010 after serving 18 years as Jeremy Foley’s right-hand man at Florida. “No matter what it is, from a piece of paper on the ground to somebody breaking the rules. If you see it, you own it, and if it is serious you are obligated to report it up the chain of command.”

No doubt he’s sincere.  And no doubt he reflects a general consensus among his peers (at least I hope so).  But let’s face it – being concerned about a Jerry Sandusky is easy.  Nobody wants to be seen as empowering a monster.

But how about turning some of that worry about the chain of command to something a wee bit harder, eh?  Something like, oh, say, this.

There’s another college sports scandal largely going unnoticed this summer. It’s not as horrific as Penn State. What could be worse than that?

But North Carolina’s academic scandal is a big deal. And it could be bigger if it becomes attached to Roy Williams’ basketball program.

Concealing the rapes of boys presumably (hopefully!) doesn’t happen often in college sports. Yet a big reason why that duplicity occurred is similar to why large numbers of North Carolina athletes attended bogus classes.

Keep the athlete eligible or a coach/administrator employed. Keep the school’s image intact while trying to win games. Keep printing money through the college sports machine.

I think Solomon’s kidding himself if he thinks Penn State grabbed all the oxygen in the room such that we don’t hear much about what’s unfolding in Chapel Hill.  The reality is that academic scandals sprout like weeds in the college football world.  Some brief attention may get paid to one thing or another, but they all wind up fading when the weather turns cooler.

But he’s spot on about the rest.  Just as much as what we saw at Penn State, academic scandals are about letting athletic departments have too much say over school management.  (And just like at Penn State, some of what occurred at North Carolina may violate state criminal laws.)

So, what say you, Mark Emmert and your band of merry men?  Is it culture changing time again?

I’m not holding my breath.  Like I said, condemning a serial child rapist and those who enabled him isn’t hard.  Lifting the curtain to assign blame for college football’s sausage making is.  Just ask someone close to us.

Georgia president Michael Adams, a former member of the NCAA’s Executive Committee, has made some unpopular moves concerning athletics in his time at Georgia. He forced former athletics director and Hall of Fame football coach Vince Dooley to retire in 2004. He was the force behind the hiring of basketball coach Jim Harrick, who he later fired due to NCAA violations.

But Adams has shown a zero tolerance approach to coaches or employees who behave badly. When athletics director Damon Evans, Adams’ hand-picked successor to Dooley, was arrested for DUI while with a woman who was not his wife, Adams immediately fired Evans…

Don’t you love the way Barnhart finesses that academic scandal?  Sure, Harrick got fired.  But does anyone remember that the only people who paid a price for the school turning a blind eye to what Harrick Junior was doing were the basketball players who weren’t allowed to play postseason ball?  They got sacrificed on Michael Adams’ altar.  But the administrators who allowed the situation to fester suffered not a whit.  That’s the approach that makes this quote from McGarity so laughable:  “It has to start with presidential leadership. If you have a president who has his priorities in order there is less of a chance that something like this [Penn State] could happen.”

So don’t count on Sheriff Emmert riding out again to clean up our fair town.  Child rapists, beware.  The rest of you folks undermining college sports?  Keep the noise down, or they might have to issue you a citation.

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