Upon reflection, a few more thoughts about Damongate

I kept yesterday’s post about Damon Evans’ DUI arrest deliberately minimalist because we hadn’t heard from him yet and because I find it’s usually better at moments like this to sleep on things before uttering serious pronouncements about a man’s fate.  And even now I doubt I know the complete story, so for the moment I’ll leave the calls for his resignation/firing to righteous scolds like Mark Bradley.

That being said, there’s no question that I’ve found the debate in response to this fascinating, and as the header indicates, I have some thoughts of my own to contribute.

  • I’m in my mid-fifties and I’ve been an avid observer of public life and public careers for most of that time, so there’s a certain part of me that’s jaded enough not to be surprised at what’s happened here.  There’s also a certain part of me, though, that’s appalled by the arrogantly stupid lack of judgment Evans exercised.  He’s put his reputation and his dream job at risk (not to mention his marriage and family) with behavior that he had to know on some level was incredibly reckless.  And while his personal life is none of my business, his professional one is.  How am I supposed to trust a man like this to do an intelligent job of running one of the biggest athletic departments in the country?
  • I hear what David Ching is saying in this column.  But I’ve got to say in response that if there’s one thing that’s apparent in our society, indignation dies down over time.  Think about all the politicians and sports figures who’ve behaved badly over the past twenty or thirty years and how many of them have survived and even prospered after scandals (many of which were at least as bad as Evans’) for which the conventional wisdom insisted that it was certain career death?  Whether it’s because we’re forgiving or because we’ve become increasingly numb, I don’t know, but history suggests the heat will eventually temper down.
  • Speaking of which:  for those of you worked up over this, but not so much about the scandal involving the Harricks, you need to recognize that’s a personal judgment.  Because from the standpoint of the institution, there’s no question that academic fraud perpetrated by the school is a more serious issue than an individual employee’s misbehavior (yes, even criminal misbehavior) unrelated to that person’s official responsibilities.  Yet Michael Adams, for whom presumably the academic integrity buck stops with, is still the president of the University of Georgia.
  • And is the man who will decide Evans’ fate, a situation I find highly ironic here.  “Adams is as much politician as academician, and that will play prominently in the decision he makes. He will wait to see how the public — i.e., Georgia fans and alumni — react to this before making the final call.” I think that’s right, too.  I also think it’s going to matter what coaches like Fox and Richt think about what sort of impact the situation will have going forward in terms of enforcing team discipline in response to incidents similar to Evans’.  There’s also the question of whether Evans will be able to perform his official duties effectively in the wake of this.  He obviously believes he can, but it’s not as if his judgment on that front is particularly trustworthy now.


UPDATE: As you try to parse the tea leaves as to what Adams will do about (to?) Evans, read this.

“They can say what they want, but I have a letter from the NCAA that says I had nothing to do with the violations at Georgia,” Harrick said. “The thing I am bitter about is how the president of the University of Georgia treated my son. I’ll never get over that. He’ll go to hell for how he treated him.

“He wanted to show everybody how tough he was so he could be the president of the NCAA. Well, he didn’t get to be president of the NCAA.”


Filed under Crime and Punishment, Georgia Football

41 responses to “Upon reflection, a few more thoughts about Damongate

  1. Rox22

    Because everyone else is leaving their opinion – I’ll leave mine.

    I think leaving him in the position, closely monitioring his behavior and influence and letting him repair his own image would evenutally serve as a better lesson to the young men who are UGA athletes than dismissing him immediately and then saying “See…you can’t screw up like this”

    He’ll ultimately be a better role model and leader because of this, I believe this and believe he’s worth a 2nd chance.

    Of course, if it turns out there have been scores of other women that he’s been running around with, the situation requires further examination.


  2. Ward Eagle

    As an idiot [human], I feel a certain right to say, idiots [humans] deserve a second chance for most transgressions*.

    (*Murder, Sexual Assault, Barking in a Non-Zaxby’s Restaurant excluded.)


  3. Dooley's Wig

    Perhaps this was sort of the “second chance.” The last couple of years, I had heard whispers of his clubbing in Atlanta from folks inside Butts Mehre. And that it was worrisome to his support staff.
    I don’t know him but I like him and want to believe the best about him. However, I do not see him recovering from this. Or UGA recovering if he is left in place.


  4. travis fain

    To your second point – people do have an amazing capacity to forgive. But first they need two things: A good apology and a feeling that justice has been served.

    The apology they’ve probably gotten. Will a suspension count as justice? I don’t think so. I think he’s got to hit bottom first.

    He’s got to be done for a while.


  5. gernblanski

    I would be against asking Damon for his resignation at this time, provided he takes the necessary steps in the criminal charges and in his personal life to make this a one time thing.

    However, if this was the culmination of a lot of other events internally in the operation of his department then that is another thing completely.


  6. I’ve forgiven him…but I still want him canned. All this was just uncalled for. What was the point of the DUI an hour away from campus? With a female who is “just a friend” and just not his wife? This is pure speculation, but I believe there are PLENTY of individuals out there who can do his job just as good as he has up to this point.


  7. BeerMoney

    2 things:

    1. There’s an old saying about if you are CAUGHT doing something you shouldn’t do, then you’ve probably done it many times before…be it speeding, doing drugs, having an affair, stealing, or what have you. You make the assumption…

    2. UGA is going to look worse for holding on to Evans than cutting their ties now. The DUI thing is pretty much cut and dried. But this situation with the girl in the car is a PR nightmare. And let’s say that this somehow damages her professional career, could there be grounds for a lawsuit against Evans? This is going to fester and haunt UGA until he is dismissed. If his wife were riding with him, I think most would say “it was just a mistake, and many of us have been there.” But this extra element really clouds things to a greater extent than just a simple DUI.


  8. Scorpio Jones, III

    Uncharacteristically, I am at a loss for words.

    Damon simply can not continue as AD.

    Oh….one word does come to me…..Mettenberger.

    If he worked for Mark Richt, what would Mark do?

    What troubles me is not really the DUI, but the need to apologize and beg forgiveness from his wife. People who put themselves in these positions are not people who tend to build great trust.

    Sorry, Damon, but there is no room at all for this kind of mistake, do us all a favor….resign.


  9. 81Dog

    Maybe we should just demand that Damon be banned from Remerton.

    on a more serious note, if Damon has a drinking problem (and if you like drinking so much that you’ll drive drunk and hang out with 28 year old girls who arent your wife at late hours, far from home and your job, it sounds like a problem), he needs to honestly address it if he wants to keep his job. Heck, he needs to honestly address it if he wants to have any kind of a life.

    An honest, sincere apology, acceptance of an unpaid suspension/leave of absence, and a voluntary trip to rehab or some kind of alcohol treatment wouldn’t be a bad place to start. If he does it for the right reasons, rather than BS PR reasons, it could help get his life back under control. It might even be a reason to give him a second chance at his job, which he seems to have done pretty well.

    His mistake obviously, and deservedly, is a source of great embarassment to him. He deserves public scorn, and certainly deserves to be punished. If he accepts responsibility and makes a geniune effort to address the root cause of the problem, as opposed to just getting a DUI, perhaps some consideration of his future with UGA would be warranted.


  10. Russ

    I think he has to resign. Yes, he can recover from this, but at another institution. I can’t see how he can command respect from coach and (more importantly) players with this hanging over his head.

    I’ve also got to believe that this wasn’t the first time he’s done this. Just the first time he’s been caught.


    • Exactly. This is the guy student-athletes have a meeting with if they have an alcohol related offense. I’ve literally already had an athlete i’m friends with say that she’ll never take him seriously again.


  11. Dog in Fla

    1st round Celebrity Jeopardy Answer for $100: ‘He stays and does not go. Just like Kirby.’

    The Great Carnac opens envelope off his turban for the question and reads this excerpt from Michael’s prepared statement while Michael was on a prepared Summer vacation:

    What is “I have high regard for Damon personally; I care deeply about him and his family and know him to be a man of integrity. He has sincerely apologized to me” myself and I?

    along with this reminder photo for Damon’s bulletin board just to keep him in line http://cache.gawkerassets.com/assets/images/11/2010/07/340x_large_ovh85magcitysign.jpg

    all of which raise the next round of major concerns: (a) will this take as long as the search for the defensive coordinator, (b) does Jim Harrick actually have the power to send Michael to Hell, (c) was the 2009 Bimmer an M-6 coupe and, if not, did it have any aftermarket tuning and, last and most important of all, (d) was she hot or not?


  12. Mike

    Okay, so I think everyone’s shock at someone like Damon drinking and driving and being with a broad at midnight should stop. It’s common that this goes on (drunk driving and womanizing for men in power). Many on this blog would probably be doing something similar if they had the means (same with Tiger, Clinton, AlGore now, Jordan, Magic, Kennedy, Bush Sr, Adams probably, shall I go on?). If you were on campus and heard the rumor that it was going on would your reaction be “Well then…he can’t go on as our beloved AD”? Probably not. That being said, he got caught and made the University look stupid for an hour (even less outside of the 150 mile radius of Athens, where most don’t know who Damon Evans is).

    So, once everyone’s gotten over the perceived betrayal the questions that I believe should be asked are:

    1. Will the largest donors 150 miles inside UGA perimeter forgive Damon or give a $hit about this?- Probably not if we win. But there will sure be a lot of snickering, jokes, etc at his presentations.

    2. Since this is the worst our athletic department has performed since 1997, is this an opportunity to bring in someone better or is he the one to lead the department? I don’t know the answer to this. My guess is, yes.

    3. Can he regain the stature he had before with the public? Probably not. It’s tough to recover from scandal…ask Gary Hart, Bill Clinton and Tiger. People just look at you differently.

    So, let’s stop talking about the shame he has brought to the university and the need for him to go to rehab and the retribution he needs to pay. Damon brought shame only on himself by doing something that many, layman do (drunk driving) as well as people in power (womanizing)…his biggest issue is that he got caught.

    So, maybe it’s time to take advantage of the crisis…can him and find someone else that can do the job even better than he can. What’s Pat Dye doing these days? HAHA.


    • Dooley's Wig

      You’re right. Athletic Directors are all the time doing this stuff, crazy knuckleheads.
      Why is everyone in such a dither?


    • DawgPhan

      yeah that poor bill clinton, he has never recovered and last I heard he was living in a shack in Montana wounding who Damon Evans is…


  13. Julie

    I am in no way defending what DE has done, and he needs to either be fired or punished severely for both errors of judgment. What is so puzzling is that the GSP made the stop on a surface street. This is almost like the Gwinnett Sheriff’s deputy pulling over their commissioner. GSP and deputies normally do not make traffic stops unless they have a good reason. The improper lane change is the catch-all for probable cause and pretty much goes hand-in-hand with DUIs, eventually being dismissed or merged after the DUI plea. The telling moment will be when MA views the GSP video. If Mrs. Evans had been in the car with him, this would have been easier to stomach. However, I, like many others, don’t think this was the first time he hooked up — just the first time he was exposed to this extent — no pun intended.


  14. tricia

    i would like to know who called the GSP and tipped them off that demon oops! i mean damon was drinking, driving and sexing! haha
    the brother go set up and bit the bait: hook , line and sinker! pack your bads dogg and get yourself a good divorce attorney! as for the girl: i would like to know who she is and if she was paid to bring this idiot down! lol


    • Colin

      I live next to where he got pulled over. GSP has a DUI task force there every other night trying to catch people leaving Buckhead, that’s why they are on the surface streets.


    • 202Dawg

      Tricia, couple questions for you; do you find your other senses heightened and does your village ever come looking for you?


  15. 69Dawg

    Damon needs to get CMR on his side fast. He needs for CMR to come to his defense and give one of those “let those without sin cast the first stone” speeches. If CMR is convinced that Damon is truly going to change then I’ll be satisfied. If Damon can get his wife’s forgiveness then it’s no big deal.


    • I wonder what the relationship with CMR and Damon is like? I’ve seen various comments on it and I even wrote about it on my blog some earlier today. I know CMR didn’t appreciate the 2009 schedule. And DE didn’t appreciate the gimmicky uniforms or underachieving 2009 athletic program. And I know that Richt was not in attendance at the press conference yesterday while most of the other coaches apparently were (who knows, could have been out of town). Could play a huge role in all this.

      On another note: I’m afraid that if DE is canned and CMR fails to win the East again this year (think, 10-3 with losses to Ark, UF, and AU) then the hot seat talk will become absolutely unbearable.


      • My understanding is that CMR is out of town on vacation.


        • That’s a good thing for Damon. Not that I think CMR defending him will carry much weight here. It could, but I doubt it. I think this all about Michael Adams. Does he make a point by saying this is his guy and he has all the power and he’s not firing him? Or did DE embarrass him to the point that he will fire him and potentially murder him afterward?


  16. Dog in Fla

    Global War on Damon (GWOD) Crisis of the Day (COD) Piece: “Almost Nobody Loves You When You Get Busted,” (extended version)

    Butts-Mehre Defense Complex underground bunker, AD’s Quarters, 1230 hours, 2 July 2010

    DEFCON 1. All personnel are supposed to be at battle stations but from what Damon can tell from looking out the hatch to his quarters is that if they aren’t are Summer vacation they certainly are not at their battle stations.

    Damon’s thinking that he may be on his own for the first couple of days until he can get somebody like Ari or an excellent civil litigation firm hired. At least Damon knows enough not to hire a personal injury guy like Leach did.

    Damon opens The First Strike Ration, or FSR, a compact, eat-on-the-move assault ration designed for use during initial periods of highly intense, highly mobile combat operations. Damon’s FSR is substantially reduced in weight and size and enhances soldier consumption, nutritional intake, and mobility. Damon takes a bite and wonders who the chef is that dreamed up this stuff but he keeps chewing on it anyway.

    From His Palace in Palm Beach, Trump has Omorosso videoconference Damon. Trump tells Damon the Don has a couple of ideas, at least one of which should work because there were no porn stars involved.

    First, why not suggest to Michael that Billy Payne could re-read his so-called lecture to Tiger at the Masters using Damon wherever it said Tiger. After all, that did Tiger a world of good.


    Damon’s not too sure about that idea as he goes over in his mind trying to remember whose side Billy was on when Vince was being overthrown by Michael so Damon could take his place.

    Don says that if things really get bad Damon could come work for Don’s kids on the Celebrity Apprentice tv show if it hasn’t been cancelled and if it has been Don will lease a satellite and start his own tv network.

    What Damon doesn’t know is that the Don’s Plan B is to get his friend Bobby the job as replacement AD at UGA since the Marlins fouled up that deal


    What Don doesn’t know is that the supersize of Bobby’s ego may not be a real good fit with the one belonging to Michael. Don also doesn’t know it’s a different sport since he’s tried to block out thinking about football since mixed martial artist Herschel and The defunct New Jersey Generals

    Damon hears his mobile ring and looks at caller ID and it’s Norman from Oklahoma. Damon answers and someone says, “Hello, Damon, it’s Willie…”(…to be continued until Michael issues his final order the He will not fire Damon).


  17. JC in Powder Springs

    Every time Damon Evans’ name has been mentioned since he took over as AD, I always think back to his first task on the job was shit-canning Freddie Jones and a couple other long-time, dedicated staffers. Jones was always great to me when re-newing tickets. Getting rid of Jones in that situation was far less fair than dumping Evans in this situation. Because of his hypocracy and stupidity Evans should get the boot. OR at the very least demoted to a much lower position with a very substantial pay reduction (well under 100k).


  18. PNWDawg

    Despite the efforts of organizations such as M.A.D.D., law enforcement agencies, public service announcements at football games (he he), etc. we still don’t take drunk-driving serious enough as a society. For every public service announcement there are probably 10 commercials glorifying alcohol. Look at what the domestic beer companies are doing. They advertise that their can/bottle is designed to maximize how fast and smooth the beer flows. Because you can’t get that stuff in your belly fast enough. How many pubs/bars/clubs that push drinks really care how you get home? Public transportation? Yeah, right. We love our cars too much. What would you guess is the percentage of sober drivers going home on game day (even after DE’s awesome message)?

    I offer this question to the faction who find his D.U.I unforgivable (which I don’t find to be an unreasonable stance). What if he was ticketed for texting while driving? I’ve heard the odds of getting in a wreck are significantly higher than driving drunk.

    But this is more than just a D.U.I. and what will ultimately matter is the long-term perception of this event. I don’t know that he will survive the public ridicule. Even if there’s a legitimate reason to have a 28 year-old who’s not your wife in the car you’re driving while drunk I don’t think the average person will find it acceptable. Because sometimes the truth isn’t as sexy and therefore not important. Hey, maybe Damon’s ‘friend’ can make a guest appearance on this year’s public service announcement.


    • Dawgfan17

      It is not that it is unforgivable but the real question is how can he lead a department that has to make judgements on the mistakes of 18-22 year olds. There is no way anyone working under him can respect his opinion on matters of discipline any more. To keep him would be risking too much as many student-athletes would be expecting a similar slap on the wrist and when the hammer came down on them….it would be a continuing PR nightmare.


  19. 1) Far worse than Harrick. Bogus grades don’t kill people. DUI kills millions.

    2) DUI is an intentional act. It is not reckless driving, running a red light, speeding, or all the “lapses in judgment” people make all the time. It is a deliberate, incredibly selfish act. You know, with absolute certainty, that you are putting people’s lives at risk when you drink and drive.


  20. Scorpio Jones, III

    Dear Damon,

    It is time to man up.

    Resign for the good of the University.



  21. Vious

    Ah yes, this is where we try to rationalize this all the while BLAST any rivals whose players or coaches or even known fans get DUI’s

    Love this logic


  22. Charles D.

    Any of you sheep still drinking the Evans’ Kool-Aid this evening?

    You are all a bunch of suckers.


  23. anon

    Well, Damon, your run is over. Years of work to be one of the most successful ADs in sports. Red drawers in your lap.

    Bravo, dumbass.


  24. PNWDawg

    Holy Victoria’s Secret, Batman! I just read the police report and it looks like someone was caught trying to stick their hand in the cookie jar. I feel so sorry for his family. And for some reason I actually feel sorry for him as well. But he needs to go and I’m sure he will.


  25. Brandon

    Crying? I thought he was better than that, come on Damon take it like a man!

    Click to access Read_arrest_report_628072a.pdf


  26. negative ?

    I’ve been NOTHING but against the guy ever since Michael F. Adam$ FIRED Vince Dooley and replaced him instantly with Damon M. Evans – before he was READY.

    He is truly an idiot.

    Pantiless white girl 4 years after graduating college, in his BMW 750i at Midnight 6 minutes before his three million dollar contract of 5 years given him by Adam$ goes into effect, 2 hours from his wife son and daughter celebrating with her, asking the Trooper to take them both to a Motel not to use his Influence, and him married not happily obviously for either of them or the kids, crying, red panties between his legs as the Trooper asks him for his license, she raising hell inside the car and outside it repeatedly, and he a football player at UGA in Ray Goff’s 1st season 1988 now in his forties, and mostly no gym with more than 10,000 seats and no Indoor Practice Facility because this nincompoop says you have to have the cash up-front not a 30-year mortgage for Real Estate like the entire rest of the world does

    and she with her parting shot to the Trooper promises the Trooper his DUI will NEVER stick.

    Not the sharpest knife in the drawer for married black man who has a beautiful wife, lovely daughter and handsome son.

    I give the award to the Pantiless Skank.


  27. Meg

    Harrick blaming anyone but himself for everything that happened to him and his son is hysterical in my book. The guy not only left just about every program he coached at in hot water with the NCAA, he broke the cardinal rule, he participated in nepotism. I will never understand why coaches insist that their sons make the best asst coaches when it has been proven time and again that is not the case.