And people thought Mark Richt was on the hot seat! This seems like as good of a day as any other to start writing for a Georgia athletics blog, so let’s jump right into this thing.
As you’ve all surely heard by now, Athletic Director Damon Evans got into a little trouble in Buckhead Wednesday night. I can only imagine that his pregame public service announcement that denounces drunk driving is a little tarnished in the eyes of most Bulldog fans right now. But this is worse than that. This is bad on so many levels.
Timing and Location: An hour away from campus!? Really? I thought the baseball team’s historically bad season and losing to Kentucky at Sanford for the first time since the ’70s were the most embarrassing things I’d hear about all offseason. I was wrong. It’s not just the DUI, though. It’s that yesterday we find out the UGA athletic program finished 20th in the Director’s Cup standings, the program’s worst showing since 1997. Oh, and to add fuel to the fire, yesterday was the first day that his new raise went into effect. It actually all reminds me of this commercial.
The Irony: Isn’t it ironic that Evans is the Chairman of the NCAA Division I Leadership Council? Isn’t it ironic that this is the guy who tells me not to drink and drive before every game at Sanford stadium is arrested for a DUI? Isn’t it ironic that the guy who is at least partially responsible for setting disciplinary policy for alcohol-related arrests of our student-athletes gets a DUI? And it may be more symbolic than ironic that the 2009-2010 UGA athletic season would end in such controversy.
How does this effect coaches? Just to put it bluntly, it’s rarely good for a current coach to get a new boss. I’m of the opinion that him and Richt were never bosom buddies anyway. Richt didn’t like his scheduling policies and Evans didn’t care for Richt’s gimmicky uniforms or underachieving in 2009. And according to multiple reports, Richt was not in attendance yesterday at the press conference. Still, a new AD would mean a new set of expectations and attitude/ego for Richt to deal with. Evans tampering with Richt would have been career suicide. The guy who should really be concerned is David Perno. The baseball team had one of the worst seasons in UGA history during 2010. Needless to say, he’s treading on thin ice. Mark Fox should be very comfortable regardless of the situation.
My Take: I can’t believe he didn’t resign, but that doesn’t even matter anymore. This is not a close call, Evans needs to be fired. Immediately. It wasn’t just the DUI. It was the female companion, the female companion’s subsequent arrest, the brutal mugshot, AND the DUI. The University of Georgia doesn’t need this black eye right now. If he’s still employed at the end of next week then our athletic program deserves any criticism it receives…And just for good measure, what is he doing with this marginal looking lady friend? If you’re going to commit career suicide at least go out in style with some gorgeous model. I’ve got a $10/hour summer job and I wouldn’t come near her. He went out with a whimper. That is, assuming that he does indeed get canned.