University of Georgia athletic director apologizes following drunken driving arrestBy AP
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Georgia AD apologizes after DUI arrest
ATLANTA — University of Georgia athletic director Damon Evans apologized Thursday after he was arrested for drunken driving, saying he “failed miserably” in being a leader and representing the school well.
A state trooper pulled over Evans late Wednesday night for driving erratically in Atlanta. Evans, 40, smelled of alcohol and failed a field sobriety test, police said. He was charged with DUI and failure to maintain a lane.
“My behavior and my actions are not indicative of what we teach our student athletes,” Evans said during a news conference at the Athens campus. “My actions have put a black cloud over our storied program.”
Also in the car with Evans was 28-year-old Courtney Fuhrmann. She was charged with disorderly conduct after police said she repeatedly ignoring warnings to stay inside the 2009 BMW while the trooper was conducting the field sobriety test.
Authorities did not know the relationship between Fuhrmann and Evans.
“I honestly don’t want to talk to any press,” Fuhrmann said by telephone.
Evans, a married father of two, was arrested the day before his new, five-year contract with the university began. He has publicly campaigned against drunken driving, including filming a public service announcement that airs during home football games to the crowd at Sanford Stadium.
“If you drink and drive, you lose,” Evans says in the message.
The athletic director hopes to continue in his position, which he has held since July 2004.
School president Michael Adams said he was extremely disappointed, but will not decide on disciplinary measures until there is a full review by the university staff and legal office.
“Certainly this is not an example of the kind of leadership that I expect our senior administrators to set,” Adams said in a statement.
Evans — a former Georgia football player — became head of the athletic department in 2004, replacing Vince Dooley, who was forced to step aside after a nasty spat with Adams. Dooley had been at the school for 40 years, including 25 years as athletic director.
Evans, one of Dooley’s top aides, became the Southeastern Conference’s first black athletic director, and immediately shook up the department. He reduced the number of associate and assistant athletics directors and fired three of Dooley’s longtime lieutenants.
Evans bolstered the department’s bottom line, leading it to a record profit in 2005 and funneling millions of dollars into athletics facilities and renovations. He was rewarded in February when Adams signed him to the new contract that raised his pay to $550,000 — a $90,000 raise.
More importantly, Adams said at the time, the athletic director ran a clean program.
“There’s not been a whiff of impropriety during that six-year period, and when you’re the president of an institution, that means a whole lot,” Adams told the Athens Banner-Herald.
Associated Press writers Greg Bluestein and Ray Henry in Atlanta and Associated Press freelance writer Blake Giles in Athens contributed to this report.
Tags: Arrests, Athens, Atlanta, College Sports, Damon evans, Georgia, North America, Reckless Endangerment, School Athletics, Sports, United States