Police report: UGA athletic director Evans urged officer to let him go before DUI arrestBy Greg Bluestein, AP
Friday, July 2, 2010
Police report: UGA AD urged officer not to arrest
ATLANTA — University of Georgia athletic director Damon Evans repeatedly referred to his position at the school before his arrest on a drunken driving charge and asked the patrol officer if there was “anything you can do without arresting me,” according to a police report released Friday.
Evans told the Georgia State Patrol officer several times he was the school’s athletic director before he was arrested late Wednesday and charged with DUI and failure to maintain a lane, according to the report. Also arrested with him was 28-year-old Courtney Fuhrmann, who was charged with disorderly conduct.
“I am not trying to bribe you but I am the athletic director of the University of Georgia,” Evans said, according to the officer identified in the report as M. Cabe.
The officer also said that Evans asked to be taken to a motel instead of jail or to be let off with a warning. According to the report, Evans later said: “I am not trying to bribe you, but is there anything you can do without arresting me?”
In the report, the officer noted he found a “red pair of lady’s panties between (Evans’) legs.” When he asked Evans, a 40-year-old married father of two children, what he was doing with the underwear, Evans said: “She took them off and I held them because I was just trying to get her home,” according to the report.
Evans told the officer that Fuhrmann was nothing more than a friend, according to the report. But the officer said that Fuhrmann later told him that the two had been seeing each other for “only a week or so.”
“Just to let you know, it will be erased because he is the athletic director of UGA and he has that power,” Fuhrmann told the officer, according to the report.
She was charged with disorderly conduct after police said she repeatedly ignored warnings to stay inside the 2009 BMW while the trooper was conducting the field sobriety test and later acting “combative” in the back seat of the patrol car, according to the report.
“I apologize and don’t want to use my influence but she is trying to protect me,” the officer said Evans told him.
Fuhrmann told the Associated Press on Friday the charges against her are a “misunderstanding from what the media is portraying it as” but declined to speak further.
Evans and his attorney Steve Weiner did not immediately return calls seeking comment, but Evans apologized for the incident during a news conference in Athens on Thursday and said he “failed miserably.”
“My behavior and my actions are not indicative of what we teach our student athletes,” he said. “My actions have put a black cloud over our storied program.”
School president Michael Adams said in a statement Thursday he was extremely disappointed, but will not decide on disciplinary measures until there is a full review by the university staff and legal office. A UGA spokesman declined to comment Friday on the allegations in the police report.
A bleary-eyed Evans told the officer he drank two vodka martinis at a restaurant and another at a nearby bar, according to the report. The officer noted that Evans had “red, bloodshot, watery eyes and droopy eyelids” and that he fumbled through his cards and dropped some of the items before he handed over his license.
“I feel pretty good,” he told the officer, before laughing for no apparent reason, according to the report. The trooper said Evans later told him: “We go through life and we all drink and jump in a car.”
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 became the Southeastern Conference’s first black athletic director and immediately shook up the department. He bolstered the department’s bottom line but also reduced the number of associate and assistant athletics directors and fired three of Dooley’s longtime lieutenants.
He was the public face of the school’s athletic department, and starred in a taped message played at every home football game that urges fans not to drive under the influence. “If you drink and drive, you lose,” he says.
Evans, who is set to appear in Atlanta Municipal Court on July 12, was arrested minutes before a new five-year contract extension that raised his annual pay to $550,000 was to take effect. By the time he was escorted to the Atlanta jail, the officer said in the report, Evans began to “cry uncontrollably.”
Tags: Arrests, Atlanta, College Sports, Georgia, North America, Reckless Endangerment, School Administration, School Athletics, Sports, United States