Thursday, July 1, 2010
Georgia AD Evans apologizes
By Mark Schlabach
ATHENS, Ga. -- The athletic director for the University of Georgia is apologizing after he was arrested for drunken driving.
Athletic director Damon Evans said Thursday he made a grave mistake.
"As I sit before all of you, I am very ashamed and embarrassed by my actions," he said at a news conference. "I let this university down, I let my family down, I let the Bulldog nation down. I believe my actions have put a black cloud over our program. I never thought I would bring so much shame to this storied university."
Evans said he did not offer to resign and is not considering that action.
Georgia president Michael Adams is away on vacation but released a statement.
"Drinking and driving is a serious matter, and I was extremely disappointed to hear of the arrest," he said.
"[Evans] has sincerely apologized to me for the embarrassment this has brought upon the university. I ... will reserve further action pending a full review by staff and legal counsel."
Evans was arrested Wednesday night in Atlanta on suspicion of DUI, Georgia State Patrol spokesman Gordy Wright told ESPN.com Thursday.
Wright said a state trooper pulled over Evans' 2009 BMW and detected an odor of alcohol in the car. Wright said the trooper administered a field sobriety test and placed Evans under arrest on charges of DUI and failure to maintain lane.
Wright said Evans later refused to take a Breathalyzer test at an Atlanta jail.
Wright said a passenger in Evans' car, 28-year-old Courtney Fuhrmann, was also arrested. 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. Evans said during the news conference he and Fuhrmann are "just friends."
Evans, a married father of two, was 34 years old when he was hired to replace longtime Georgia athletic director and football coach Vince Dooley, who was forced out after a contentious contract dispute with school president Michael Adams.
Evans has been honored multiple times by Street and Smith's Sports Business Journal and was named one of Sports Illustrated's "101 Most Influential Minorities in Sports."
In 2009, he was named The Under Armour Athletic Director of the Year for the Division I Southeast Region.
Evans, who played wide receiver at Georgia from 1988-92, received a five-year contract extension in February that raised his annual salary to $550,000. His new salary was set to take effect on Thursday.
At the time the school's athletics board awarded Evans a new contract, Adams told reporters: "He's already become a nationally recognized figure in athletics, and we are fortunate to have him. I think he's done an extraordinary job. ... And there's not been a whiff of impropriety during that six-year period. If you're the president of an institution, that means a whole lot."
Mark Schlabach covers college football and men's college basketball for ESPN.com. You can contact him at email@example.com. Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.