UGA-ly: Bad situation gets really uncomfortable for AD Evans

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A day after his Wednesday night arrest for DUI, a contrite Damon Evans stated during an emotional press conference that he had no intention of resigning his post as Georgia’s athletic director.  The school’s president, however, left the door open for his AD to be fired.

With the release of the police report this evening, that sound you hear is said door slowly creaking shut.

In perhaps the most cringe-worthy of the details contained in the report, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that, when Evans’ 2009 BMW was pulled over by a Georgia State Trooper, one of the first things detected by the trooper — besides a strong odor of alcohol — was a pair of red panties situated between Evans’ legs.  In the vehicle with the married Evans was a female who is not his wife — and who Evans described as “just a friend” at his press conference — and the trooper eventually questioned Evans as to why a pair of women’s unmentionables was near his happy place.

“She took them off and I held them because I was just trying to get her home,” Evans said according to the police report.

(Who said chivalry was dead?)

As if the college football version of Bill Clinton‘s blue dress weren’t enough, Evans also tossed out the “do you know who I am?” card as a bargaining chip in an attempt to avoid arrest.

“I am not trying to bribe you but I’m the athletic director of the University of Georgia,” Evans said.  Then, in a further attempt to collectively bargain his way out of an embarrassing situation, Evans told the officer that “I don’t want you to use who I am but I would just ask that you take me to a motel.”

Evans also requested that he be given a warning; “I told him I don’t issue warnings for a DUI,” the officer wrote in his report.

After the news of Evans’ arrest first surfaced, we were fairly certain that he would keep his job.  With the release of this report, there seems to be almost no way he could keep his position.

—–EXTENDED BODY:—–EXCERPT:—–KEYWORDS:—–COMMENT:AUTHOR: alfredbEMAIL: alfredbeavers@comcast.netIP: 24.30.87.232URL: DATE: 07/02/2010 06:36:48 PMSo Evans is going to go from a $550,000 a yr job, that he could have kept for 20 years to unemployable.He’s already fired, that’s a given. I fear this could end very, very badly.—–COMMENT:AUTHOR: WizahdryEMAIL: wordwizahdry@yahoo.comIP: 170.218.219.21URL: DATE: 07/02/2010 06:44:13 PMThat police report just killed his career—–COMMENT:AUTHOR: funiEMAIL: robfunicelli@aol.comIP: 72.222.143.180URL: DATE: 07/02/2010 06:48:11 PMHe’s from the SEC so they will give him a bonus! Redneck hicks.—–COMMENT:AUTHOR: JPEMAIL: frjpfor@mac.comIP: 71.178.126.26URL: DATE: 07/02/2010 06:55:42 PMSo in the time it took him to see the flashing red & blue lights behind his car, pull over to the side, and come to a stop, it never ONCE crossed his mind that he might want to get rid of the panties between his legs?!?Either this guy is one of the stupidest on the face of the earth, or else he was not just a little bit buzzed but blasted completely out of his mind. Crazy.—–COMMENT:AUTHOR: UCantSpellLoseWithoutDetroitLionsEMAIL: 19ugadawg80@sbcglobal.netIP: 76.226.103.93URL: DATE: 07/02/2010 08:20:46 PMAt least the panties were red and not blue and orange. Go Dawgs! Sic’em! WOOF! WOOF! WOOF!—–COMMENT:AUTHOR: OpieEMAIL: jwilson349@aol.comIP: 24.98.40.74URL: DATE: 07/02/2010 08:28:31 PMThis just went from not good, to bad, to “whaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh?!?” (Episode of Family Guy).I know the area well. 1st mistake: Driving down “that” road after 11pm. Cops sit and wait and a “Statey” no less = trouble.2nd mistake: talking.3rd mistake: having a cracked out red neck in your passenger seat. I mean, even if you somehow control yourself, that bat shit crazy creature is going to ruin it for you……I could go on, but let me paint a picture:your 6 minutes from a sweet ass raise in a job that you’ll have til you retire and…..blue lights. Can you imagine the twinge in your arse hole? Like getting a golf ball off the taint!At least he didn’t piss or shit himself….—–COMMENT:AUTHOR: SheHateMeEMAIL: smfranklin007@gmail.comIP: 63.253.67.243URL: DATE: 07/02/2010 08:43:39 PMI will NEVER, EVER, understand why, unless you are married to an absolute PIG-DOG, these guys don’t just go home and take care of business, rather than throw few-and-far between, highly paid, jobs down the drain. He’ll never get another job paying even a tenth of what this one pays. Welcome to the real world, idiot…….—–COMMENT:AUTHOR: paragondawgEMAIL: grossdavis@cableone.netIP: 72.24.162.179URL: DATE: 07/02/2010 09:02:18 PMHey Florida naysayers: Georgia won the first game: 37-0; has the largest victory: 75-0; and Florida is only short of by one win against Georgia by almost a decade. History matters. Florida will not win more than three games against Georgia this decade. I will put $1,000.00 towards anyone’s favorite charity to show my support for the dawgs. Join my “Put up or shut for Charity” online and let the SEC lead the way in community matter as well. The challenge goes out to all SEC opponents. —–COMMENT:AUTHOR: overratedgatorsEMAIL: dave.rosamond@gmail.comIP: 96.252.142.63URL: DATE: 07/02/2010 11:15:45 PMUpon learning of the arrest, Urban Meyer immediately called to try and recruit Evans for the 2011 class.—–COMMENT:AUTHOR: Gatorfan1 EMAIL: mvanetten1@tampabay.rr.comIP: 173.169.72.242URL: DATE: 07/03/2010 12:36:16 AMoverratedbulldogs:Pretty sad considering this is your school!!!—–COMMENT:AUTHOR: interestedEMAIL: cskalaski@hotmail.comIP: 24.125.103.173URL: DATE: 07/03/2010 09:59:08 AMparagondawg, not invested in either Florida or Georgia but seriously, you must have been in the car with Evans because you are obviously still drunk. I couldn’t agree with you more, history does matter, especially recent history. Recent history as in Florida is 17-3 against Georgia since 1990. Especially since most recruitable student athletes don’t care about football history before they were even born. Name me a storied college rivalry in the country that has been as dominated as that. As a college football fan I would love to see this game return to a competitive format but you just wishing it to be so does’nt qualify as evidence of the likelyhood of it happening. As for your little wager challenge, you better check with your wife before you make that kind of boast. The bright side is that you are going to have a hefty income tax deduction in 2021.—–COMMENT:AUTHOR: 32maniacEMAIL: lrg51@verizon.netIP: 98.118.150.3URL: DATE: 07/03/2010 11:58:14 AMI think the “Do you know who I am>” comment by Evans pretty much sums up his ego… What a dumb arse. Tossed a job and maybe career and marriage down the drain. Sorry excuse for a college AD. Hey Evans… hang on to those red panties…

After MAC surrenders to pandemic, will other leagues follow?

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In many ways, the Mid-American Conference has little in common with Power Five leagues that first come to mind when fans think of major college football.

There are no 75,000-seat stadiums in the MAC. Million-dollar per year coaches are rare. In a typical season, NFL scouts might find one or two potential first-round draft picks playing at the 12 MAC schools that dot the Midwest. The MAC’s biggest games — #MACtion, if you will — are often played on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. Its television deal with ESPN pays per year only a few million more than the $9 million Clemson pays coach Dabo Swinney.

Still, the MAC is one of 10 conferences that competes in the NCAA’s highest level of football, and Saturday it became the first of those to surrender to the coronavirus pandemic and cancel the fall sports season.

So is the MAC an anomaly, done in by its small budgets or is this a dire sign of things to come in college football?

“I won’t try to judge what other folks are doing,” MAC Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher said. “I know we’re all in the same place. They all have their advisers. They’re going to make judgments based on the information they are receiving.”

Not long after the MAC announced it would explore second-semester seasons for all fall sports, including soccer and volleyball, the Big Ten made its own announcement that seemed ominous given the timing.

Tapping the brakes on football’s preseason, the Big Ten told its schools that until further notice full contact practices cannot begin. All teams will remain in the first two days of what is known as the “acclimatization period,” working out in just helmets. The first Big Ten games of the season are scheduled for Sept. 5.

“As we have consistently stated, we will continue to evaluate daily, while relying on our medical experts, to make the best decisions possible for the health, safety and wellness of our student-athletes,” the Big Ten said in a statement.

The MAC’s schools were facing a significant financial burden by trying to maintain costly COVID-19 protocols, while also dealing with the uncertainty that campuses can be opened safely.

A move to the spring, however, could also be budget-buster if it means less revenue from the ESPN deal, which pays each school about $1 million per year, and football ticket sales. The MAC also shares about $90 million per year in College Football Playoff money with four other conferences.

“It would be naive to say that you don’t give thought and consideration to what the financial ramifications of any decision are, but this was a health and well-being decision first and foremost,” Steinbrecher said. “As we sit here today we don’t know what this will mean financially and how the rest of the fall plays out.”

Steinbrecher said the decision effects only fall sports, not basketball or others that begin in the second semester such as baseball, softball and lacrosse.

He added the decision was unanimous among the membership. Northern Illinois athletic director Sean Frazier, supported by NIU President Lisa Freeman, has been a vocal advocate of delaying the season.

“No one wants to have football or sports more than me,” said Frazier, who played football at Alabama in the late 1980s. “Football gave me all the opportunities I have today, but I can’t do it at the expense of people’s lives.”

Eastern Michigan athletic director Scott Wetherbee said he has been feeling a sense of inevitability for two weeks about the MAC canceling fall football, but can’t predict whether this decision trickles up to other conferences.

“Could it? Certainly. There’s certainly a narrative out there that could happen,” Wetherbee said. “No, it wouldn’t shock me if some followed suit. In fact, it would shock me if some didn’t.”

NCAA chief medical officer Brian Hainline made clear that even though plans for the football season have been adjusted to accommodate potential COVID-19 disruptions like the ones Major League Baseball has had, they are all still aspirational.

“Almost everything would have to be perfectly aligned to continue moving forward,” Hainline said Friday during the NCAA’s weekly video chat on social media.

As the Power Five conferences re-worked their schedules to play exclusively or mostly within their conferences, another of the MAC’s revenue streams dried up.

MAC schools, with athletic budgets in the $30 million range, rely heavily on payouts from road games against power conference teams. Kent State alone had more than $5 million in so-called guarantee games canceled. Whether they can be recouped and when is still to be determined. Without that revenue, the strain became too great of trying to keep players and staff safe during a pandemic.

“Certainly there was a cost attached to it,” Wetherbee said. “But as a league we were prepared to do it.”

The move to try spring football has already been going on in the second tier of Division I.

Nine of 13 conferences that play in the Championship Subdivision, have postponed fall football seasons. The first was the Ivy League in early July.

Now it’s the MAC, which was among the first conferences to limit fan access to its basketball tournament in March as concerns for the virus began to soar across the country. On March 12, the MAC was among many conferences to call off their tournaments hours before the NCAA canceled all of March Madness.

“If you told me in March we’d be here today,” Steinbrecher said, “I’d never have believed it”

Colorado State pauses football after allegations of racism

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FORT COLLINS, Colo. — Colorado State is pausing all football activities after an investigation started by the president of the university into the program’s handling of COVID-19 cases uncovered allegations of racism and verbal abuse toward athletes.

Athletic director Joe Parker said he asked President Joyce McConnell to expand the investigation she announced Tuesday to include a comprehensive review of the athletic department and football program.

“Today, we learned of some extremely troubling allegations of racism and verbal abuse from CSU’s athletic administration generally and in the football program specifically,” Parke said.

Parker’s statement did not mention any particular member of the coaching staff or athletic department. Steve Addazio is in his first season as head coach of the Rams.

McConnell announced the investigation Tuesday after an article published in the Coloradoan that quoted unidentified football players and members of the athletic staff saying coaches told them not to report coronavirus symptoms and threatened players with reduced playing time should they quarantine.

“Colorado State University is committed to being an anti-racist university, and we will not tolerate any behavior or climate that goes against that core value,” Parker said. “Moreover, CSU Athletics is committed to the health and well-being of student-athletes above all other priorities, and this includes their mental health. We believe it is our responsibility to make sure that all student-athletes feel welcomed and valued as members of an inclusive athletics community.”

Colorado State has paused all meetings, workouts and practices.

“While we have been working hard towards playing football this fall, the holistic well-being of our student-athletes is our unequivocal top priority,” Parker said. “We must and will address these allegations before we focus on playing football.”

On Tuesday, Addazio said he welcomed the investigation into the football program’s alleged mishandling of coronavirus protocols.

McConnell announced via an email to student-athletes and department staff Thursday that Husch Blackwell, a legal firm based in Kansas City, would lead the probe into those allegations

Addazio was hired in December, replacing Mike Bobo, after spending seven seasons with Boston College.

The Rams were scheduled to open the season Sept. 19 by hosting Northern Colorado, but the Big Sky Conference voted this week to push back its football season to the spring.

Pac-12 player group ‘disappointed’ after commissioner call

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The Pac-12 players of the “WeAreUnited” movement said they were “disappointed and deeply concerned” after a recent meeting with the conference’s commissioner.

The players sent an email to Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott late Friday accusing him of not taking the issues they have raised seriously enough. The email was also shared with members of the media.

The group’s correspondence came after Scott followed their Thursday call with an email to the players that struck a very different tone, thanking them for the “passion and honesty with which you spoke yesterday evening.”

The group is pushing the conference to address their concerns about COVID-19 protocols, racial injustice in college sports and economic rights for college athletes. Players threatened opting out of practices and games if their demands aren’t addressed. Leaders of the group have said their movement has more than 400 players from around the conference supporting it.

In their email to the commissioner, the players said they were unsatisfied with Scott’s answers to question about increasing the frequency of COVID-19 testing done on athletes and the mandating of best practices across the conference.

“Without a discernible plan and mandates to ensure the health and safety of student-athletes, it is absurd, offensive, and deadly to expect a season to proceed,” they said.

When the players went public with their demands last Sunday, they reached out to the Pac-12 and requested daily meetings with conference officials. Instead, they got one call last week and a pledge from the conference for continued communication.

“You informed us we cannot have legal representation attend these meetings to assist in connection with our legal rights, nor were you willing to even have regular meetings with us to provide updates,” the players wrote to Scott.

Scott’s email addressed four topics that made up the bulk of the Thursday call with 12 players: health and safety; eligibility; COVID-19 liability waivers; and opt-out due to COVID-19 concerns.

Scott wrote the conference will attempt to provide the players an opportunity to speak with the Pac-12 medical advisory committee and keep them abreast of work being done at the NCAA level to address whether athletes who opt out of the coming season will be permitted to retain eligibility.

Scott said the conference office would ensure none of the league’s schools ask athletes to sign liability waivers and reiterated Pac-12 schools were committed to honoring scholarships of players who chose not to play this season because of COVID-19 concerns.

“We will work on gathering the information listed above and providing it to you as soon as possible,” Scott wrote.

Clemson QB Lawrence says he’s completely committed to 2020 season

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Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence said he considered opting out of this season when he was unsure what college football would look like going forward amid the coronavirus pandemic.

However, Lawrence said Friday once he understood he’d play an 11-game season with a chance for an Atlantic Coast Conference and national championships, he decided to play his junior season.

The Heisman Trophy hopeful said he’s completely committed to this season and confident in Clemson’s ability to keep himself and his teammates safe.

Lawrence, who is the likely No. 1 overall pick in the next NFL draft should he leave college early, was 25-0 as a starter until he and Clemson fell to LSU in the national title game last January. The 6-foot-6 junior, had perhaps his poorest performance in college in the 42-25 loss to LSU. He joked how after his freshman year when he led Clemson to a championship he heard how amazing he was and since the LSU defeat, he heard how much work he has to do improve.