Georgia Bulldogs Damon Evans: You Drink. You Drive. You Lose Credility.

July 2nd, 2010 by David Mitchell Leave a reply »

Before every Georgia Bulldogs football game in Sanford Stadium, fans and, particularly, students are subjected to a public service video .

This video, which features athletic director Damon Evans, welcomes patrons to the stadium and advises them against drinking and driving after the game.

As Evans so adequately recites toward the end of the address, "you drink, you drive, you lose."

Oh, the irony.

Evans, who has been Georgia's athletic director since 2004, was arrested and charged with a DUI and failure to maintain a lane, after a late night traffic stop in Atlanta on Wednesday, according to reports from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

After a state patrolman observed Evans driving erratically, he was stopped, subjected to a field sobriety test, and arrested, after it was determined he was not safe behind the wheel.

For an athletic program that often worries as much about criminal records as athletic records, this could not be a worse turn of events.

For the past few years, during which a number of Georgia athletes have been arrested for this very charge, Evans has spoken clearly and definitively, making it apparent that this type of behavior from athletes, coaches, or staff would not be tolerated.

But how can we ever take this guy seriously again?

Now Evans telling fans not to drink and drive is like former Kansas football head coach Mark Mangino telling his players to quit eating. Like Brett Favre telling someone to make a decision. Like Ke$ha requesting a little more variety in mainstream music.

I can only imagine the sound of 92,746 fans filling the Sanford Stadium seats with laughter the first time his video is shown in 2010.

Whatever effect the video had before—which I'll admit probably wasn't much—is gone after this arrest.

And how can he ever pass judgment on a player again?

How can he suspend or have players dismissed for something it appears he is equally as guilty of?

The simple fact that he put himself in position to pose for that less-than-flattering mugshot undermines everything he has tried to do for Georgia athletics.

As a friend of mine stated, he is leading the program by example. And a fine example it is.

Just when you think the program is beginning to stem the flow of liquor and booze, and create a new identity for itself, the face of the entire outfit becomes that of a man in a half-drunken stupor, struggling to stand straight.

So, what does Evans do?

Can he suspend himself? Can he put himself into mandated DUI school? Give himself a fine?

Whatever the case may be, something must be done.

That may mean having to take a second look at a new five-year contract that was due to go into effect today.

The contract, which was set to increase Evans' pay by $110,000, up to $550,000 annually, now comes at an unfortunate time, in which rewarding Evans seems quite counter-intuitive.

It's hard to sit here and bash a guy that has been such an asset to the Georgia Bulldogs program.

Following in the footsteps of the legendary Vince Dooley was never going to be an easy task. But for five years, Evans handled it admirably.

One mistake should not ruin everything he has worked toward, but there must be repercussions for a mistake that reflects so poorly on the entire University community.

In the future, I would advise Evans to heed his own advice.

You drink, you drive, you lose.

Lose respect. Lose credibility. Lose authority.

And those are things that take a lot longer to gain back than skills on a football field.


David is a member of the inaugural Bleacher Report writing internship and the Community Leader for Georgia Bulldogs football. For news, opinions and spirited discussion on anything sports, follow him on Twitter.

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