Posted 07/01/2010 at 01:07 PM
Eveyone wants to talk about NBA free agency today, but I don't. I want to talk about an idiot that somehow still runs the show in Athens, GA. No, I'm not talking about Damon Evans -- yet. I'm talking about Georgia President Dr. Michael Adams.
You know, the monumental chafe that brought in Jim Harrick and shipped out Vince Dooley. He looks like a dumbass today -- again! That's because Evans was arrested for DUI at around midnight Eastern in Atlanta last night.
Obviously, this is a huge development because I would think this is possibly a fire-able offense for an AD in the SEC. Even if Evans survives this ordeal, he'll certainly be on shaky ground moving forward. Ane he might not have the power and leverage to fire head football coach Mark Richt if the 2010 season goes south on the Dawgs.
Remember, Richt was hired by Vince Dooley, not Evans. By all standards, Richt's tenure has been a roaring success, by far the best since Dooley's days on the sidelines with a dude named Herschel wearing No. 34 and scoring touchdowns galore. Nevertheless, the blowout losses to Florida haven't ended on Richt's watch.
In October of last year, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution quoted Evans as saying he had 'concerns' about the football program. Evans and Richt have seemingly disagreed on where the Florida-Georgia game will be played. Richt has lobbied to get at least one game every four years at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. However, Evans signed another contract in 2009 that'll keep the game in Jacksonville for at least four more years. After that announcement was made, Richt clearly shifted gears and toe'd the company line.
I would think this cools Richt's hot-seat status. Also, it makes one of this space's favorite targets -- Adams -- an easy target yet again. We've been down this road before and LOVE being here once more (not to wish bad upon Evans at all, as the culprit of our ire is strictly directed at Adams).
Of course, Adams was the school president at Pepperdine when Jim Harrick coached the Waves in Malibu. When Dooley wanted to hire Buzz Peterson more than a decade ago, Adams overruled his former AD and brought in his old buddy Harrick. Obviously, that turned into a major fiasco that led to probation and horrible basketball teams. In fact, this upcoming year will be the first time UGA has gone into a season with promising expectations since Harrick left the program in shambles.
Not only did Adams' insistence upon bringing in Harrick ruin the hoops program for many years, but his handling of Harrick's dismissal was a colossal disaster. If you're a loyal reader of mine, you've heard me harp about this topic many times for many years and yep, here I go one more time.
The decision by Adams (and Dooley, probably to a lesser extent) to ban the 2002-2003 Georgia basketball team from the NCAA Tournament was one of the most unfair decisions in the history of college sports. The ignorant thought process by Adams was essentially to beat the NCAA to the punch. In other words, we're going to get hammered with violations, so let's punish ourselves first in hopes of minimizing the damage the NCAA will also inflict.
But here's the thing: Whether the NCAA put UGA on probation for two, three or even four years was absolutely irrelevant because the Dawgs were going to be bad for a long time and weren't going to the NCAA Tournament anyway.
In essence, Adams decided that he wanted the 2002-2003 team to be banned from postseason play in order that the teams in '05 and '06 would have a chance. Well, guess what? The UGA squads, as this space predicted back then, didn't come close to qualifying for postseason play.
The 2002-2003 team was a legitimate Final Four contender. Ezra Williams was one of the nation's most prolific scorers, Jarvis Hayes was one of the country's premier all-around players, Rashad Wright was one of the best point guards in the SEC who played tenacious on-the-ball defense and this squad had great size with big men like Steve Thomas, Jonas Hayes and Chris Daniels. Hell, Damien Wilkins didn't even start for this team! He came off the bench.
Anyway, these guys who had fought like hell to win basketball games and earn a trip to the NCAA Tournament had that taken from them all because of a scumbag named Tony Cole and the transgressions of Harrick (Adams' boy!) and Jim Harrick Jr. Whether they had a coach or not, that team should've been playing in the NCAA Tournament and it was a crime to prevent them from doing so.
So that was Adams' first major mistake as school prez. His second? The dude had the audacity to run Vince Dooley out of Athens. To this day, typing that sentence just feels wrong. And it pains me that it is a fact that Adams was able to do so.
Dooley and Adams constantly disagreed. Dooley wanted to stay on as AD for another year or two, but Adams wouldn't let him. It was a big controversy but somehow Adams won. And Dooley left town, replaced by Damon Evans. By most accounts, Evans has done a solid job....until last night.
Now Adams looks like the fool that he is once again. And I love it!