New AD Named Today

ATHENS - Two of the three known candidates for the University of Georgia's athletics director position said Thursday they are no longer in the running, leaving only Damon Evans, who will be named to the position today.

Georgia president Michael Adams attended Thursday's men's basketball game and declined to comment, but a university official indicated there will be a press conference this afternoon.

Damon Evans, 34, is a former Bulldog football player who is currently the school's senior associate athletic director in charge of internal affairs. He is in charge of the Athletic Association's $40-plus million budget and also oversees both the school's basketball programs.

He will become the first black athletic director in the Southeastern Conference. He will also be one of the youngest athletic directors in the country but has privately expressed confidence he is ready to fill the position.

Evans watched from the stands as the Bulldogs defeated South Alabama 65-63 in Stegeman Coliseum, but he also declined to comment on the search. He said he will not speak on the subject until the "process is finished."

Adams started the search for a new athletic director in June after rejecting current athletics director Vince Dooley's request for a contract extension. A search committee is believed to have forwarded three candidates - Evans, Fowler and Hyman - to Adams for the final selection. Evans has already received Dooley's blessing to take the position.

North Carolina State athletic director Lee Fowler privately stated he had pulled his name from consideration, and TCU athletic director Eric Hyman released a statement saying virtually the same thing.

"Recently, I was contacted by the University of Georgia regarding their athletic director's position," Hyman said. "I was flattered to be considered. However, after talking with a representative from Georgia, I have notified our chancellor I am no longer a candidate for the position."

Earlier this year, Evans was named one of the top 101 most influential minorities in sports by Sports Illustrated. He ranked No. 100, one spot ahead of Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James.

A native of Oakwood, he was an all-state wide receiver and the MVP of his basketball team at Gainesville High School. He lettered at Georgia from 1989-1992 and was one of only two players on the vaunted 1992 team to have started a game in each of his four seasons.

He was the assistant commissioner for eligibility and compliance at the SEC office before being hired by Dooley in 1998. He quickly moved up the ladder at Georgia. In 2000, he was promoted to his current position as second-in-command only to Dooley. He has also worked at the University of Missouri.