Evans' Contract Could Be Costly

ATHENS – Georgia president Michael Adams has limited options of what to do with Athletic Director Damon Evans – if Adams chooses to do anything – according to a recently-signed contract.

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Damon Evans Contract

The contract stipulates that Adams does have the ability to remove Evans at any time, and without cause, but that action would be costly – perhaps potentially costing the University $2,950,000 if Evans remained unemployed until 2015 and did not agree to a settlement.

Also, it appears Adams would have a difficult time firing Evans and keeping all of the money due because the president would have to fire the AD "with cause". The DUI Evans is accused of may or not be legally considered "with cause" depending on a court's interpretation of language included in the contract.

Still, Evans seems to have, at a minimum, broken with the sprit of the contract with his recent behavior. In the first paragraph of section 2.01, regarding "Employment", Evans agreed "to give (his) best efforts, and loyalty to the University and to act at all times on and off campus with appropriate recognition for the fact that the reputation of the University also depends in part on public respect for and approval of those persons associated with its athletics programs."

Dawg Post obtained Evans' new contract through a Freedom of Information Act request. The contract was signed on April 14th and lays out compensation for Evans as well as Adams' options should he choose to discipline or even terminate the AD.

Evans agreed to a contract that is set to terminate on June 30, 2015. He and the University may negotiate a new contract as early as July 1, 2014. According to section 4.01 of the contract, it is "anticipated" that Evans will make $550,000 this fiscal year; $570,000 next FY; $590,000 in FY 2013; $610,000 in FY 2014; and $630,000 in the final year of the contract.


Evans' Mug Shot

Evans is entitled to "two full-sized automobiles for business and personal use" for himself and his immediate family. He also receives an annual allowance of $800 for "gas, maintenance and insurance incurred in operating the automobiles." Georgia also pays for all country club expenses "and costs associated with using the membership excluding one-half monthly dues."

Evans is due a $15,000 bonus per year for any year in which Georgia ranks "in the top one-third of the Graduation Success Rate in the Southeastern Conference as determined by the NCAA." The Bulldogs' GSR was second best in the SEC for the last academic year.

According to section 4.03 (d) of the contract, Evans is due a longevity bonus of $100,000 "within 30 days after July 1, 2011." If Evans stayed on until July 1, 2015 he would be due another longevity bonus of $250,000 .

TERMINATION:

There are multiple scenarios for termination or even suspension without pay in the contract, but none of them specifically include dismissal for being arrested for DUI.

Termination for Cause

Section 5.01 (b) (3) may be the most likely clause that would allow Adams to fire Evans "for cause" for the matter in Atlanta the night of June 30th, but that seems unclear – or even unlikely given recent court interpretations of language used in the contract.

The contract states that Evans can be terminated for "conviction of (Evans) of a felony or a crime of moral turpitude." Even if Evans is convicted of the DUI he is accused of, that alone would not be cause for termination per the contract "for cause" as a DUI under Georgia law is not considered a felony.

A crime of "moral turpitude", according to the Georgia Professional Standards Commission, does not include driving under the influence, but that may be left up to a court to decide.

Termination without Cause

Georgia may end the contract, according to section 5.01 (c), "without cause and for its convenience prior to its expiration". If Adams and the University were to do so, they would have to give Evans 30 days notice.

He would be entitled to "liquidated damages", as laid out in section 5.01 (d), which would only include the "base salary for the remainder of the term of the Agreement then in effect." The payments from Georgia to Evans would be made monthly. If he Evans is dismissed before July 1, 2011 he would not be eligible for the $100,000 or $250,000 longevity bonuses included in the contract.

If Evans was terminated without cause he would be able to retain health insurance through Georgia, but he would have to pay for the costs out of pocket. He would not be entitled to any bonuses or vehicles from Georgia.

Section 5.01 (d) also states: "the parties further agree that the payment of such liquidated damages… shall constitute adequate and reasonable compensation to (Evans) for the damages and injuries suffered by (Evans) because of such termination by the Association."

But the contract requires that if Evans is terminated without cause that he must "make reasonable and diligent efforts to obtain equivalent employment." Once Evans gets a new job Georgia's "obligation to pay the full amount liquidated damages… shall be reduced by the amount of the minimum guaranteed annual salary" of the new job.

Suspension for Criminal or Other Charges

Section 5.01 (h) allows for Evans to be suspended, but only for "indictment or information being filed against (Evans) charging a felony".

Termination by Athletic Director

Evans, who didn't not resign Thursday and said he hadn't thought of resigning, is allowed to leave his post according to section 5.01 of the Agreement. If Evans changes his mind, he must give Adams 30 days written notice. If he terminated the contract in that manner Evans would be due no money.

However, the contract seems to address any obligation Evans would have to Georgia if he terminated the Agreement predicated on the assumption that he would be leaving for another position… not if he just decided to quit:

"Because of the difficulty of quantifying these damages, (Evans) hereby agrees that he, either personally or through his then-employer, will make a lump sum payment equal to one half of one full year of his then current Annual base salary (e.g. $550,000 in 2010) to the Association… which is the parties reasonable estimation of the Association's loss if (Evans) terminates the contract prior to June 30, 2015."

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