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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Damon Evans Statement to Media

Here's Damon Evans' full statement to the media at today's press conference. I'll have the Q&A portion shortly...

“I sit before all of you today very ashamed and embarrassed by my actions. I let this university down, I let my family down, I let those in the Bulldog Nation down. I let so many people down that have supported me and believed in me along the way. My behavior, my actions were not indicative of what we teach our student athletes at the University of Georgia. My goal has always been to represent this institution in the utmost fashion. Unfortunately, I failed at that. I failed miserably.

“When I sit back and look at things, all I can do is move ahead and learn from my mistakes. I like to look at mistakes as opportunities in disguise. This is an opportunity to learn about myself, for me to take a look at myself in the mirror and size up who I am as an individual. Right now, I have some shortcomings. I think that’s part of life to have shortcomings. But I also know this: I owe it to all of you in this room, I owe it to all our fans, owe it to Dr. Adams, who stood by me through this very, very difficult time. I have had conversations with him, and I understand the predicament that I have put him in. I believed and will always believe that what should be done is what’s in the best interest of this institution.

“I do feel like my actions have put a black cloud over our storied program – one of which I never thought in my years here at the University of Georgia, that I would bring such shame to this magnificent institution. I’ve got a lot of soul searching, a lot of thinking to do, and I’ve got to take a step back and pause and say, Damon, you’ve got to get back on track. You’ve got to set an example. You’ve got to be the leader that you talk about being. You’ve got to be the role model for the student-athletes that come through this institution that you say you are. Last night, I was not that.

“To all the people out there in Bulldog-land, it’s going to take a while to gain your trust back, and it should – and I don’t know if I ever will. But what I can say is that I will do everything in my power to make you believe in me once again. I’m back to ground zero. I’ve got to build, and I’m going to have to build one step at a time. I’m going to need the help of you in this room, I’m going to need the help of family and friends.

“And speaking of my family, I have to mention family, because they are the most important thing to me. I brought shame to them – my two lovely children, Cameron and Kennedy. I have a beautiful wife, who is going through a lot right now, of which it haunts me and troubles me. And when you have such deep feelings and love for some one and you hurt them, as you all know, it’s something that’s hard to take. I’ve done just that. But I’ve hurt everybody.

“I simply want to end by saying I sincerely apologize for my actions. I hope that you’ll find it in your hearts to forgive me. What I say here is coming from the bottom of my heart. I’m an individual who made a grave, grave mistake, one that will be with me for the rest of my life. But it has to be one, I will have to turn it into one, that will teach me a lesson.

“So I want to apologize again to the Bulldog Nation and all of our supporters and specifically to Dr. Adams and the administration. I appreciate what you’ve done. I appreciate you standing by me. My staff, our coaches, our senior staff, all of our staff that’s in this room – thanks for being here. I’ve been given a lot of support through emails and text messages, but at the same time, I’ve taken a beating and deservedly so. So again, I humbly apologize.”

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