Michael Adams, President of the University of Georgia, is announcing his retirement Thursday.
Adams, a galvanizing figure in higher ed circles and a divisive personality for most alumni, has helmed the university for 16 years. During those years, UGA grew strategically, academically and athletically. I’m not going to go into all the stats and figures, because in the days to come, there will be plenty of coverage of those things.
Perhaps the most publicized controversy he
initiated was involved in was the forced retirement of Athletic Director Vince Dooley. Despite all the accolades that will shower down on Adams in the weeks to come, for the majority of us who bleed Red and Black, his handling of Dooley’s final days is downright shabby and a perpetual stain on his reputation.
People of an age can remember when Dooley was the Head Football Coach (Erk Russell, too.) Once a year, Vince would come down to band practice and give us a pep talk. He told us stories and jokes. But the thing that he emphasized most was how important the band was to the football team. You see, when Sanford Stadium is filled with 92,746 of your closest friends it becomes a cavern of overwhelming, tremendous sound. Coach said the only thing that can cut through that wall, the only thing the players can hear, is the band. The 12th man on the field.
Just read Chapter 11 of Dooley: My 40 Years at Georgia for Vince’s side of the story.
Love him or hate him, Adams’ years at Georgia are finally at a close.