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No winners in Dooley, Adams debate

By Doug Gorman

I love college athletics. Ask me to pick my favorite sport and I would have a tough time choosing between college football and basketball.

There is nothing more exciting than being in a college football stadium on a cool crisp fall afternoon and watching two teams go at it on the gridiron.

The anticipation leading up to the game has been known to give me butterflies and I've never played a down of college football.

I've seen grown men moved to tears as their favorite team runs on the field to the sounds of a marching band playing a fight song in the background.

A closely contested college basketball game can also generate excitement as the two teams jockey back and fourth for the lead.

But as much as I love college athletics and agree winning is important, what's happening at the University of Georgia between President Michael Adams and athletic director Vince Dooley is tragic.

There should be no debt here.

An athletic director, even one who is has been with a school for nearly 40-years, should never have more power than the university president. That goes for football coaches too.

The admiration University of Georgia boosters have for Vince Dooley is understandable. He put the school on the map by building a successful football team, and winning the national title in 1980.

As an administrator, he has helped generate millions of dollars, and as Travis Rice, the host of the Dawg Show, reminded me Wednesday, he has helped turn the women's athletic program at Georgia into one of the best in the nation by hiring successful coaches.

I personally don't like the way Adams handled the Dooley situation. He has come across very arrogant and unfeeling toward a man who deserves respect.

Still, Vince Dooley did agree to go when his contract expires next year, so he should live up to it.

It's not like Dooley is being asked to leave Athens and ride off in the sunset never to be heard of again. He can still serve as a great ambassador for the school.

Rival coach Bobby Dodd still had a presence at Georgia Tech until the day he died.

The person who replaces Dooley is going to have his or her work cut out for them.

Hopefully, the new AD will be somebody already on staff who has worked with Dooley. At least then the Dooley legacy will continue.

If the person is hand-picked by Adams they will never have the support of the Bulldog Nation who have already withheld their financial contributions to the school.

Fund-raising based on athletic success is just another example of the double-edge sword slicing into college universities.

On the surface we expect our colleges and universities to educate young people, but at the same time most alumni at any school in the country demand athletic excellence at whatever the cost.

Many alumni care less about their school's academic reputations than how the football or basketball teams are performing.

Let's face it, high academic marks don't bring in greenbacks. Touchdowns, bowl bids, and national titles do.

I have been just as guilty, giving to my alma mater, little Elon University, based on athletic performance.

There are no winners in this growing crises. Dooley is on is way out and perhaps the only way to create peace in Athens is if Adams goes too.

Doug Gorman is editor of the daily. His column appears on Fridays. E-mail at dgorman@news-daily.com