Clicky


Archive for the 'Behind the Hedges' Category

Boston Globe warns against UGA’s Michael Adams for NCAA

Monday, March 29th, 2010 by Brian Seidman

Behind the Hedges by Rich Whitt“I fear [the NCAA is] about to make a colossal mistake,” writes Boston Globe columnist Bob Ryan, “that I would attribute to not doing their homework.” Part of that homework, Ryan continues, is reading NewSouth Books’ Behind the Hedges: Big Money and Power Politics at the University of Georgia, which details the controversies over UGA President Michael Adams’ performance and financial decisions during his tenure at the university. Ryan suggests the NCAA should think twice before naming Adams as their own new president.

“If the NCAA people want to investigate Adams for themselves, all they need do is pick up a book written by the late Rich Whitt titled, Behind the Hedges,” Ryan notes. “It’s all there, in exquisite detail.”

Behind the Hedges is the only place that the public can read in full the Deloitte & Touche report commissioned by the UGA Foundation to investigate financial choices made by Adams. Ryan calls the Deloitte & Touche report “an astonishing indictment of an operation fundamentally out of control.” He quotes Robert Miller of King & Spalding (involved in creating the report), who says that “if this report had pertained to a senior executive of a major corporation, he would have been removed from power in 24 hours and would not have even been given an opportunity to reply.”

In Behind the Hedges, the late Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Rich Whitt focused his investigative lens on recent events at the University of Georgia, and in so doing examined the bigger story of “a sea change in how America supports its institutions of higher education.” Through interviews with many key figures in a struggle for power at UGA over the last decade, Rich examines the controversial tenure of Michael Adams as UGA president, and how this controversy led to the unprecedented split between the Board of Regents and the UGA Foundation, with implications for the landscape of higher education funding nationwide.

“If one-tenth of what’s in that book is true,” one source tells Ryan, “[Adams] must be stopped. You read that book and you say, ‘You’re [bleeping] me.’”

Behind the Hedges: Big Money and Power Politics at the University of Georgia is available from NewSouth Books, Amazon.com, or your favorite local or online book retailer.

Business in Savannah Recommends Behind the Hedges’s Audit Appendix

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009 by Brian Seidman

If you’ve never read a forensic audit (or even if you have), Professor Leslie Fletcher of Georgia Southern University’s Business in Savannah magazine recommends you check out Rich Whitt’s Behind the Hedges: Big Money and Power Politics at the University of Georgia.

Whitt’s startling expose of funding controversies at the University of Georgia includes an examination the 2003 Deloitte & Touche forensic audit prepared for the UGA Foundation to invesitage the misuse of university funds. Among the issues addressed in the audit, reprinted in full in the appendix of Behind the Hedges, are the expenses and compensation of continuing president Michael Adams, stipends paid to the president’s wife, a $250,000 salary side-deal for football coach Jim Donnan, and the unapproved purchase of a facility in Costa Rica.

In her review, Fletcher calls Behind the Hedges a “riveting work of non-fiction,” and praises Whitt’s ability to “remove the gossip and hearsay from the scandals that rocked UGA at the beginning of the decade.”

“Read the book for the details and a political analysis,” Fletcher writes. “Then, answer for yourself, ‘What happened at UGA?’”

Behind the Hedges is available at your favorite local or online bookstore, or direct from NewSouth Books or Amazon.

ESPN, Peach County Leader-Tribune Sound Off on Controversial Behind the Hedges

Monday, June 1st, 2009 by Brian Seidman

The Peach County, Georgia Leader-Tribune joins a number of news outlets still talking about reporter Rich Whitt’s controversial book Behind the Hedges: Big Money and Power Politics at the University of Georgia. News Editor Victor Kulkosky felt so incensed by the revelations in Behind the Hedges of the behind-the-scenes politicking at the University of Georgia that he devoted three of his “Out of My Mind” columns to the book.

“Rich Whitt’s book Behind the Hedges … tells the story of UGA President Michael Adams, nearing his twelfth year on the job, but who on paper appears to be failing on a grand scale,” Kulkosky writes. “Adams has bad relationships with faculty, while many of the dedicated alumni of UGA have sworn not to give a penny until he leaves. There are many more issues with Adams, yet he’s still employed.”

In his columns, Kulkosky offers a powerful and incisive examination of the importance of Behind the Hedges and its implications for the state of Georgia. “Our state’s higher education system is inseparable from its future,” he continues. “North Carolina and Florida appear to have brighter futures. I know there are many UGA alumni among my readers, but everybody associated with the University System of Georgia should ask the question All State likes to ask, ‘Are you in good hands?’ I have my doubts.”

Read Victor Kulkosky’s May 13, May 20, and May 27 columns about Behind the Hedges.

Kulkosky joins ESPN columnist Ivan Maisel, who calls Behind the Hedges “meticulous” in his “3-Point Stance” column. “If you like your campus politics served hot, read Behind the Hedges,” Maisel writes. And Columbus, Georgia, writer Richard Hyatt recommends Behind the Hedges in his May 11 Mirabeau column, along with the Sports Business Daily “Book Shelf.”

Behind the Hedges: Big Money and Power Politics at the University of Georgia is available from NewSouth Books, Amazon.com, or your favorite local or online bookseller. Read excerpts from the book through Google Book Search.

Controversial UGA Book Behind the Hedges Receives Community, Media Attention

Friday, April 10th, 2009 by Brian Seidman

The late Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Rich Whitt’s investigation of fundraising controversies at the University of Georgia, Behind the Hedges: Big Money and Power Politics at the University of Georgia, continues to resonate both with national media and the UGA community nationwide.

USA Today notes that Behind the Hedges “recasts” the UGA debate, long reported as a conflict between academics and athletics, as instead an examination of the misuse of UGA fundraising money. “The book,” USA Today writes, “includes details such as [UGA President Michael Adams] spending $138,000 of the school’s money on parties surrounding the 2008 Sugar Bowl between Hawaii and Georgia.”

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution quips of Behind the Hedges, “Don’t expect tales of gridiron glory.” The article mentions former UGA veterinary professor Renee Kaswan, whom Whitt mentions in the book as conflicting with Adams. “The university stood to make $300 million in patent revenues from [Kaswan's research],” the paper reports, “but against her wishes, Adams and the University of Georgia Research Foundation sold those rights for a much smaller lump sum, perhaps costing the school more than $200 million.”

In Athens, Georgia, home of the university, the editorial section of the student newspaper Red and Black spoke out about the University of Georgia administration’s refusal to talk about Behind the Hedges. “It’s Whitt’s belief that Adams has been able to wield so much power because the media hasn’t adequately covered the struggles,” writes editor-in-chief Carolyn Crist, “especially an audit the UGA Foundation requested [reprinted in the book], which details aspects of fundraising and mishandling of University money. … The reputation of our president and University will certainly affect your diploma value.”

Syndicated columnist Bill Shipp discussed in a recent column his difficulty finding Behind the Hedges in bookstores. “Behind the Hedges, a story of wheeling and dealing and plain misconduct at UGA, has all but vanished from the stores and mail-order houses. You’d think someone systematically bought out the book before it could be circulated.” Shipp praises Behind the Hedges for “newly discovered details … The book contains several lessons that might be of use to the next chancellor.”

Bloggers commenting on Behind the Hedges include the Orlando Sentinel‘s Gridiron 365, The Anti-Orange Page, Football Rumor Mill, and Get the Picture.

Behind the Hedges: Big Money and Power Politics at the University of Georgia is available from NewSouth Books, Amazon.com, or your favorite local or online bookseller. Read excerpts from the book through Google Book Search.

Remembering Journalist Rich Whitt

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009 by Brian Seidman

Behind the Hedges by Rich WhittPulitzer Prize-winning journalist Richard Whitt died Monday, January 26, at his home in Marietta, Georgia, of a heart attack; he was 64. Rich was the author of Behind the Hedges: Big Money and Power Politics at the University of Georgia, forthcoming from NewSouth Books.

As reported by the Associated Press, Rich received a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of a fire at the Beverly Hills Supper Club in Southgate, Kentucky, in 1977; his reporting led to criminal charges and changes to fire-safety laws. Rich graduated from the University of Kentucky School of Journalism and worked at the Louisville Courier-Journal and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution before retiring in 2006. He was an inductee into the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame.

In the Courier-Journal, colleague Stephen Ford called Rich “a pit bull of a reporter. Once he got hold of a good story, he wouldn’t let it go. He’ll be remembered in Kentucky journalistic history chiefly, of course, as the reporter who won a Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Beverly Hills Supper Club tragedy, but he went on to compile an impressive body of important work.”

In Behind the Hedges, Rich focused his investigative lens on recent events at the University of Georgia, and in so doing examined the bigger story of “a sea change in how America supports its institutions of higher education.” Through interviews with many key figures in a struggle for power at UGA over the last decade, Rich examines the controversial tenure of Michael Adams as UGA president, and how this controversy led to the unprecedented split between the Board of Regents and the UGA Foundation, with implications for the landscape of higher education funding nationwide.

Read more about Rich from the Associated Press and the Courier-Journal. Donations may be made to the University of Kentucky School of Journalism Richard Whitt Memorial Fund for Rural Journalists.