Despite an anti-nepotism policy that has restricted Georgia coach Jim Donnan from hiring his son Todd for the past two years, the younger Donnan was named to a joint-employment position within the Athletic Association Development Office and the Bulldog football program Thursday afternoon.
As a development field representative, he will assist with fund-raising on behalf of the association. But Todd, who worked with the quarterbacks the last two years as a graduate assistant, also will serve as one of nine on-field assistant coaches.
'After being assured it did not violate the University System nepotism policy, I discussed it with Coach Donnan, Todd, and our assistant athletic director for development, Kit Trench, who were all very supportive,' Athletics Director Vince Dooley said in a statement released Thursday. 'After carefully considering the idea, I concluded it was a very workable solution with Todd's primary reporting responsibility being to administration. This could best be served in conjunction with our development office.'
The structure of the joint employment doesn't fall under the University System of Georgia anti-nepotism policy. The policy states 'no individual shall be employed ... which will result in the existence of a subordinate-superior relationship between such individual and any relative ... through the line of authority.' Therefore, the hiring only needed to be authorized by Dooley, according to the release.
The Board of Regents Manual then states that relatives are defined as 'husbands and wives, parents and children, brothers, sisters ....'
Why, then, was Dooley allowed to hire Todd Donnan?
'The way (the hire) is structured through the Athletic Association, it doesn't break compliance with the policy,' Board of Regents spokeswoman Arlethia Penny-Johnson told The Red & Black. 'Our policy speaks just to faculty.'
Penny-Johnson, however, was unable to explain why basketball coach Jim Harrick couldn't hire his son last year and why Jim Donnan failed with his previous attempts.
Trench didn't immediately return calls to her office and home from The Red & Black.