Auburn looks like the SEC’s best shot at having a team in this year’s BCS championship game, which also would help the conference’s chances of getting two teams into BCS bowls. And that translates to a lot of dollars for the conference.
Nick Fairley is a big part of Auburn’s success on the field.
So should anyone really be surprised that the SEC chose not to suggest Auburn suspend its defensive headhunter for the blatant spearing in the back that was only the most egregious of several late hits he delivered to Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray?
Instead, the conference is handling the matter “internally with the institution.” That means any disciplinary action is up to Gene Chizik, the same guy who during the fracas at the end of the game with the Dogs was stirring it up on the sideline and allowing Fairley and one of his assistant coaches to dance in celebration on the field.
Asked by The Macon Telegraph what he thought of the conference’s inaction on the matter, UGA athletic director Greg McGarity said, “I probably better not comment on that. I need to stay away from that. I don’t want to get into any type of trouble or conflict with the conference office.”
Which is a diplomatic way of saying he thought the conference blew it.
I’ll say one thing for Chizik: He’s changed a lot of UGA fans’ view of the so-called friendly rivalry between Georgia and Auburn, as Darrell Huckaby notes on the Dawbone site. Said Huckaby: “I think Gene Chizik has taken the friendly out of the rivalry forever — not because he played a player who most of the nation feels will eventually prevent the Tigers from being able to count the victory in their long and storied history, but because of the way he and his team conducted themselves throughout the contest and particularly at the end.”
I’m sure Darrell will be bombarded with AU hate mail for that, as have any of us who’ve questioned any of the actions of Tiger players and coaches.
Speaking of which, has there ever been a more thin-skinned bunch than Auburn fans, who have been all over the blogosphere and talk shows the past few days trying to equate Bulldogs players running out on the field with Fairley’s cheap shots and taunting?
I like the way MrSEC put it: “Auburn fans need to stop trying to defend the indefensible. As if a team dancing on someone’s logo is reason enough to risk injuring someone. How incredibly stupid. … By defending Fairley’s helmet-to-back shot, it makes it appear as though AU fans would defend anything and everything done by someone in navy [and] orange.”
But I guess that’s what comes from being perpetually the second-ranked program in your state thanks to the school over in Tuscaloosa.
Find me on Facebook.
Follow me on Twitter.