UPDATED: McGarity meets with Grantham, SEC reviews confrontation at Vanderbilt

Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham (R) confronts Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin after Franklin allegedly yelled at one of the Bulldogs' players at the end of Georgia's 33-28 win in Nashville on Saturday.

Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham (R) confronts Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin after Franklin allegedly yelled at one of the Bulldogs' players at the end of Georgia's 33-28 win in Nashville on Saturday.

UPDATED WITH COMMENTS FROM VANDERBILT COACH JAMES FRANKLIN (1:33 P.M.) AND GREG McGARITY AT TOUCHDOWN CLUB OF ATLANTA MEETING (1:45 P.M) .

UPDATED WITH COMMENTS FROM TODD GRANTHAM (11:25 A.M.). . .

ATHENS — Georgia Athletic Director Greg McGarity has already met with defensive coordinator Todd Grantham regarding the postgame confrontation with Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin on Saturday and the Southeastern Conference is in the process of reviewing the incident.

McGarity, who was in Nashville on Saturday, said he discussed the situation with Georgia head coach Mark Richt by telephone on Sunday, then met with Grantham face-to-face at Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall early Monday morning. Meanwhile, both Georgia and Vanderbilt have been asked by SEC Commissioner Mike Slive to submit written reports to the league office for review.

“I spoke with the Commissioner earlier today and they are in a sort of fact-finding process now,” McGarity said. “We’ll submit a report either verbal or in writing. I’m sure Vandy will do the same and then, basically, we’ll see what happens at that point in time.”

As for his meeting with Grantham, McGarity said, “I’d just say those discussions will remain private, but I’ve addressed it with both Coach Richt and Coach Grantham. There were lessons to be learned here. Obviously the conduct that was displayed was not representative of how we want to conduct ourselves after a hard-fought game.”

Grantham and Franklin were caught on video in a heated, finger-pointing exchange immediately after Georgia’s 33-28 win over Vanderbilt had concluded. Moments before that, Franklin is observed yelling at Georgia safety Shawn Williams.

The Bulldogs were flagged three times for personal fouls in the game and, in one instance, it appears Georgia noseguard Kwame Geathers tries to punch a Vanderbilt player. But McGarity said UGA’s reports to the SEC will not address anything that took place during the game.

“The conference does that anyway,” he said. “That’s part of their normal, standard operating procedures where they’ll go through it. Each team submits plays to review and they review things without either team submitting them. That’s just basic standard operating procedure there, things that happen during the game. I’m sure they’ll review the clips and I’m sure they’ll review the personal fouls. They do that all the time. That’s part of their weekly tasks.”

SEC Associate Commissioner Charles Bloom confirmed the postgame confrontation is being investigated.

“The conference office is gathering information from all parties about the incident,” Bloom said via email. “Too early to comment on it.”

Bloom indicated the SEC might have a response by Tuesday.

Grantham, in his second season as the Bulldogs’ defensive coordinator, was reprimanded by UGA last year after directing a choke signs toward Florida kicker Chas Henry before he tried a game-winning field attempt in overtime.

Grantham told the AJC Monday morning he regretted his actions after Saturday’s game.

“First of all, I love my players and appreciate their hard work and investment in our program,” Grantham said. “I feel a responsibility and loyalty to protect and stand up for them. However, I feel it’s important to educate them in all areas of life. While my intentions were genuine, I feel it was unfortunate that things escalated to a confrontation. However, I’ll use it as a learning experience for myself as well as my players so that we all become better men.”

Meanwhile, Franklin was asked at his weekly news conference on Monday if he had followed up on the incident. He said he Richt talked via telephone about the situation on Sunday and indicated there had been some correspondence with the SEC office.

“We have a very, very talented commissioner and they’ll do their job and do what they think is right and we’re going to move forward,” Franklin said as video of his 1 p.m. news conference was streamed live via the school’s website. “I have tremendous respect for the University of Georgia, their history, their program, their coach. We had a hard fought battle with a lot of passion, with a lot of emotion. . . . Some things got a little bit out of hand and I know myself and Coach Richt — I don’t want to speak for him — would have liked for the game to have ended a little differently and been able to just walk off the field.”

Asked specifically if he had any personal regrets with the way he behaved at the end of the game, Franklin said: “I’m not a guy who really has a whole lot of regrets. I’m pretty calculated and pretty well thought out for the most part with the things I do. I am an emotional guy, as you guys know.”

Speaking to the Touchdown Club of Atlanta today, Greg McGarity had more to say about the matter:

“I think the whole story will come out at some point in time. Right now both institutions are basically filing a report to the Southeastern Conference office on really what happened from Todd’s standpoint and, I’m sure, from Coach Franklin’s standpoint.  That will go to the commissioner, and then we’ll see where things go after that. But I don’t think there’s any question that . . . at the end of the day that’s not the way you want to end athletics competition. It’s kind of like Mark said after the game: ‘At the end of the game, you want to go over there and shake the opponent’s hand and move on to the next game.’

“I won’t get into specifics, but I think if you ask Todd if he had to do it over again, I think he definitely would do some things differently. I think that’s not the way you want to represent your institution on either side. At the end of the day, I think you’ll see that. But I know Todd is in the process of making a statement. We want to get ahead of this and deal with it up front to where there’s nothing out there that we need to be worrying about the rest of the week.

“It was kind of like we saw at the end of the NFL [49ers-Lions game] yesterday –- I think we had a situation there with a couple of coaches. Things get heated. There probably are a lot of things people would like to take back, but at the end of the day that’s not what needs to happen in college athletics. We need to talk about the student-athletes and what they did that day — and not reduce it to where things off the field are the topic of discussion during that day.  So it’s something we’re really not proud of, and we’ll deal with it and learn from it and also teach our student athletes on the positives and negatives of situations like that.”

AJC reporter Tim Tucker contributed to this report.

|– Chip Towers and Tim Tucker

714 comments Add your comment

Dawg Girl

October 17th, 2011
11:20 am

Get over it. Move on, and get ready for Florida. Go Dawgs!

VolsRule

October 17th, 2011
11:20 am

Good to see som passion by both teams after a hard fought gam – however, need to keep it professional.

Good for Vandy – this coach has his team playing the entire game.
Good for U of Georgia – they survived a game that appeard to be heading to a blow out.
Bad for Tennessee – we have a lot of work to do – or Vandy will beat us.

Best of luck the rest of the season.

Go Vols!

doodoobailey

October 17th, 2011
11:20 am

The guy yells at our player and we get in trouble? F that, and first

doodoobailey

October 17th, 2011
11:23 am

To everyone “ashamed” and “embarrased” about Grantham’s behavior?

You should be embarrased and ashamed that you have helped keep this idle and soft attitude at UGA with savior Richt.

He yelled at our players, CTG did a good job of restraint to not knock him out. That, actually is a good role model. Don’t write a check your a$$ can’t cash Vandy.

Gary

October 17th, 2011
11:23 am

Never a shortage of drama with Grantham. I appreciate the level of intensity he brings to coaching the defense. Reminds me of Erk.

Real NC Dawg

October 17th, 2011
11:24 am

Love the fire of our defensive coordinator. Wish the entire team had that same fire before the game. It was evident as the team came out of the tunnel before the game they were not ready to play.

Boom Boom

October 17th, 2011
11:27 am

Take care of the ball #11 and spend some serious time on our special teams. two missed field goals, fake punt and kick off return. Kick the dang ball out of the endzone!

German Shepherd Dawg

October 17th, 2011
11:28 am

Kudos to VolsRule.

Classiest post by the “opposition” that I’ve read in recent memory.

Though I can’t stand UT during game week, when it’s over all is forgiven. Even when we lose.

At the end of the day, it is just a game – not life or death.

Good luck against SC and the rest of the season. Vandy may have found themselves a QB in Jordan Rodgers. He looked a lot like Aaron Saturday night.

Woof woof!

doodoobailey

October 17th, 2011
11:29 am

To all of you who agree with supporting everything CTG did Saturday night, don’t bother going over to the Junkyard Blawg. He is beeyatching at everyone comparing Erk’s fire and CTG and says they are completly different.

What a jackwagon homer who still talks about a Bama game in ‘66.

AJC, FIRE BILL and get someone this side of Social Security.

WinderDawg

October 17th, 2011
11:29 am

It is part of football…show a little passion. GATA coach…

Robinwood

October 17th, 2011
11:29 am

I just hope that the team gets fired up about all this and gets back to form on December vs the lizards. Maybe we’ll find some answers on offense, too.

17 of 20

October 17th, 2011
11:29 am

Georgia has some great coaches and I would like to see them stay and coach together for at least 5 more years.

Honest Abe

October 17th, 2011
11:30 am

Grantham should be congratulated for sticking up for one of his players. An opposing coach should not go after a player. If he has a problem, he should address it with his counterpart coach, not the kid. Vandy coach James Franklin was dead wrong.

Looks like Coach G. is the only one on CMR’s staff with any tenacity. Our “D” is starting to get back some swagger which has been the missing element for a few years. Our offense is so mild and so vanilla. Give Grantham a raise and a commendation and hope that some of his fire rubs off on CMR and Bobo !

Andy in WR

October 17th, 2011
11:32 am

I agree with several of the above posts-i love what Grantham has brought to our program. Didn’t love the choke sign, but appreciate the fire and passion and desire to perform with excellance. Just wish we could get Bobo on board.-

DTC

October 17th, 2011
11:32 am

There were bad, overreactions to numerous plays on the part of both teams. The play where Sean Williams was flagged, you have to observe the entire incident to get a complete perspective of that incident. He did overreact to the incident in that the other UGA player had it under control. Williams should not have gotten involved, but he did come to the defense of his teammate.
In this incident, the Vandy player hit the UGA player, helmet to helmet, well after the play had ended. What I thought was kind of humorous about this incident is the Vandy player kind of bounced off of the UGA player. The UGA player did not seem to be effected, other than knowing he was hit helmet to helmet, so he pushed the Vandy player backwards, and I think to the ground, do not hold me to that fact. My apologies but I do not remember the names or numbers of these two players. It appears that Sean Williams then came up and slugged the Vandy player, in the helmet, thus the flag. The announcer, Couch, did not give a proper assessment of the incident, he blamed it all on UGA. Rather one sided on his opinion of this incident.

4th and 57

October 17th, 2011
11:32 am

Georgia fans need to lower their expectations. They habe been irrelevant in the SEC for quite a while.

Me

October 17th, 2011
11:32 am

I would rather have Grantham at the helm than Richt.

Robby

October 17th, 2011
11:32 am

Don’t apologize. Get to work making them ready for Florida. I don’t want to lose again. Our defense is what is going to beat UF.

dwayne

October 17th, 2011
11:33 am

Aint it funny how things work? UGA was worried about offense and if Grantham’s D would he better. Kicking game was supposed to be the only thing going for them…

Buffus

October 17th, 2011
11:34 am

Grantham is an embarrasment. We have the finest university in the SEC and should conduct ourselves better.

cb

October 17th, 2011
11:34 am

Mentioning Grantham and Erk in the same breath is a disgrace. Grantham is a hothead with no humility. He can’t grasp a concept like “TEAM me”. Please do not ever compare him to the great Erk Russell. That is just foolish.

Fair and Balanced

October 17th, 2011
11:34 am

Can we be done with this already?

aj

October 17th, 2011
11:35 am

Great so see fire out of Coach Grantham need to see it more often from restof staff. Hate that he is being forced to apologize. I wonder if he and Richt really get along behind closed doors?????

Nick Fairly

October 17th, 2011
11:35 am

Grantham needs a trademark move like wrestlers have. He should do a throat-slash and then grab his nuts or something.

Andy in WR

October 17th, 2011
11:35 am

and as a coach, I always felt is was my DUTY to defend my players. I always tried to look at my players like they were my own children–Way to go Coach Grantham–GATB-no matter whose it is!

rational

October 17th, 2011
11:36 am

I’m glad McGarity and Richt have handled this like professionals. The Vandy coach and Grantham haven’t reached that level of maturity yet apparently.

Who Cares???

October 17th, 2011
11:36 am

If that was a baskeball teaming fight, this blog would be off the chain with hatred.

DawginLex

October 17th, 2011
11:36 am

I thought Grantham did right

That was Murray’s best game IMO. He saved our butts

Get rested and get ready for florida

jd

October 17th, 2011
11:37 am

Another example of college failing to provide students with skills needed to find and keep a job. The graduation rate of college football players is horrible! and job placement even worse. Ban football — teach em a trade like plumbing!

Dave

October 17th, 2011
11:38 am

I really, really like Grantham’s fire. I wish we had more of it. Imagine Grantham as head coach! I will always support Richt, but Grantham is a much needed personality on this coaching staff. Reminds me of Van Gorder! GATA or STFU!

Chris

October 17th, 2011
11:38 am

No need for Grantham to apologize. He’s changed the image of UGA from being soft as to actually playing with a fire, something that was definitely lacking. Props to him for sticking up for his guys. Need more coaches out there who display their passion instead of trying to keep their emotions in check…

dawggirl

October 17th, 2011
11:38 am

Well, I appreciate that others appreciate the “fire” that CTG brings to the program. However, they will have to accept any discliplinary measures that the SEC may choose to implement.

I had really thought that all of the personal foul penalties were behind us, but apparently not. I sincerely hope it does not cost us in an upcoming game.

Seriously

October 17th, 2011
11:39 am

Franklin is the problem here, he lied at the press conference afterward saying he was looking for CMR, watch the tape he was after Shawn Williams from the get go. Watch the tape – CTG is walking over sees Franklin pointing out and apparently yelling at Williams – the tape shows what really happened – unfortunately the league will accept Franklin’s bs version and we’ll get walked all over again. We’ve become the candy a** doormat for SEC and NCAA enforcement agents because we just rollover and take it. Don’t see that happening at Bama, FL, LSU, or Auburn. They all throw it back in their face. Thanks to CTG for getting in the middle of it standing up for his players – this is football – not a political debate. Guess everyone would like to have CTG run to the headmaster CMR to turn in that bad guy Franklin who was saying bad things to our players in the appropriate potilically correct fashion while Franklin continues to attacks our kids! To many talking heads now involved – this will get so convoluted no one will ever know the truth. CTG will tell the truth, but Franklin and his cohorts will deny.

RedandBlackDawg

October 17th, 2011
11:39 am

It is a shame when they even have to take the time to investigate incidents like this. You would think they would use their time more wisely, and investigate some of the real issues going on in the league. The DC was reacting to the Vandie coach calling out some UGA players after the game. UGA officials say they aren’t going to address what happened in the game that lead to that confrontation after the game. Makes perfect sense to me. At least we have a DC that stands behindhis players and doesn’t let a rookie coach tell off his players and confront them. It seems to me that the Vandy coach escalated the situation by acting less than professional. He could and should have addressed anything he thought was so terrible to the SEC office, not on the field. I guess he forgot that next year, they have to come into a real stadium and play the DAWGS.

GO DAWGS and GATA

TroupDawg

October 17th, 2011
11:40 am

Great Job CTG!! McGarity! layoff CTG and find out why our Special Teams Suck!! I applaud CTG and wish we had more like him.

Observer

October 17th, 2011
11:40 am

Erk Russell was a gentleman with an intense passion for football. Todd Grantham is a buffoon.

The best part of the entire incident was watching Grantham run away after Monahan from Vanderbilt stepped between him and Franklin.

Dap01

October 17th, 2011
11:40 am

I wish the rest of our coaching staff has as much passion for the game.

I wish Bobo was not the UGA offensive coordinator.

1eyedJack

October 17th, 2011
11:40 am

They won’t be exchanging Christmas cards.

ormewood

October 17th, 2011
11:41 am

Grantham needs to calm down. He’s supposed to be setting an example for his players. I’m all for passion, but his is misdirected and inappropriate.

Joe

October 17th, 2011
11:41 am

Geez…finally a coach that stands up for the players and he gets shot down……as much crap as UF does and he gets in trouble for a choke sign….geez….perhaps McGarity can address the vandys chop blocks in his response to the SEC…..perhaps vandy’s coach can

DTC

October 17th, 2011
11:42 am

I agree with Todd Grantham in this incident, he was coming to the defense of one of his players. I would prefer to have this kind of a coach coaching my kid. I was the head coach of my son’s baseball team about 20 years ago, and had to put up with some “we are better than you” from another team that had soundly beaten the stuffings out of our team. I found the other coach and made him, who coincidently was a friend of mine, and I convinced him that he had better bring his kids back in and apologize to my team for their actions, or I would file a formal, public complaint on him, his son, who started the incident, and his entire team, to the county board. He knew me well enough to know that he knew I meant what I said. I did not lose my cool, Grantham was border line, but it was man to man, not man to student.
I would like to make a comment in reference to the anti-Christian comments about Coach Richt. For full disclosure, I am Christian. I have been more than disappointed with CMR’s coaching the previous two years. However, I am a bit fed up with all of the anti-Christian rhetoric about him. His Christian faith should not come into the perspective of his coaching abilities. I do believe that he has done a much better job as the head coach this year than previous years, and does seem to have regained his focus as the head coach for this team. Let’s just keep the anti-Christian semtiment out of this.
a
Also, VolsRule is indeed the exception to the case, of most posters on the entire AJC website, from all schools.

chief1

October 17th, 2011
11:42 am

Any Coach orSchool of higher learing that are involved in Sports does not stand up for thier player dose not need to be a coach or Ect CMR. needs to have Bigger Balls and let those that play for him know that he is there for them on the playing Field as well as off the playing Field.Thanks Coach Grantham for standing up for your Boys. GO DAWGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GATA

October 17th, 2011
11:43 am

Beat Florida! If not this year, WHEN?

gofortwo

October 17th, 2011
11:44 am

The Vandy coach looks like the type who causes problems and then points the finger at someone else. Of course, his players were throwing cheap shots throughout the game which was alright with him. It might have gotten really wild if we had lost and the Vandy coach confronted Grantham about Williams. And his story about not being able to find Coach Richt sounds phony.

Sam

October 17th, 2011
11:44 am

Georgia has a wonderful coaching staff, from CMR, CMB, CTG… all of them right down to the new strength coach are the best thing that ever happened to our program and I hope they stay at UGA FOREVER!!!

Sincerely- Fan of any other SEC school

7576DAWG

October 17th, 2011
11:44 am

Grantham doesn’t deserve any punishment in this case. Franklin started this and Grantham is not a wimp or what you call a beta, someone that is not a leader but one who sits back and takes anything thrown at them because they can’t deal with confrontation. Grantham is an Alpha or leader and is not going to take any mess from anyone especially if it has to do with one of his players.
Maybe Grantham could have handled it better but his defense had just gone from great in the first half to terrible in the second half and didn’t know really what happened. Grantham takes a lot of pride in the defense and was already on edge. Franklin is a head coach and instigated the whole thing. I will be very disappointed if anything go’s against Grantham.
If we don’t start showing a little support to the best defensive coach that we have seen since Van Gorder was run off by RIcht the same thing is going to happen to Grantham. Richt needs to run off Bobo and hire a great offensive coordinator and a special teams coach. McGarity needs to address the things that are broken not the thing’s that aren’t and the one really great bright spot this year has been our DEFENSE and Grantham is the reason for that.

BG

October 17th, 2011
11:45 am

Franklin started it! Franklin is lucky Grantham didn’t beat the crap out of him.

outkasted

October 17th, 2011
11:45 am

to the Tech fans think about how ur coach throws his on players under the bus after losing… bye week at the right time…. get guys healthy and ready for the game in jacksonville…

TampaDawg

October 17th, 2011
11:45 am

4th and 57

October 17th, 2011
11:32 am

Georgia fans need to lower their expectations. They habe been irrelevant in the SEC for quite a while.
———————–
I know, since all the way back to 2008. That #2 finish in the polls seemed pretty irrelevant waaaaay back in 2007 too.

papadawg

October 17th, 2011
11:45 am

Looks like Vandy found them a QB everyone else will have to deal with this season.