ATHENS – Georgia expects to hear back from the Southeastern Conference sometime this week regarding possible disciplinary action against coaches and players in the wake of last Saturday’s game against Vanderbilt.
UGA and Vanderbilt were each asked to submit reports about the post-game skirmish that took place following the Bulldogs’ 33-28 win over the Commodores. After the game concluded, Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin and Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham ended up in a shouting match at midfield. Both coaches could be subject to fines, suspensions and/or reprimands from SEC Commissioner Mike Slive for showing a lack of sportsmanship with their finger-pointing, obscenity-laced exchange.
Meanwhile, there is a very good chance discipline could be forthcoming for players based on their actions during the game. Georgia noseguard Kwame Geathers was flagged for a personal foul for punching Vanderbilt center Logan Stewart at the end of of the Commodores’ second offensive play of the fourth quarter. Geathers’ punch was retaliation for a late-hit by Stewart in which he intentionally clips the back of Geathers’ left knee, an extremely dangerous angle that could have resulted in serious injury. Stewart was flagged for clipping on the play and could be disciplined for the hit.
Georgia senior center Ben Jones was flagged for a similar penalty in the 2010 Mississippi State game and was suspended for the first half of the Bulldogs’ next game against Colorado. Georgia’s next game this year is against Florida in Jacksonville on Oct. 29.
“We’re not sure what’s going to happen,” Georgia Athletic Director Greg McGarity said Tuesday. “We’re at the mercy of the SEC. We don’t know if anything is imminent or not. Our only experience is with Ben Jones last year.”
Jones’ discipline was not announced last season until right around kickoff of the Colorado game. At the time it was stated that both Georgia coach Mark Richt and Slive had reviewed tape of the Mississippi State game and agreed that a one-half suspension was warranted.
Here’s the release UGA sent out that day:
University of Georgia center Ben Jones will sit out the first half of the Saturday game against Colorado as a result of a late clipping penalty he incurred in the closing minutes of last week’s game at Mississippi State.
UGA head coach Mark Richt and SEC Commissioner Mike Slive both reviewed game tapes and conferred during this past week. Both agreed the half game suspension was in order.
“It was poor judgment on Ben’s part,” said Richt. “He feels very badly about the incident and has sent a note of apology to the Mississippi State player. I have talked with (Mississippi State Coach) Dan Mullen and he appreciated the concern and Ben’s apology.”
Meanwhile, McGarity does not believe Georgia is an undisciplined team. He pointed out that the Bulldogs entered last Saturday’s game as the SEC’s fourth-least penalized teams. Georgia has been flagged for five personal fouls in seven games this season and all have come in the last two games, two against Tennessee and three against Vanderbilt.
“That’s not a reflection of our team this year,” McGarity said. “The Vanderbilt game hopefully was an aberration. We had a bad second half against Tennessee and lost our composure against Vanderbilt.”