October 19th, 2011 02:26 PM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Georgia, Vanderbilt
Tags: Georgia, Georgia Shaun Williams, Jordan Matthews, Kwame Geathers
The SEC has finally handed down its penalties from last weekend’s Georgia-Vanderbilt football game. In total three players will each miss the first half of their teams’ upcoming games.
Vanderbilt center Logan Stewart has been suspended for the first half of the Commodores’ game against Army this Saturday. The league cited Rule 9-1 of the NCAA Football Rule Book in its decision to suspension Stewart. That rule states that a flagrant personal foul offender shall be disqualified. The rule leaves open for interpretation what is and what isn’t “flagrant,” but anyone who saw Stewart’s unnecessary clip of Kwame Geathers would likely identify that act as being as flagrant as flagrant can be.
Geathers has been suspended — just as his dad had relayed to the press earlier today — for the first half of UGA’s October 29th game with Florida. The league stated that Geathers was in violation of NCAA Football Rule 2-32-1-a regarding fighting. “The penalty for violation of the rule in the second half includes suspension for the first half of the team’s next scheduled game.” There’s no arguing this one. Throw a punch for any reason — and have it caught by officials or television cameras — and a player will sit.
Georgia’s Shaun Williams was also suspended. Williams was flagged for two personal foul penalties in the game and then — according to Vanderbilt coach James Franklin — was the instigator in Saturday’s postgame shenanigans. The league tied his suspension to one of the personal foul calls and Rule 9-1-4. “No player shall target and initiate contact to the head or neck area of a defenseless opponent with the helmet, forearm, elbow or shoulder.” Because it believed Williams violated that rule so flagrantly in the third quarter of Saturday’s game, the league office decided to suspend him “in accordance with (the) Southeastern Conference Constitution, Article 4.4.2 (d).”
We are a bit surprised by the suspension of Williams. We are also surprised that neither coaching staff received a reprimand of any kind from the league office — in public anyway. Todd Grantham’s postgame curse-fest has made bigger news this week than any of the penalties the drew suspensions.
Cue those who will say there is one standard for players and one for coaches.
In the end, this situation hurts Georgia more than it does Vanderbilt. The Commodores will be without player for a game with Army. Georgia will be without two players for its all-important game with Florida.
UPDATE – Okay, we’re no longer surprised Williams was suspended. OutKickTheCoverage.com posted the following video of the play that led to the Georgia DB’s punishment. The play in question was missed by officials and not actually flagged. So, yes, that means Williams should have been hit with three personal foul penalties during the game.
Keep your eye at about the 30-yard-line and you’ll see Williams launch himself into the back and head of defenseless Commodore receiver Jordan Matthews.
Seeing as Vandy had a player take a cheap shot at a Georgia player’s knees and Georgia had a player take a cheap shot at a Vandy player’s spine… maybe it’s time for fans of both schools to pipe down. Neither side has room for any more faux outrage.
We’ve now seen punkish behavior from both squads. And the coaching staffs didn’t handle things much better than their players.
As we said earlier today, there are no winners in this story. But the list of losers continues to grow with every new ball of mud that’s flung.
So will this finally be the end of the story? We seriously doubt it.
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