While most of the attention was focused on the postgame dust-up between coaches, it’s the players involved in the contentious and chippy Georgia-Vanderbilt game Saturday that have felt the sanctioning wrath of the SEC.
The conference announced Wednesday afternoon that UGA defensive lineman Kwame Geathers and defensive back Shawn Williams, as well as Vandy center Logan Stewart, have been suspended for their first half of their respective team’s next game. The Bulldogs face Florida the last Saturday of this month, while the Commodores host Army this weekend.
Here’s a portion of the SEC’s release on the partial suspensions:
Geathers’ action was in violation of NCAA Football Rule 2-32-1-a for fighting. By NCAA Football Rule 9-5-1-b, the penalty for violation of the rule in the second half includes suspension for the first half of the team’s next scheduled game.
On the same play, Stewart’s suspension is the result of a flagrant personal foul which occurred at the 13:09 mark in the fourth quarter. The action is in violation of Rule 9-1 of the NCAA Football Rule Book, which states that a flagrant personal foul offender shall be disqualified.
Williams’ suspension is the result of a flagrant personal foul which occurred at the 2:08 mark in the third quarter. The action is in violation of Rule 9-1-4 of the NCAA Football Rule Book, which reads, “No player shall target and initiate contact to the head or neck area of a defenseless opponent with the helmet, forearm, elbow or shoulder.”
Geathers threw a punch at Stewart after the offensive lineman dove into the back of his knees near the end of a play, while Williams was actually called for two personal fouls during the game. Williams has started every game at safety for the Bulldogs this season, and Geathers has started three.
Additionally, the SEC announced that any punishment for Vandy head coach James Franklin and UGA defensive coordinator Todd Grantham will be handled internally by the schools. The two coaches were involved in an on-field verbal “incident” following the Bulldogs win, with both individuals attempting to stand up for their respective players.