The SEC, after reaching down to grabs theirs and realizing they didn’t have any, decided Tuesday they would not suspend defensive tackle Nick Fairley from Auburn’s next game, which just happens to be the Iron Bowl against Alabama in nine days.
That doesn’t mean, however, there wasn’t some behind-the-scenes nudging for such an outcome. And that everyone is pleased with the final decision.
Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity confirmed to the Macon Telegraph that the school had spoken to the conference about several borderline hits and one blatant cheap shot on quarterback Aaron Murray.
“We exhausted all avenues of communicating to the conference office,” McGarity said. “And then it’s up to the SEC to make the decision. There’s really nothing more that we could’ve done. We just followed SEC protocol in how you communicate and how you deal with questions.”
The paper then asked McGarityif he was surprised that there would be no external action taken against Fairley.
“I probably better not comment on that,” the AD said. “I need to stay away from that. I don’t want to get into any type of trouble or conflict with the conference office.”
The SEC’s decision doesn’t and probably shouldn’t come as a surprise given the title bounty within Auburn’s — and thus the conference’s — grasp, but it’s disappointing nonetheless. Regardless of how much the apologists attempt to rationalize the decision and explain it away.