Wednesday, October 19, 2011
SEC suspends three from Georgia, Vandy
By Edward Aschoff
The SEC announced Wednesday the suspension of three players from the Georgia-Vanderbilt game played Saturday.
Georgia nose guard Kwame Geathers and safety Shawn Williams, along with Vanderbilt center Logan Stewart will each serve one half-game suspension for their upcoming games.
Stewart will sit out the first half against Army Saturday, while Geathers and Williams will sit out the first two quarters against Florida on Oct. 29.
Stewart committed a flagrant personal foul early in the fourth quarter when he dove at the back of Geathers' legs after a play. Geathers then retaliated when he dove on top of the Commodores' center and punched him.
Williams was suspended for launching himself into Commodores receiver Jordan Matthews' head on a play where Chris Boyd caught a 23-yard pass during the third quarter. While the play wasn't flagged, the league said it was a violation of Rule 9-1-4 of the NCAA Football Rule Book, which states that “No player shall target and initiate contact to the head or neck area of a defenseless opponent with the helmet, forearm, elbow or shoulder.”
Williams' was flagged for two personal fouls during the game.
What really drew people's attention was what transpired after the game. Vanderbilt coach James Franklin was upset with some of the things said and some of Williams' play and voiced his displeasure toward Williams as the two teams met at midfield following Georgia's win. Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham overheard Franklin and intervened, which led to a heated argument between the two and a fight nearly broke out.
The league decided not to punish Franklin or Grantham for their postgame actions.
Georgia's suspensions could have a major impact on the Bulldogs' game with Florida. If the Gators do get quarterback John Brantley back in time, you can expect to see an improved offense from Florida, meaning Georgia will need to get more pressure up front early. Not having Geathers there could hurt the Bulldogs in the run game, with Florida using speedy back Chris Rainey.
Not having Williams in the defensive backfield for the first part of the game should benefit Florida's struggling passing game as well, as Williams has been one of Georgia's most active defensive backs, grabbing two interceptions and breaking up four passes.