December 14, 2012

No action by SEC

The SEC office on Friday announced there will be no disciplinary action levied against Alabama defensive end Quinton Dial following his helmet-to-helmet hit on quarterback Aaron Murray during the league championship game at the Georgia Dome.

"The Southeastern Conference has completed its review of video from the 2012 SEC Football Championship Game," the league said in a statement. "Several plays involving both teams were reviewed. After review, all subsequent actions will be handled by the two institutions and the conference office is satisfied with their actions."

The conference did not specifically mention any incident, although it was Dial's hit on Murray that drew the most attention. The incident - which did not draw a flag from an official - took place right after a Murray interception. SEC head of officials Steve Shaw later said a penalty should have been called.

This year, the SEC suspended South Carolina's D.J. Swearinger and Ole Miss' Trae Elston for one game after their helmet-to-helmet hits.

After those incidents, the SEC cited Rule 9-1-4 of the NCAA rulebook that 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."

Georgia also released a statement following the one given by the SEC which stated "The Conference Office has conducted its review of the SEC Championship and we respect the decision of any action being handled internally by the institutions."

Head coach Mark Richt declined to comment further following practice Friday afternoon.

"I guess the only comment I'll make is I'll trust the commissioner with any decision that he makes in those types of matters," Richt said. "That's about it."

Conference officials are also believed to have investigated an on-field incident involving Bulldog freshman Sheldon Dawson and Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner.

On the play, Dawson's fingers appeared to penetrate the facemask of Milliner and poke the Alabama senior in the eye.

Dawson said Friday the act was purely unintentional.

"When I turned around, I think he pushed me or something happened before and when I turned around I was pointing and my hand went straight though his face mask," Dawson said. "They said I tried eye gouge him. I looked at the video, too, and it looked like I did go to his face but I wasn't trying to grab his face, trying to poke his eye or anything like that. It will never happen again, that's not me."

Dawson said he later apologized, not only to Milliner but to a couple of Alabama's coaches as well.

Richt said Dawson will be disciplined internally for what happened.

"I'm not going to get into any detail, but yes. Dawson saw it. He realizes it was a bad thing and a bad image for Georgia. He understood why I needed to discipline him," said Richt. "It won't be any playing time."

Richt acknowledged he didn't believe Dawson was trying to injure Milliner.

"To me, it looked very bad. It's not Georgia football and I think when he saw it, he said 'Coach, I saw it and I don't blame you,'" Richt said. "He didn't make an excuse."

Richt would not comment on the hit by Dial on Murray.

"I don't want to get into that," he said. "I don't want to get into that right now, but I think everybody is trying to do right by the rules."