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October 19, 2011

Penalties handed down

MORE: Impact of suspensions

The SEC announced it's decision regarding a couple of Georgia starters and the news wasn't good.

Both nose tackle Kwame Geathers and strong safety Shawn Williams have been suspended for the first half of next week's game against Florida due to their actions in last Saturday's 33-28 win over Vanderbilt.

Commodore center Logan Stewart was also suspended for the first half of Vandy's game this weekend against Army.

SEC Associate Commissioner Charles Bloom told UGASports in an email that Georgia has the opportunity to appeal, but the league later corrected itself stating that is not the case.

Head coach Mark Richt said he spoke with Commissioner Mike Slive about the situation.

"I did have the opportunity to speak to the Commissioner and discuss the incident. Its certainly not representative of the Georgia way. I have always trusted the Commissioner's judgment and understand and accept the decision. Well learn as well as grow from this situation and now turn our attention to preparing for Florida."

According to an earlier email sent from the SEC to reporters which read as follows: " 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, the letter read "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."

The league said "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.'"

The email further read that the action was "taken in accordance with Southeastern Conference Constitution, Article 4.4.2 (d), which states that a student-athlete may be suspended if it is determined that the student-athlete has committed a flagrant or unsportsmanlike act."

The SEC did not make a statement regarding defensive coordinator Todd Grantham and his post-game dust-up with Vanderbilt coach James Franklin but Bloom said in his email to UGASports that the situation is being handled internally between the league and the two institutions.

Anthony Dasher is the managing editor for UGASports and he can be reached via email at dash@ugasports.com.



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