SEC suspends two Georgia starters

The Southeastern Conference on Wednesday suspended Georgia nose guard Kwame Geathers and safety Shawn Williams, both starters, for the first half of the Bulldogs' next game for their actions in last Saturday's victory against Vanderbilt.

Geathers and Williams will sit out the first 30 minutes of Georgia's Oct. 29 game against Florida.

Vanderbilt center Logan Stewart also received a half-game suspension for the Commodores' game against Army on Saturday.

The SEC said neither Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham nor Vanderbilt coach James Franklin will be punished for their heated argument that nearly led to a fight in the moments immediately after the game.

Franklin angrily complained to Grantham about Williams' conduct, and Grantham responded by shouting and pointing a finger in Franklin's face before the coaches were separated by a law enforcement officer and players.

"For the most part, everybody's blood gets hot and things happen that everybody's not too proud of and we reflect and correct and we move on, so that's what we're doing," Georgia coach Mark Richt said Wednesday on the SEC coaches' teleconference.

Geathers and Stewart both were flagged for personal fouls at the 13:09 mark of the fourth quarter, prompting the discipline against them.

Stewart committed a flagrant personal foul on the play when he dove at the back of Geathers' legs after a play. According to the SEC's statement, the action is in violation of NCAA Rule 9-1, which states that a "flagrant personal foul offender shall be disqualified."

In response to Stewart's clip, Geathers dove on top of the Commodores' center and punched him.

Williams, who was flagged twice for personal fouls, actually was suspended by the league for a hit that was not penalized; Williams launched himself into Vanderbilt receiver Jordan Matthews' head in the middle of the field on a play where Chris Boyd caught a 23-yard pass down the sideline to the Georgia 13 late in the third quarter.

According to the league, the penalty violated Rule 9-1-4, 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."

David Ching covers University of Georgia sports for DawgNation.