The play that got Shawn Williams suspended

Here’s what the SEC had to say about that:

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.”

This action is 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.  [Emphasis added.]

What’s interesting here is that this suspension, unlike those of Geathers and Stewart, was discretionary.  As many folks have already noted, the SEC’s response to Williams’ action – and don’t get me wrong, the refs should have flagged him for a personal foul there – doesn’t jibe with its indifference to this set of flagrant/unsportsmanlike acts (which did draw at least one penalty flag).

So is this a sign that the SEC intends to get tougher with this sort of behavior?  Or is Franklin just that good at complaining?

One more thing while I’m on my high horse here:  why aren’t the officials getting more criticism about how they handled the game?  I think it’s pretty clear that both sides were guilty of chippy play that only seemed to intensify as the game went on.  Why didn’t the crew chief step in at some point to get the situation under control?  Instead, as soon as the clock struck zero, we were treated to the sight of the officials beating a hasty retreat as Franklin started his confrontation kick.


Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football

74 responses to “The play that got Shawn Williams suspended

  1. Hogbody Spradlin

    Don’t you know what they say about ‘wooden consistency’? Obviously the experts at the SEC office are possessed of superior wisdom and judgment.

  2. Matt b

    What’s with this vendetta the SEC has against Georgia? The list could go on for days.

    • Merk

      We are the only SEC east team that has a chance to hurt Bama or LSU in the SEC champ game. Fla already got curb stomped, SC lost lattimore and is starting a new QB, and Tenn lost Bray. Thus the easiest way to ensure we do not get in is to start suspending our players.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown


      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        I might add, just watch what happens during the SECCG if UGA wins the East. The SEC refs will make it impossible for the Dawgs to win.

      • Shawn Rhoades

        Lest we no forget…. 2nd & 56 after 5 straight penalties against the Vols. Guess the ref’s finally had to do something to give some momentum back to Tenn in the second half after we only had 1, 5-yard penalty the whole first half.
        And don’t forget the ‘pass-interference’ at the goal line that had to be called by a ref downfield, because the ref 3 yards in front of the play wouldn’t call it.
        For years we have not been on the SEC Ref’s “Loved-List”…we are more like the red-helmeted step-children in the SEC. But we are back on track this season and set to have Richt’s Best Season next year.

    • stoopnagle

      There will be no dancing in the end zone.

  3. JasonC

    I missed that Williams hit, but it does look pretty questionable since the guy he leveled wasn’t even in on the play. Didn’t Williams also hit a guy late on a punt or kickoff coverage after the Vandy player put a late hit on another Dog?

    It’s pretty obvious though, after looking at that Fairley montage, especially the 2nd hit from the back, that there isn’t much consistency or quality in the SEC ref ranks. Maybe Slive should focus more on that instead of expansion.

    • Dboy

      No $$$ in monitoring the minutia of College football officiating… Hundreds of millions of $$$ in expansion / conference building / TV deals.. As they say, always follow the $$$

    • Gary

      There’s also not much consistency with punishment handed out by the league office either. I mean, Geathers got suspended for one half for a punch he threw, yet we are still waiting for the league office to suspend Florida player BJ Bostic for a similar punch in the Bama/UF game several weeks ago. I agree with a poster above that it does seem the league office – at times – has some kind of vendetta against our Dawgs.

  4. TennesseeDawg

    In all fairness that was a bullshit move by Williams and Richt or Grantham should have chewed his ass out, but the SEC has absolutely no fairness in how they deal out punishment. If Franklin was anything more than talk, he would have Wesley Johnson’s butt suspended beyond a half game for his cheap shot.

  5. Nate

    I could probably over-look Franklin’s hissy fit if not for the video showing him telling a bald faced lie to Richt. Hopefully this fires up our D, so we can cream UF in Jacksonville.

  6. GoonerDawg

    More likely its a product of the Auburn leadership not having to defend their player because the UGA Administration almost certainly said nothing about the incident. Kwame Geathers’ father was the only who spoke in his son’s defense because no one at UGA could be bothered. I’m sure potential recruits are going to love that indifferent attitude when it is pouted out to them by the likes of Saban and Chizik. Our directionless leaders conducted themselves in a manner that actually made UGA look like the bad guys in this affair. It was disgraceful.

    • Gary

      In fairness to Coach Richt, it was reported that he personally spoke with SEC Commissioner Slive about the incident before the punishment was handed out. For all we know, he could have gotten the punishment reduced from a harsher penalty or plead his case with no change at all. We really don’t know.

      • This.

        And crying to the media about the hit SURELY would garner Richt or the administration more SEC love. Cuz we have so much right now.

        • GoonerDawg

          Oh yeah, because being pliant and docile has earned us so much. Let’s contrast that with other schools in the conference that consistently fight allegations and consistently receive better outcomes.

          Here’s the funnier thing: you admit we don’t receive any SEC love, but UGA consistently falls on its own sword in any situation involving controversy. The question is why do we handle it the way we do when it is gaining us nothing. Why?

          This situation was bungled from the get go. It was bungled on the field and it has been bungled by our leaders.

          • Oh yeah, because being pliant and docile has earned us so much. Let’s contrast that with other schools in the conference that consistently fight allegations and consistently receive better outcomes.

            Here’s the funnier thing: you admit we don’t receive any SEC love, but UGA consistently falls on its own sword in any situation involving controversy.

            Yes, that completely explains the Jarvis Jones suspension… uh, wait.

            • GoonerDawg

              I’m not sure one favorable incident should overshadow the numerous unfavorable outcomes. Exceptions generally do not prove the rule. I believe that’s how the saying goes.

              • Actually, there were two, right? Kentavious Caldwell-Pope wasn’t suspended, either. And that’s just what we know about.

                At least you admit the process isn’t completely consistent.

                • GoonerDawg

                  Of course I do. There’s no use in being myopic. However, I am genuinely concerned by UGA’s leadership. I’m concerned about the message it sends to our current players and potential players.

                  I believe that we are subjected to disparate treatment from the SEC especially and that our manner of handling these situations is not overly successful.

                  There is a leadership deficit in Athens right now.

                  • That begs the question: how would you have handled this incident such that would have led to a more successful result?

                    • Mayor of Dawgtown

                      I would have had Williams not mouth off after the game which is what led to the shouting incident. Without the shouting incident the SEC sleeps through it and no suspensions occur for either school. When the shouting incident got on national TV the SEC flyspecked everything and UGA, as usual, takes it in the back. Now 2 of our best players are suspended for the most important game of the season. This happened for one reason–the Georgia players are not afraid of CMR. They do/say whatever they want including on Facebook and Twitter. IF UGA loses to Florida and CMR loses his job (I am NOT advocating that) he has only himself to blame. Bobby Bowden was right. The guy has been too soft. Williams needs to be punished more than just the 1/2 game suspension, but it needs to be physical–running the stadium, etc., and needs to be made into an example. Maybe too late, though.

                  • AthensHomerDawg

                    “I would have had Williams not mouth off after the game which is what led to the shouting incident”
                    Would you please consult that crystal ball of yours prior to the Florida gate so that we can head this kinda stuff off.

                  • DawgWalker07

                    “There is a leadership deficit in Athens right now.”

                    I disagree with you. What CMR and our AD department have not allowed our players to do is get out of facing consequences of their actions. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding the events in the Vandy game, neither Kwame or Shawn should have done what they did. Period. Franklin being King Douche doesn’t affect how they should have handled themselves. Their actions were against the rules, and I for one am happy with leadership sitting them down and saying, “Look, you have to pay the price for your actions.” There are too many other programs who teach their players if you whine and cry loud enough you get what you want, and while that may work in the short term it’s a terrible life strategy. And ultimately our football coaches have a responsibility to teach our men right from wrong, not just win games.

                    Does that look soft to the outside world? Maybe. But our AD has also shown that if you haven’t done anything wrong they will fight for you (Pope and Jones). And responding the Mayor a little down from here, I’m pretty sure CMR has the respect of his players after the recent string of dismissals. He’s made it very clear if you aren’t going to buy in to what he wants you’ll be gone.

            • W Cobb Dawg

              Senator, per the Jarvis Jones suspension, I’d argue McGarity was proactive and got behind Jones by hiring a top consultant to set the record straight.

              GoonerDawg is right. When it comes to backing our players when we get these BS suspensions or on-field play calls, the people we’ve trusted to lead the Dawgs usually rollover. They don’t bark or bite.

    • I agree with you GoonerDawg, Richt and the UGA athletic department felt and look spineless in this affair particularly with Richt being shown at video agreeing and apologizing to Franklin. I can see other coaches will portray UGA as a place athletes will get any support. And I wonder what Williams and Geathers feel at present…… I wonder if they feel no support from Richt and given an opportunity jump off the ship. I just wonder what their true inner thoughts are now vs whatever they say in the open.

      • GoonerDawg

        Oh no question. Opposing coaches will characterize Richt and McGarity as men who hang their student athletes out to dry. They’ll show recruits and parents clips of Richt allegedly referring to Williams as a “dumbass” and that will be that.

  7. WF Dawg

    Nearly one year later, I still can’t shake the desire that Nick Fairley suffer a season-ending knee or back injury in the NFL. And our beating the crap out of Auburn this year would also feel pretty good.

  8. Go Dawgs!

    That should have been flagged, as should have a lot of other things in that game. That officiating crew was the worst that I’ve seen at an SEC game, and I include Penn Wagers’ crew in that statement. Penn’s a douche and he certainly doesn’t keep his animosity for Georgia post-2007 hidden well, but at least his crew knows how to call offensive holding. And to let the chippiness get out of control to that level is inexcusable. Williams got cheapshoted himself earlier in the game on special teams…. he got flagged for retaliation.

  9. Merk

    Well I can tell you one thing…

    Grantham will have those boys ready to beat the crap outta Vandy next year.

  10. ChicagoDawg

    Mike Slive is a nutless little troll with no moral center or concept of proportionality. He has proven this over and over again. Yet we continually hear/read about his towering intellect and cunning.

    • AthensHomerDawg

      +1. That is a hearty post.

      • Macallanlover

        Dead-on ChicagoDawg, the only thing worse than SEC officiating is the Commissioner himself.

        “Is Franklin that good at complaining?” I think the SEC office was shocked to see ANY inquiry about football from Vanderbilt University that they entirely missed a cheaper shot on a kickoff from a Vandy ST player, a play in which UGA was penalized for a PF….not Vandy. Easy to see why they didn’t want to address that play. Franklin should face the hardest disciplinary actions because he very nearly incited a full scale brawl. His Boom MFer imitation will wear thin quickly, those who thought he was a classy guy are now looking for cover.

        • Go Dawgs!

          EXACTLY. Williams was blindsided, and then he got the flag when he went after the coward that lit him up. Meanwhile, said coward got under Williams’ facemask and punched him. I’m sure that hurt worse as he was backing up 15 yards.

  11. JaxDawg


  12. zdub

    These suspensions don’t happen if Grantham doesn’t get into a shouting match with Franklin. Period.

  13. heyberto

    Spot on about the officials. I had the same thought about their inaction as I did over the Auburn game last year. This all could have been avoided if they had set the tone early on.

    • heyberto

      And seeing that Fairley spearing on Aaron Murray again just raises my blood pressure for that guy not getting a suspension, and Shawn Williams 7 Kwame Geathers does.

  14. vincent

    You know what would make this all go away in the future? winning. honestly if there’s anything the sec and ncaa have shown it’s that if you are a perrenial top 10 power with real bcs possibilities and thus $$$ on the line your path to the bcs bowl will not be impeded by the powers that be. mix that with thee right amount of non compliance from your athletic dept. and you’re golden. The formula for this stuff is simple: win and sweep under the rug.

  15. I am a supporter of Richt, but after the 2007 end zone celebration he seem to have avoided potential conflicts and sometimes seem to act to being holier than holy. The way punishment are being given away like candies to UGA players, there seems no resistance from the athletic department especially Richt. If he indeed called Williams a “d–b–s” while speaking with Franklin is I think uncalled for unless he actually had warned Williams of his actions.

    Franklin’s own admission that his actions are “calculated” point to a premeditation to bait Geathers with that chop block by Stewart. Was there actually a thumbs up sign from Stewart to Franklin after the block with a reciprocal response of approval by Franklin as people say is seen in some video footage???

    • AthensHomerDawg

      “If he indeed called Williams a “d–b–s” while speaking with Franklin is I think uncalled for unless he actually had warned Williams of his actions.”
      I ask to to examine the character of the man. Do you really think CMR would have said that.

      “Franklin’s own admission that his actions are “calculated” point to a premeditation to bait Geathers with that chop block by Stewart.” I hardly think that Franklin is the genius manipulator that he would have us all believe. Excellent bullshit artist …….. yeah, for sure.

  16. @vincent 8:45 am. That seems to be the reality and most likely the reason Richt has lost some credibility to many observer of ever achieving a NC in today’s smart ass coaching style at least while he is at UGA. Yes, I believe he can still win SEC championship, but it likely come on those years when the SEC is down and will not be voted to be into the BCSMNC game. Just like the possibility of winning the East this season when everybody else seem to be weaker in the division.

  17. Irishdawg

    James Franklin is a whiny gash. That is all.

  18. anonymous

    that video clip reminded me…any chance we can get the commissioner to suspend Bob Rathman from calling anymore games?

  19. Bottom line if we are a mean ass team then lets quit complaining and bitching about it and play as a mean ass team. Erk Russel’s junkyard DAWG defense was one of the nastiest teams there was, and it seems to me that TG has been reading some DAWG history books and getting us back to that level. I love the level that our defense is playing at and would love nothing more to see them knock people around. Todd embrace the mean and continue to have those boys out there head hunting. The press (Fineidiot) already gives up the title of the dirtiest team. I say embrace the title and just go out and kick the living crap out of people. Go DAWGS! and beat the crap out of Florida!!!!!

  20. Will Trane

    Bear Bryant had a sign in the Bama locker room that said “be good or be gone”.
    Those words do not mean conduct, but play on the field. The whole team needs to come on the field with an attitude of hitting the opponent hard. Think that is what Grantham underlined yesterday with his comment.
    We have to face up to the fact there is no leadership within the administration at the university. The one thing they do understand is money. Stop the money flow and they will get the message. After the seasons we had in 2008, 2009, and 2010 I stopped. I like to see a return on my investments. I placed those funds in other programs where there is leadership and coaching.
    All this started at Florida when CMR allowed the whole team to run on the field. Then it was suspensions after suspension. Never a full roster and always at disadvantage with numbers.
    Granthan has brought back an aggressive, hard playing attitude on defense. Unfortunately the other facets of CMR program and team are substandard. Special teams is a joke. The offense is just big and slow.
    I watched a rebroadcast of the Vandy game. Missed the first quarter. The penalties I saw on “#36” were questionable. I thought a Vandy player took a swing at him on the Boykin kickoff return…the one where there is almost a stoppage but resumption of the play.
    There are a few things about the Vandy game. First, the sideline conduct of the Vandy coaches [get ready to see more from UF]. Second, was the referees. When did they blow some of the plays dead. The Geathers penalty is wrong from the Vandy side. I would like to hear the SEC explain that. The whole team just seemed unfocused, tired, and slow. Think that is the back to back travel. But I have had issues with travel and scheduling with the ADs for a long time. ASU, OSU, and Colorado. Now we get to go to Texas A&M and possibly Missouri. Traveling is a bitch in today’s world. And while on the topic, it was great to accomodate Atlanta again with a freaking game in the Dome against Boise. Do not think Boise would want to play in 90 degree sun in Sanford. But no, let’s all accomodate them, the SEC, and metro Atlanta again.
    Yep, there is no leadership, good decision making, or sound judgement in Athens today. For awhile the culture is bad.

    • Cojones

      This rant is idiotic and gauges at the people running our program. What’s your excuse? The roiling feelings of the fan base. You are attempting to take advantage of an unfair judgement by the SEC against our team and you try to tear our staff apart? You condemn the team culture and you want to be taken as an honest disagreeing fan? You must think that we are stupid as a fan base to swallow such sorry posting as indicative of viable fan criticism. What year did you graduate from UGA? I don’t believe you did.

      • AusDawg85

        For too many on here, any opportunity to string together unrelated issues into a FIREMARKRICHT!!1!! rant is just too tempting. These don’t even begin to make any sense, so the coherent among us just need to let ’em go.

        We don’t know if Richt saw the Williams play. We don’t know if he even said he’s a d-b-s and if so, that it was directed to Williams. But for that kind of cheap shot…no matter how provoked…it deserved a penalty during the game. It deserves a suspension now. (On the other hand, the reverse is true for Geathers…and the Vandy player was flagged and will be suspended, but KG got screwed for what was really not much of a retaliation.) And if CMR has to defend to recruits parents that he won’t tolerate Nick Fairly type of play, and will impose his own brand of “love” to grow and develop their son, I say more power to him.

        It’s possible to win clean and with class. Winning without it might seem easier for some of you. I suggest if you like that route, go cheer for the gators or aubies. Otherwise, STFU at least while we’re winning.

        • In WPa

          Bravo, Sir! The Williams hit to #87’s back when the ball was headed toward the sideline was too much. He laid him out like an old 2×4 and deserved a penalty, certainly. Also, throughout the entire game Williams was hopping/prancing around after plenty of game action was completed. If you go back and watch it’s almost as if he took a handful of Bennies before the game. All this must have left a mark on Franklin, and the bitch bitched loudly.

          None of which excuses the lack of proportionality w/r to Geathers reaction upon being rolled up. But he who bitches loudest often is most readily assuaged.

          All that said, I have the feeling that the Defense, at large, will bottle this apparent dissing from the league office and bring some focused hurt on the UF “offense,” such as it is. And D. Tyson should be capable of spelling Big Bad John as needed.

        • Slaw Dawg

          What you said, dude. Totally agree.

    • AthensHomerDawg

      Yeah, that wasn’t very attractive ole top!

  21. Dog in Fla

    “play as a mean ass team.”

    Interesting idea. If we were ever going to do something like that, would that mean we would have to stop chirping?

  22. Good point about the officials’ inability to control the players in this game. That’s one of the main purposes of PF penalties, to damp this stuff out before it explodes.

    As bad as it’s always been, SEC officiating has taken a huge dip this year. There was all kinds of absurdity in the USC-MSU game, too. You can add the fact that the MSU DB who tried to rip Alshon Jeffery’s head off after the game winning TD didn’t get a flag nor a suspension to your exhibit of SEC inconsistency.

    • Dog in Fla

      Not to mention this huge dip

      • We probably wouldn’t have had time to get a play off, anyways, although I’m sure if it had been ‘Bama or UF, they would have figured out a way to give them time.

        The thing that really drives me insane about that video is watching Garcia overthrow a wide-open Jeffery on the second-to-last play. That would have put us in FG range at worst, and there was a chance that Jeffery breaks loose there and takes in into the end-zone.

        • adam

          well… with no timeouts and 1 second left, the clock would start as soon as the ref sets the ball and the game would end. if south carolina could get set before the ref could set the ball (not likely), then maybe they could snap it. but they probably wouldn’t even have time to snap it. i was watching that game and letting that last second run off was actually the right thing to do. otherwise… it just runs off as soon as the ref sets the ball.

  23. Cojones

    Proposal: To remediate possible fan angst against officials in the future, initiate a rule for review of plays during the game when players complain that they weren’t the initiators. Make the call challengeable such that after-game film doesn’t pique the ire of organizations and their fans for its obvious unfairness. If a complaint is lodged by a team after retaliatory action brings a flag, review the play or foregoing play for the complaint. If nothing is there, tack a delay of game onto the end. If evidence of initiation by opposing team is found, then tack their player with the same offense and add a delay of game so that the initiator gets most of the penalty. That would stop most of the horseshit of dangerous hits and luring opponents into a penalty.

    Make it reviewable.

  24. 69Dawg

    It’s as simple as the SEC plays favorites. The real interesting game will be the LSU Alabama game. Who will the Refs decide to go with. Here’s hoping the SEC is embarrassed yet again by the way our Refs are so awful.

  25. It still appears to me me that CMR has said or done things in the past that did not meet the approval of ESPN. The SEC Comm.& his office, & the SEC Refs. Maybe he is not subservient enough to them. I do not see him as pthers do. I see him as a hard ass that will take very little crap from anybody about anything. I also think it will take Mcgarity to help settle some of these differences because I do not see Richt backing down once he takes a stand, Meanwhile I am thankful that Richt is the Dawg’s HC. GATA.