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SEC suspends Geathers, Williams

Georgia nose tackle Kwame Geathers and safety Shawn Williams have each been suspended by the SEC for the first half of next week's Florida game because of actions during the Vanderbilt game.

Nose tackle Kwame Geathers will miss the first half of Georgia's game against Florida.

Vanderbilt center Logan Stewart received a one-half suspension as well.

Here is the full statement from the Southeastern Conference ...

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Upon review of game tapes of the football game between the University of Georgia and Vanderbilt University, played in Nashville, Tenn. on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2011, Southeastern Conference Commissioner Mike Slive has announced that Vanderbilt sophomore center Logan Stewart, Georgia sophomore defensive lineman Kwame Geathers and Georgia junior defensive back Shawn Williams have been suspended for the first half of their team’s next football games.

Vanderbilt hosts Army this Saturday while Georgia plays Florida in Jacksonville on Oct. 29.

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, 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.

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.

UPDATE -- 2:31 p.m.

Mark Richt released the following statement through UGA Sports Communications ...

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

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