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Blog: SEC doesn’t suspend lineman for Murray hit; Richt discipline of CB Dawson won’t include missed playing time

Alabama defensive end Quinton Dial won’t be suspended for the BCS national title game by the Southeastern Conference due to a hit that included helmet-to-helmet contact on Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray.

The league reviewed video of that and other plays from the SEC title game and is leaving any discipline to the schools.

Georgia coach Mark Richt said that freshman cornerback Sheldon Dawson was disciplined for poking Alabama’s Dee Milliner in the eye through his facemask early in the fourth quarter.

Richt wouldn’t detail what the discipline was, but said it won’t involve taking away playing time.

“Dawson saw it,” Richt said. “Dawson realizes it was a bad thing and a bad image and for him and for Georgia. He understood why I needed to discipline him. … To me, it looked very bad,” Richt said. “It’s just not Georgia football. He said `Coach, I saw it and I don’t blame you. He didn’t even make an excuse. He said when I saw it, it looked bad and I’m sorry.”

The league issued a statement this morning that said “several plays involving both teams were reviewed. After review, all subsequent action will be handled internally by the two institutions and the conference office is satisfied with their actions.”

SEC coordinator of officials Steve Shaw told the Smashmouth Radio Network in Alabamathat both Alabama and Georgia took disciplinary action with their players based on plays from the title game. Alabama has not revealed what, if any action, it will take on Dial.

Dawson said Friday that he thought he got pushed after a fumble on a Georgia kickoff and “my hand went straight through his facemask. They were saying I tried to eye-gouge him or something. I looked at the video too and it looked like I did go in his face, but I didn’t go like me grabbing his face or trying to poke out his eye.”

Milliner got flagged for a personal foul penalty for shoving Dawson.

Dawson said an incident like that won’t happen again.

Later in the game, Dawson said: “I apologized to him. I apologized to a lot of people, too, that know him. There’s coaches that I know that know him.”

Murraywas knocked down by Dial after throwing an interception late in the second quarter of the 32-28Alabamawin. He was watchingAlabama’s Ha Ha Clinton-Dix return the interception. He needed help getting off the field, but remained in the game after he said he “had the wind knocked out of me.”

Dial made contact with his right shoulder and the collision included helmet-to-helmet contact.  No flag was thrown on the play.

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

Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity declined to comment, referring to a statement issued by the school.

“The conference office has conducted its review of the SEC championship game, and we respect the decision of any action behind handled internally by the institutions.”

Shaw told the Smashmouth Radio Network that a few plays in the title game rose to the level of conference review, but wouldn’t specify the others. He said that Dial’s hit was looked at frame by frame and it should have been a personal foul, but that’s different from hits that result in suspension because Murray was a defender on the play.

“There’s a helmet-to-helmet hit almost every play,” Richt said. “How many times does a running back run the ball and he drives forward and here comes a tackler.”

Asked specifically about the Dial hit, Richt said: “I don’t want to get into that right now. I think everybody’s trying to do what’s right by the rules.”

–Please follow me at Twitter.com/marcweiszer

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