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Blog: SEC looking into Grantham-Franklin confrontation

The Southeastern Conference sought details Monday about the postgame confrontation between Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham and Vanderbilt coach James Franklin following¬†the Bulldogs’ ¬†33-28 win Saturday and could take disciplinary action Tuesday.

The two schools were asked to send reports to the conference about the scuffle.

“The whole story will come out at some point and time,” athletic director Greg McGarity said Monday afternoon at the Touchdown Club of Atlanta. “Right now both institutions are basically filing a report to the Southeastern Conference office on really what happened from our coach, from Todd’s standpoint, and I’m sure from coach Franklin’s standpoint. That will go to the commissioner and we’ll see where things go after that.”

Franklin appears to be pointing at Georgia safety Shawn Williams after the game , according to the replay, as Franklin walks across the field. Grantham turns back to look at Williams and then reacts with anger by yelling at Franklin.

Grantham talked to McGarity Monday about the incident. Grantham and Franklin exchanged words, but the incident did not go further.

In video captured by WSMV-TV in Nashville, Franklin talked to Georgia coach Mark Richt on the field about Georgia “rubbing our face in it right after the game. And then your coach when I tell him about it, then he goes after me and the fight starts.”

Richt responded by telling Franklin: “That’s what I thought happened. I apologize.”

Richt, assistant coaches and Vanderbilt police tried to separate the teams on the field.  Georgia said Richt and Grantham have talked about the confrontation.

Georgia put out a statement from Grantham in which he said: “While my intentions were genuine, I feel it was unfortunate that things escalated into a confrontation. These actions were not representative of what the institution stands for.”

SEC associate commissioner Charles Bloom said by email Monday: “The conference office is gathering information from all parties. Too early for any decisions yet.”

Franklin said Monday that he called Richt on Sunday morning about the incident that followed Georgia‚Äôs victory in Nashville. He said the two spoke “man-to-man.”

McGarity said “at the end of the day that’s not the way you want to end an athletic competition. … I think if you asked Todd if he had to do it over again, he would definitely do some things differently. I think that’s not the way you want to represent your institution on either side at the end of the day.”

Franklin said SEC commissioner Mike Slive and the conference “will do their job, they’ll do what they think is right. We’re going to move forward. I have tremendous respect for the University of Georgia, their history, their program, their coach. We had a hard-fought battle with a lot of passion, with a lot of emotion. The momentum swung back and forth and¬†some things¬†got a little bit out of hand that I know myself and I don’t want to speak for coach Richt, but I know both of us would have liked the game to end a little bit differently and be able to walk off the field and move forward.”

Asked if he regretted what happened after the game, Franklin said: “I’m not a guy that really has a whole lot of regrets. I’m pretty calculated, I’m pretty well-thought out in the things that I do for the most part. I am an emotional guy, but I would have liked the game to end differently. I would have liked for us when we didn‚Äôt win the game for us to leave the field and shook hands and been men of character, all of us and walk off the field.‚Äù

Grantham said after the game Saturday: “I love my players and I’m going to support my players.”

In his statement Monday, he added he appreciated the players “hard work and investment in our program. I feel a responsibility and loyalty to protect and stand up for them.”

Still, he said he would use the incident ‚Äúas a learning experience for myself as well as my players so that we all become better men.”

–Please follow me at Twitter.com/marcweiszer


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