published Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

SEC probing Todd Grantham scene

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    Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham talks with members of the defense during the annual G-Day spring football game at Sandford Stadium on Saturday, April 10, 2010 in Athens, Ga.(AP Photo/Athens Banner-Herald, Richard Hamm)

Two seasons as Georgia's defensive coordinator, and two regrettable episodes caught on camera.

Todd Grantham's verbal confrontation with Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin following Saturday night's 33-28 win by the Bulldogs is being reviewed by the Southeastern Conference. Grantham said several times after the game that he supports his players and offered little else, but on Monday he issued a statement regarding the incident.

"I love my players," he said. "I appreciate their hard work and investment in our program. I feel a responsibility and loyalty to protect and stand up for them. Also, I feel it is important to educate them on all areas of life. While my intentions were genuine, I feel it was unfortunate that things escalated to a confrontation.

"These actions were not representative of what this institution stands for. However, I will use it as a learning experience for myself as well as my players so that we all become better men."

Grantham was caught on camera last October flashing a choke sign to Florida kicker Chas Henry before Henry drilled a 37-yard field goal in overtime to seal a 34-31 victory for the Gators. Three days after that game, Grantham said, "As a competitor, sometimes you get caught up in the moment. I wish the situation had not happened."

SEC commissioner Mike Slive and Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity discussed Grantham's choking gesture, but neither the league nor the university took disciplinary action.

Footage of Saturday's incident shows Franklin pointing at Bulldogs safety Shawn Williams, who was flagged for two personal-foul penalties during the game, and Grantham reacting with unbridled rage. Franklin said he discussed the incident with Georgia head coach Mark Richt on Sunday morning and that he very much respects Richt and the Georgia program.

Grantham met with Richt and McGarity on Monday.

While Georgia is off this week, the Commodores host Army. The first six questions at Franklin's news conference Monday were in reference to Saturday's postgame theatrics.

"I'm not a guy who really has a whole lot of regrets," Franklin said. "I'm really calculated and pretty thought out in the things that I do, for the most part. I am an emotional guy, as most of you guys know.

"I would have liked for the game to have ended differently. I would have liked for us to win. When we didn't, I would have liked for us to shake hands and leave the field as men of character."

SEC associate commissioner Charles Bloom said Monday afternoon that the league was gathering information about the incident and that he was not expecting a resolution Monday night.

"They will do their job and do what they think is right," Franklin said, "and we will move forward."

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524.

about David Paschall...

David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...

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