AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn coach Gene Chizik was in a no commenting mood Sunday, and it wasn’t just about Cam Newton’s situation.
Chizik would not comment about the status of senior defensive linemen Michael Goggans and Mike Blanc until after speaking with the SEC tomorrow.
Both players were ejected in the final minute of the Tigers’ 49-31 win against Georgia on Saturday for taking swings at Bulldogs players.
“The SEC reviews every situation, penalty-wise, that is reviewable or brought to their attention,” Chizik said. “We haven’t talked with anybody.
“We know what happened last night. We’re just going to reserve all comment until we really get some clarification on exactly what the status of those guys will be. I haven’t had that opportunity yet.”
Players who are ejected in the second half of games must sit out the first half of the next game, according to NCAA rules. For Goggans and Blanc, that would be the Iron Bowl the day after Thanksgiving.
Things got chippy near the end of what was a physical Georgia game.
Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley appeared to be partially blocked into the knee of Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray in the final minute. Murray, who stayed down for several minutes, had to leave the game.
After the end of the next play, Bulldogs center Ben Jones went after Fairley on the ground. It set off a scrum, which ended with Goggans throwing a punch at Georgia tackle Clint Boling. He was ejected.
Two plays later, Bulldogs tackle Josh Davis blocked Blanc in the back at the end of a play near the Georgia sideline. Blanc turned around and took a swing that did not connect, earning an ejection.
Georgia coach Mark Richt took a knee after that to end the game before things got uglier.
“I know that I had enough concern with what was going on that we took a knee to try to diffuse that situation,” he told the Macon Telegraph.
Chizik expressed embarrassment after the game for what happened.
“That’s a lot of reflection on us as coaches, and I am embarrassed by it,” he said. “That’s not who we are. That’s not the way we carry ourselves, and we will address that tomorrow.”
Richt said Sunday he didn’t require an apology from Auburn.
“I know our guys were highly emotionally charged also,” he said. “I’m not going to sit here and try to say their guys were doing one thing and our guys were doing another.”
Richt did not comment about whether he would submit film of any of Fairley’s hits to the SEC. The junior, who leads the league with 18 tackles for a loss and is second with 7.5 sacks, has had a number of questionable hits this season.
One came in the third quarter Saturday, when he hit Murray in the middle of the back with the crown of his helmet, well after the quarterback released the ball. Fairley was flagged for roughing the passer after Auburn stopped the Bulldogs on third down.
“That’s not what we do here,” Chizik said. “Everything we’re going to do is with great effort. Are we going to make a mistake here and there with intensive effort? Yes. That’s going to happen because it’s human error.
“But I can assure you certainly nothing is ever done intentional to harm another player. That’s not happening.”
Chizik was asked directly about accusations that Fairley is a dirty player.
“To be honest, I don’t pay a whole lot of attention to it,” he said. “I just know that’s not what’s taught and that’s not in the hearts and that’s not the intent of our players.”