In his postgame presser, Kirby Smart said that Cook’s hit on the Austin Peay return man “was just a poor decision.”
Mecole was in that spot. We took Mecole out…We were giving James one of his first punt reps…He didn’t see the fair catch, so it wasn’t like he was intent to harm. I never saw the fair catch myself, either, it was really early…Whether he fair-catches that ball or not, we teach you to break down and NEVER lead with the head.
You can hear Kirby’s rearks on Cook’s penalty and ejection beginning at the 05:53 mark in the video below;
In this sequence, you can see what happen in the immediate aftermath of the photo at the top of the page.
Cook is escourted to the locker room: