USC's Geathers arrested in nightclub incident

In separate incident, Giles altercation under investigation

jperson@thestate.comAugust 23, 2009 


USC defensive end Clifton Geathers (96) drags down UAB quarterback Joe Webb No. 5 after a quarterback keeper and a short gain during the first quarter.


USC starting defensive end Clifton Geathers faces three charges after he was arrested following an incident at a Vista nightclub early Sunday morning.

Geathers, 21, is charged with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness after Columbia police, responding to a fight between Geathers and a bouncer at Club Ice, struggled to detain the 6-foot-8, 281-pound Geathers.

In a separate incident, USC police are investigating an early-morning altercation between freshman tailback Jarvis Giles and a woman at the dorm where many of the players live. No charges have been filed in that incident.

According to Columbia police, Geathers was fighting with a security guard in the parking lot of the Lady Street club when officers arrived at 3:10 a.m. Police spokesman Brick Lewis said Geathers failed to comply with officers’ commands, was slurring his words, using profanity and “swinging his arms and pulling away” from an officer who tried to detain him.

Lewis said it took two officers to get handcuffs on Geathers, the tallest player on the Gamecocks’ roster. When they detained him, officers noticed a strong odor of alcohol on Geathers, Lewis said.

“He just didn’t want to cooperate,” Lewis said. “We got one cuff on him, and eventually moved on to the other. And that’s when we had assistance from the other officer.”

Lewis said he did not know how the fight started. Geathers was booked at the Richland County jail at 5:15 a.m. and released at 10:43 a.m., Lewis said.

Under USC policy, Geathers was suspended following his arrest. Attempts to reach Geathers were unsuccessful.

In the incident at East Quad, a university spokesperson said security guards called police about an altercation between Giles and a woman in the lobby of the dorm at 4:30 a.m. After officers arrived, Giles and the woman told officers it was a misunderstanding.

USC spokesperson Margaret Lamb said police are looking into the matter. Lamb did not identify the female, but a source said she is Giles’ girlfriend from Tampa, Fla.

Attempts to reach Giles were unsuccessful.

USC media relations director Steve Fink said Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier is aware of both incidents but had no immediate comment.

Geathers, a junior from Georgetown, is the brother of Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Robert Geathers Jr. Geathers’ father and uncle also played in the NFL.

He had 29 tackles in 13 games last fall and had been working with the first-team defense the entire preseason.

Giles has been one of the team’s success stories since enrolling in January after graduating high school early. He had a 3.2 grade point average his first semester, and has drawn praise — and earned expected playing time — with his speed and elusiveness out of the backfield.

Reach Person at (803) 771-8496.

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