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Injured Geathers will miss opener

Clifton Geathers
Clifton Geathers

After-practice video, including commentary on Geathers incident - Story continues below video

USC defensive end Clifton Geathers will remain suspended while coaches gather more information about a weekend incident at a Vista nightclub that left Geathers with a cracked orbital bone and three criminal charges.

Geathers, 21, a junior from Georgetown, is charged with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness after fighting with a bouncer at Club Ice and struggling with Columbia police officers who tried to detain him.

USC coach Steve Spurrier said he was disappointed in Geathers’ actions, but would not rush to judgment.

“He got himself in a bad situation,” Spurrier said Monday. “I don’t know all the facts, how it occurred. Certainly, he was wrong and we’ll see what the legal system says and we’ll go from there.

Regardless of his legal situation, Geathers will miss next week’s N.C. State game with an eye injury, according to assistant head coach for defense Ellis Johnson.

“The big thing about it right now is he’s got a crack on his orbitals and they’ve gotta check that out, see if there’s anything (damaged in) the muscles or nerves or something like that,” Johnson said. “So he’s out for at least two weeks regardless.”

In a separate incident, Spurrier said no charges have been filed against freshman tailback Jarvis Giles after campus police responded to the player’s dorm around 4 a.m. Sunday to investigate a report of an altercation between Giles and his girlfriend.

Spurrier said any punishment Giles might receive would be handled internally. Giles was not made available for interviews Monday.

Tony Snell, who owns and operates Club Ice, said Geathers was among 10 to 20 USC players — and a few of their family members — celebrating a teammate’s birthday Saturday night at the Lady Street club.

Snell said a few players became “a little disorderly and disruptive” around the 2:30 a.m. closing time, “being physical, and pushing and shoving inside the club.” Snell said security personnel removed several players, but was not sure what led to the fight between Geathers and bouncer Dennis Taylor.

According to Columbia police, Geathers failed to comply with officers’ commands, was yelling profanities, “swinging his arms and pulling away” from an officer trying to handcuff him. After detaining the 6-foot-8, 281-pound Geathers, officers noticed he was slurring his words and smelled of alcohol, according to the incident report.

Geathers spent about five hours at the Richland County jail after being booked at 5:15 a.m. Sunday. Attempts to reach him have been unsuccessful.

Snell said he spoke with Spurrier, and told the Gamecocks’ coach he hopes players will act more respectful toward club personnel and patrons if they visit the club again.

“I treated them with great respect and gave them VIP treatment because they’re the Gamecocks,” Snell said. “All I’m asking is for a little respect back.”

Spurrier said the team had a curfew in place Saturday night, but it “wasn’t as well explained as it should have been.”

There should be no confusion about the curfew in the future, Spurrier said. “They know they have one now, forever — 2 a.m. If anybody sees ‘em downtown after 2 a.m., please call and let us know if you see a football player on the streets after 2 a.m.”

Snell said he had a “good conversation” with Spurrier, and harbors no hard feelings toward the team.

“I hope they do well on the field. That’s where they need to cause the disruption,” Snell said. “Disrupt the other quarterback.”

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