COLUMBIA - Two former South Carolina football players questioned about an incident at a New York City nightclub have been cleared of any wrongdoing.
Cornerback Victor Hampton and defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles will not face charges after an April 11 altercation inside Greenhouse nightclub, their lawyer confirmed Wednesday night.
"They were minding their own business, doing nothing wrong by all accounts, by independent witnesses," attorney Joe Tacopina told The Post and Courier. ".They were never wanted. They cooperated with the police. They gave statements, and they were vindicated."
The altercation began when Hampton and Quarles requested two men stop smoking marijuana in the nightclub, Tacopina said. Hampton was sitting down when the man punched him.
"(They) wound up in a situation where (the accuser) comes in not only invading their space, which was private, but wound up in a situation where he was smoking marijuana and doing all sorts of things that were unsavory, and of course these guys wanted nothing to do with it," Tacopina said. "They're getting ready to commence on hopefully a very lucrative and productive professional career. What ended up happening is this guy started getting aggressive.
"They said, 'You need to leave now,' and this guy, obviously being affected by whatever he was smoking, hauled off and punched Victor as Victor was sitting down. They were victims from Day 1. . It was very, very clear that this guy was trying to do a money grab."
The accuser's friend stabbed former defensive end Chaz Sutton and was arrested, Tacopina said.
Hampton and Quarles are expected to be selected in the NFL Draft next week. Both received all-SEC honors after their junior seasons last fall.