COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - South Carolina head football coach Will Muschamp was emotional Monday in defense of two of his players were cleared of any wrongdoing following an alleged assault in Five Points.
Muschamp, making an appearance in Charlotte to discuss the Belk College Kickoff Game where USC will play NC State in the first game of the season, was upset with how his players were portrayed.
Skai Moore and Deebo Samuel were identified in a Columbia Police Department incident report as being involved in the assault. However, both were cleared by investigators. Instead, ex-Gamecocks player Jalen Dread was sought as a suspect and eventually turned himself in to face a simple assault charge.
"To take a shot at the University of South Carolina and those two men, since I've been in Columbia, have been phenomenal young men in how they've handled their business," Muschamp said. "They've been no issue for me."
Muschamp went further and commended his players for their reaction to the incident.
"Deebo said, 'Coach, I wasn't there,'" Muschamp said. "I trust our guys. He wasn't there and Skai said, 'Coach, I was there, but I didn't feel like I did anything wrong, I tried to diffuse the situation.' The investigating officer commended Skai on his behavior and the way he handled a very hostile situation."
USC kicks off against NC State on Sept. 6.