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What Happened During and After Daryl Worley’s 2014 Nightclub Incident

He had to know the questions were coming.

After Dave Gettleman's work in the 'war room' was finished Friday night, the Carolina Panthers' general manager met with the media and dutifully praised the two tall cornerbacks he drafted. Then came the uncomfortable but necessary part of the job.

Gettleman faced a series of questions about Daryl Worley, who in 2014 faced a battery charge stemming from an altercation with a woman in a nightclub near West Virginia's campus.

Because of the unchartered waters Gettleman and the Panthers' organization waded through two years ago during Greg Hardy's domestic violence drama, any player they bring in with a hint of past trouble is going to be scrutinized.

I know that. You know that. Gettleman knows that.

"Do you guys think that for one moment, after what happened in 2014, I'm going to do something stupid? I mean, come on," he said.

So that we're all on the same page regarding the facts of the Worley incident, here's a timeline from then to now:

 

Sept. 14, 2014

 

Hours after he intercepted a pass in West Virginia's win at Maryland, a 19-year-old Worley was at Lux Nightclub, an 18-and-over spot in Morganton.

At about 1:14 a.m., police were called to the club, where a woman told them Worley assaulted her.

According to ESPN:

"Police said surveillance video of the altercation showed Worley grab the alleged victim around the neck with both hands and push her to the ground."

 

Sept. 15, 2014

 

Worley was suspended indefinitely by West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen for a violation of team rules.

 

Sept. 17, 2014

 

After a warrant had been issued for Worley's arrest on a misdemeanor battery charge, he turned himself into police.

 

Sept. 19, 2014

 

Worley's attorneys released a statement saying the woman Worley grabbed had threatened his girlfriend:

"Daryl’s version of events is corroborated not only by the video, but also by several eyewitness statements that we have obtained. In the video, Daryl defends his long-time girlfriend from an advancing female bar patron who had earlier that night threatened to fight his girlfriend. According to eyewitness statements, the advancing female grabs Daryl’s girlfriend’s leg immediately before the video shows him pushing the female away in a non-provoking manner."

 

Sept. 28, 2014

 

West Virginia University told the Charleston Daily Mail that the school planned to back Worley's version of the incident and ask the county prosecutor’s office to reduce or drop the misdemeanor battery charge.

 

Oct. 8, 2014

 

Worley pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor assault charge and received a 6-month suspended sentence.

In West Virginia, a no contest plea in not considered an admission of guilt, but it does carry the same legal weight as a conviction.

According to MetroNews

"Prosecutors recommended a six-month jail term but did not oppose the defense’s request for a suspended sentence."

Worley, who missed two games, was then fully reinstated by Holgorsen.

"As I have said many times, we have a high standard of conduct that we expect our student-athletes and our coaches to live up to and, in this instance, Daryl failed to meet those expectations," West Virginia's coach said in a statement.

"However, since arriving in Morgantown, Daryl has done many good things and many things right, on and off the field, and I am confident that he will be a better man and teammate moving forward."

 

Apr. 30, 2016

 

The Panthers traded up 16 spots to take Worley in the third round of the NFL Draft.

On a conference call with Carolina media, Worley was asked what he had told teams about what some could consider a red flag.

"It was a simple situation where it was wrong place at the wrong time. There were nothing malicious about the incident," Worley said. "All 32 teams have seen the videotape. They have the official court documents which I gave to them where there was nothing malicious about it.

"I did my due diligence as far as the court required me, and honestly, it is just behind me in the past. It is expunged from my record, and I am looking to move forward. Nothing like that is ever going to be a problem heading forward."

Of course, Worley wasn't alone in the due diligence department.

 

"Trust me, we went through the vetting process. We got all the information," Panthers coach Ron Rivera said. "We have a tape. We looked at it. We looked at what was said, what was written."

Added Gettleman:

"We investigated it. We talked to the kid at length, including (owner Jerry Richardson). And we’re comfortable with this."

 

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