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September 4, 2007
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -Two University of Memphis basketball players pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges of disorderly conduct and inciting a riot related to a nightclub scuffle over the weekend.
``These are two quality young men,'' Ballin told The Commercial Appeal after the appearance. ``They were at the wrong place at the wrong time. Under the law, we expected them to be exonerated.''
The two were arrested after police responded to a disturbance outside the Plush Club on Beale Street early Sunday. Club security accused Taggart of starting a fight, though police said they later refuted that.
While being detained by officers, Taggart was accused of yelling obscenities and agitating a crowd that had gathered outside the club. Robinson also was charged with assault because he approached a police officer aggressively and used verbal threats, said police spokeswoman Monique Martin.
The incident prompted coach John Calipari to impose a curfew and bar them from visiting any nightclub.
Robinson, 19, is a freshman shooting guard from Columbus, N.J. Taggart, 22, is a 6-11 forward from Richmond, Va., who transferred last season from Iowa State. Neither has played a game for the Tigers.