Welch said he asked Downey and other officials to conduct a background check on Dreher before he was accepted.
"Those checks did not turn up any negative flags indicating that there would be a likelihood that he would be a problem here," Welch said. "We did our due diligence."
Downey indicated that Dreher's attorneys in the South Carolina case had claimed the basketball standout would have won if the case had gone to trial.
"But he wanted to go back to school," Downey said.
Dreher voluntarily surrendered his scholarship at Winthrop University and came to UC with two years of eligibility left.
Downey said he had no qualms about bringing Dreher into the program.
"After talking to him and his family, I didn't have a second thought," he said.
Downey said he saw no behavior during practice or games that would indicate the trio had any violent tendencies.
He referred to Lipkins as a "very nice kid" who did not cause any trouble. He added that officers told him Lipkins was "nice" during questioning.
Washington had some problems at home before coming to the University of Charleston, Downey said.
Downey said teammates feel "betrayed."
"They're upset," he said.
Upon questioning, Lipkins allegedly told officers that he, Washington and Dreher attacked Rude and Morrison from the front and rear, striking them in the face and head, according to the criminal complaint.
Rude suffered a laceration to his scalp and a fractured wrist. Morrison did not sustain any serious injuries.
Lipkins also told officers they took cash and a credit card from the victims, according to the complaint.
Video surveillance was obtained from nearby businesses and the three suspects matched descriptions given by the victims.
Lipkins was later seen at the MacCorkle Avenue 7-Eleven in Kanawha City using a victim's credit card, the complaint says.
Later, the suspects' vehicle, an older model Buick sedan, was found on the UC campus and contained clothing matching those Lipkins is believed to have been wearing at the time of the robberies.
Lipkins is being housed in the South Central Regional Jail on $25,000 bond. He was charged with two counts of first-degree robbery and four counts of credit card fraud.
Washington and Dreher were both charged with two counts of first-degree robbery. Bond was set at $200,000 for each.
Dreher is from Greenville, S.C.; Washington is from Florence, S.C.; and Lipkins is from Canton, Ohio.
Dreher and Washington asked that a public defender represent them.