CIAA title game cancelled after WSSU QB beaten at luncheon
Winston-Salem State University quarterback Rudy Johnson
Winston-Salem, N.C. — The starting
quarterback for Winston-Salem State University, Rudy Johnson, was beaten
up one day before his team was to play for the CIAA championship,
forcing the conference to cancel the title game.
spokeswoman Nancy Young said Friday that Johnson was assaulted in a
bathroom during a luncheon hosted on campus for the Rams and their
opponent, Virginia State. The two teams were scheduled play for the CIAA
title on Saturday in Winston-Salem.
“I am saddened to report that
at today's CIAA pre-championship game luncheon held at the Anderson
Center of the WSSU campus that our starting quarterback, Rudy Johnson,
was viciously beaten by one or more members of the Virginia State
football team," WSSU Chancellor Donald J. Reaves said in a statement.
"There is no excuse for the behavior of the Virginia State players. One
suspect has admitted to his role in the attack and has been arrest on
criminal assault charges. The University Police Department is attempting
to identify the other VSU players who were involved. Today's event was
supposed to be a celebration for both teams and for all the players who
were being recognized for an outstanding season. The actions from the
Virginia State players certainly changed the outcome for everyone.”
to the Winston-Salem Journal, 22-year-old Virginia State junior running
back Lamont Darnell Britt was arrested by WSSU campus police and
charged with misdemeanor assault inflicting serious injury. Britt is
being held in the Forsyth County Jail with bond set at $7,500.
Winston-Salem Journal reported that five Virginia State players were
involved. As a byproduct of the incident, the CIAA volleyball
championship has also been called off.
"Based on the incident that
occurred today, and after consulting with the leadership of each
institution and the Football and Volleyball championship committees, the
CIAA is saddened to announce that this weekend's Football and
Volleyball conference championships that were scheduled to take place in
Winston-Salem have been canceled," the conference said in a release
Friday. "On the eve of such an important weekend for dozens of our
student-athletes, many of whom have waited a lifetime for such a moment,
we are left to focus instead on what might have been.
"We did not
make this decision lightly, as its impact is far and wide - affecting
our student-athletes, alumni, fans, sponsors and more," the release
continued. "But the CIAA has long had policies to encourage responsible
behavior, and must consider what is necessary to assure days like today
are not repeated, ever."
Both Winston-Salem State and Virginia
State are 9-1. The Rams lost to Valdosta State in the NCAA Division II
championship game last year.
The game, scheduled to air on MeTV
50.2 on Saturday, will no longer be seen because of Friday's
incident. MeTV will instead air regular scheduled programming. Gunsmoke
will be seen at 1 p.m. followed by Bonanza at 2 p.m. and Rawhide at 3