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Winston-Salem State quarterback beaten at title-game luncheon

Virginia State players are accused of viciously beating Rudy Johnson in a restroom fight. The CIAA cancels Saturday's championship game between the teams.

November 15, 2013|Staff and wire reports
  • Winston-Salem State University Police Chief Pat Norris holds the door open for quarterback Rudy Johnson as he enters a magistrate's office Friday.
Winston-Salem State University Police Chief Pat Norris holds the door… (Lauren Carroll / Associated…)

Winston-Salem State quarterback Rudy Johnson was beaten and charges were filed against Virginia State's Lamont Daniel Britt after players from the two teams fought in a restroom during a luncheon for the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Assn. championship-game contenders at Winston-Salem, N.C.

The conference announced that the title game set for Saturday at Winston-Salem has been canceled.

The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Assn. released a statement Friday on the WSSU website announcing the decision to cancel the football game as well as the volleyball championships, which in part read:

"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. 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."

Johnson was "viciously beaten" by members of the Virginia State team, Winston-Salem State Chancellor Donald Reaves said in a statement. He said one Virginia State player acknowledged his role in the beating.

School spokeswoman Nancy Young identified the suspect as Britt, a 22-year-old running back, who according to a Forsyth County jail official was held there Friday night on suspicion of misdemeanor assault inflicting serious injury.

Virginia State Athletic Director Peggy Davis didn't return a phone call seeking comment, but the school issued a statement on its website saying it is fully cooperating with the CIAA in its investigation and couldn't comment further.

The Winston-Salem Journal reported that five Virginia State players were involved, and Reaves said university police are trying to identify the others.

One of Johnson's teammates told the newspaper that "Rudy was beaten up bad and he can't play."

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California has suspended an unidentified football player from all team activities for instigating a locker-room altercation that sent freshman running back Fabiano Hale to the hospital in Berkeley. Coach Sonny Dykes announced that the unidentified player would also attend counseling and must perform 25 hours of community service to be considered for reinstatement. Hale, a walk-on from Santa Cruz, told the Santa Cruz Sentinel he suffered a concussion and had stitches around one of his ears. Hale has not played this season.

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