CIAA cancels title game after quarterback assault by opposing players

Nov. 17, 2013 at 1:44 AM
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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., Nov. 17 (UPI) -- The beating of Winston-Salem State's quarterback led to the CIAA title game being canceled and Virginia State declared ineligible for post-season play.

Rams quarterback Rudy Johnson allegedly was attacked by several Virginia State players in a men's room during an awards luncheon at the Anderson Center on WSSU's campus Friday, Rams Coach Connell Maynor said. The assault led to one Virginia State player, reserve running back Lamont Darnell Britt, 22, of Portsmouth, Va., being arrested, the Winston-Salem Journal reported.

Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association Commissioner Jacqie Carpenter and the CIAA board of directors took the action against Virginia State during an emergency conference call Saturday night, the conference said in a statement posted on its website.

"Based upon available information, and in the best interest of the conference and its member-institutions, the CIAA board of directors declared Virginia State University ineligible to participate in the 2013 football post-season," the conference officials said without ever describing the incident that led to the decision, other than to say it "involved student-athletes from Virginia State University and Winston-Salem State University."

"After consulting with the appropriate stakeholders, the CIAA canceled today's football conference championship," the statement added. "The championship will not be rescheduled."

The board went on to say the Division II conference and member schools "strongly condemn all acts of violence that impair in any way the safety, enjoyment and holistic experience of its student-athletes, administrators and followers in any way."

Collateral damage of the incident involving the football players was the conference's decision to cancel its volleyball championship, also set for this weekend in Winston-Salem.

Winston-Salem State campus police Lt. Henry Gray said the arrest warrant alleges Britt hit Johnson in the face and head.

Johnson has a swollen eye and a laceration above his eye, the warrant said.

Britt's bail was set at $7,500 and a Forsyth County Jail spokesman said he was no longer being held Saturday, the Journal said. He is to appear in county district court Dec. 9.

"Their players jumped our starting quarterback, Rudy Johnson, and swelled up his eye and busted up his lip and some other things," Maynor said.

"The team is upset, and they are in shock, and they wanted to play the game. I couldn't guarantee that I could keep all 55 of my guys in check for the game, and all it would take would be one comment or something like that. So no coach could guarantee that."

Coach Latrell Scott of Virginia State did not return a message left on his cellphone, the Journal said.

Both teams are 9-1.

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