On Friday night (Nov. 15), what would have been today’s CIAA championship football game between Winston-Salem State and Virginia State Universities was abruptly canceled, due to an unfortunate turn of events that have all the makings of a PR nightmare.
According to reports, WSSU quarterback Rudy Johnson was allegedly the victim of a brutal attack by members of the VSU football team. The incident occurred in a bathroom at Anderson Center on WSSU’s campus; players from both teams were gathered there on Friday night for a pre-championship banquet.
The Winston-Salem Journal obtained an arrest warrant from WSSU campus police for Lamont Britt, a sophomore running back for VSU, who has been charged with misdemeanor assault inflicting serious injury. The Journal reported that Britt is currently being held in a Forsyth County (NC) jail, with bond set at $7,500; his court appearance in Forsyth District Court is set for December 9. The WSSU Police Department is currently investigating further, hoping to identify the other VSU players who were involved in the attack.
WSSU’s associate athletics director for media relations, Kevin Manns, confirmed that Johnson had been treated and released from a nearby hospital. According to the arrest warrant, Johnson had been hit in the face and head, suffering from both a head laceration and a swollen eye.
Johnson, who transferred from Texas Southern University earlier this year, was expected by many to lead the WSSU Rams to its third consecutive win in the CIAA football championship game today. Both CIAA commissioner Jacquie Carpenter and WSSU chancellor Donald Reaves have released statements regarding this unfortunate incident.
Click here to read their responses.