(HBCU Gameday) November 15, 2013. A day that will live in infamy in the hearts and minds of CIAA and HBCU football fans.
It was supposed to be CIAA football’s crowning moment. It turned out to be its darkest hour.
Two nationally-ranked football teams, Winston-Salem State and Virginia State, were set to battle for the CIAA Championship in Winston-Salem. After years of taking a back seat to basketball, CIAA football was finally going to take center stage for the nation’s oldest conference made up of historically black colleges. Coming on the heels of WSSU’s national championship game appearance, it was the moment officials hoped would signify the conference’s arrival on the D2 national stage.
Only it never happened. And we may never know exactly why.
What we do know is this: The CIAA Championship Game was cancelled after an bathroom altercation at the championship banquet that left one student-athlete (Winston-Salem State quarterback Rudy Johnson) headed for the hospital while another one (Virginia State running back Lamont Britt) headed for the Forsyth County Jail.
The fight made headlines around the sports world, landing on pretty much every major website and national television news.