CIAA football title game canceled after player is beaten at luncheon

The CIAA football championship game has been canceled after the quarterback from host Winston-Salem State University was allegedly beaten by one or more players from Virginia State University during a luncheon on Friday.

Winston-Salem State campus police have one suspect, who reportedly admits to taking part, in custody on suspicion of assault, the university's website said.

[Update, 6:10 p.m.: WSSU spokeswoman Nancy Young identified the suspect as 22-year-old Lamont Daniel Britt, a running back from Portsmouth, Va., according to the Associated Press.]

WSSU Chancellor Donald J. Reaves released the following statement Friday afternoon:

"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.

"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 arrested 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."

The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Assn. also 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."

The Winston-Salem Journal is reporting that players from both universities were involved in the altercation and that Reaves told the newspaper that "we don't know a lot of what happened but we do know our starting quarterback, Rudy Johnson, was beaten up. And he didn't beat himself up.”


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