Closings and delays

WSSU addresses VSU incident, QB Rudy Johnson speaks

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Winston-Salem State University Chancellor Donald J. Reaves and Rudy Johnson, the quarterback reportedly attacked on Friday, spoke about the incident at a news conference on Monday afternoon.

Chancellor Reaves said Winston-Salem State University will file a "formal complaint" with the NCAA and the CIAA following the assault that happened Friday in the bathroom at an awards luncheon in the Anderson Center on the Winston-Salem State campus.

In the complaint, Reaves said the university will allege Virginia State University lacked "institutional control" over its football players.

According to Reaves, Virginia State University's athletic director and VSU President Dr. Keith T. Miller were not at the banquet. The team's coach, Latrell Scott, was the only school representative at the event.

"When I found out what happened and I learned the president of Virginia State was not present, I simply walked up to the coach (Virginia State coach Latrell Scott) and asked if he knew how I might get in touch with Keith Miller... and he went completely berserk. During the time the chief of police was trying to quell the disturbance and get him (Coach Scott) to get his players under control, he was more out of control than his players were. As a result of that, I told Chief Norris if he doesn't settle down, arrest him," said Reaves.

Johnson, who was wearing sunglasses during the news conference, said he was approached by multiple Virginia State players as he walked into the restroom. One player reportedly asked him if he was the quarterback, Johnson said.

Johnson said the players wanted to talk trash, but Johnson told them he would do his talking on the field.

"I said 'I'm not going to talk a lot of trash. We'll just see on the field.' That's exactly what I said. My teammates were in the stall... and they can confirm it," Johnson said.

When a reporter asked Johnson how many Virginia State players were in the bathroom, he said "about five or six."

Johnson said while he was washing his hands in the restroom, someone tapped him on his back/shoulder. Johnson said he was hit as soon as he turned around. He said someone else then hit him as he "squared up" the first person.

"I fell about four or five feet (to the ground)," Johnson said, adding multiple Virginia State players then started "stomping" on him and "kicking" him.

"When my teammates came out to help me, they (the Virginia State players) ran out of the bathroom," Johnson said.

Johnson said he could not identify the players involved because it happened so fast.

rudyjohnsonAt one point in the news conference, Johnson removed his sunglasses to show reporters his black eye.

"It brought us closer as a family. What happens to one of us happens to all of us," Johnson said.

Johnson said he plans to play Saturday against Slippery Rock in the first round of the NCAA DII Playoffs.

Lt. Henry Gray of the Winston-Salem State University Police said Darnell Britt, 22, of Portsmouth, Va., assaulted WSSU player Rudy Johnson by hitting Johnson in the face and head, according to an arrest warrant.

Reaves has requested the conference declare the the game a forfeit and award Winston-Salem State the victory.

Chancellor Reaves also detailed how the city lost money after the championship game was canceled.

During a news conference on Monday, Virginia State officials addressed the allegations. Coach Scott disputed Johnson's claim that multiple players were involved, stating one player made a bad decision.

The incident led to the cancellation of the much-talked about CIAA football championship game scheduled for Saturday between Winston-Salem State and Virginia State.

On Saturday, CIAA officials ruled Virginia State as ineligible for the 2013 postseason.

Coach Latrell Scott of Virginia State said Monday there was a "rush to judgment" after the fight that left Johnson injured and caused Saturday's game to be canceled.

34 comments

    • BSU

      now here is my question of the day…I’m quite sure the police will figure this out…in this day and age there has got to be cameras in the facility where this banquet was being held…My question is where was the A.D. and the coaching staff..I understand they shouldn’t have to escort grown men to the bathroom, however as the head coach and A.D this happened under their watch.So what should happen to them? cant wait to read the responses..I personally think the coach should face a 2 game suspension as well as the A.D and should not be paid during the suspension…My opinion

  • Transcender

    The CIAA should rule the game as a forfeit and award the win to WSSU. VSU needs to suspend all 5 players and expel the two who assaulted the QB, as well as those involved in the planned attack – because it was planned. Nothing less than this shows a conciliatory reaction to the perpetrators of assault.

    • bball2295

      THIS IS LAUGHABLE. its obvious the qb is lying. He got punched in the face by 1 player. This was not a planned attack. various sources said Johnson was running off at the mouth and got punched. NOT by 5 players. He was not able to show you any other brusing on his body. you think if 5 big football players actually jumped him all he would have is a black cut eye. stop believing your own hype. If you notice the Chancellor recanted on his fb post and changed it from 5 to 1 or more. becuase the qb is lying.

      • BSU

        bball..so let me make sure I understand you and these so called sources..who mind you might exist but as usual are nameless and faceless and if you ask me are the biggest cowards of them all.so I will have to take their words with a grain of salt as simply gossip and rumors..but for the sake of having a civilized conversation your position is that because he was TALKING that rates being attacked whether it was by 1 or 5?? As for the 5 BIG football player comment. EVERY football player is not BIG or TALL…I have coached football for 17 years and still haven’t seen a 6-9 320lb kicker,receiver,rb,db,ss,fs,lb and that’s on Division 1..As for show u any other marks? well its week 10 everybody got bruises..and finally if you wanna stand by the 5 BIG guy statement.(which mean your saying linemen) wouldn’t the quarterback of all people be use to getting hit by the BIG guys? we call them sacks, pressures, hurries, h.a.t. (hit after throws). with that said I respect your right to feel this is laughable I just ask in the same breath that you respect my right to laugh at you

      • Vicki Dunlap Smith

        Was you there when our Quarterback got beat by VSU players becasue they were afraid to meet us on the field you must be a VSU Fan who is not going to be in the playoffs…How many rings do we have TWO to their none sorry VSU fan yall team didnt make but ours still did have fun watching us…..RAMPRIDE ALL DAY EVERY DAY!!

      • Trojan Man

        WSSU QB went on record to say that his teammates were in the bathroom, yet he got jumped? Also stories are no reporting multiple individuals were involved and not 5-1. Rudy, stop lying, you wreak of cowardice.

    • Kenny

      I personally think any player who threw a punch or kick should be immediately kicked off the team. You have to send a message this kind of behavior will not be accepted. And I’m not just a fan. I’m a college coach in my 17 year now at Gardner Webb University. I’ve worked at 4 HBCU’s Howard, Alabama State, Tennessee State, and North Carolina A&T. JMO

  • Super Patriot

    He said there were 5-6 players in the bathroom, not that all were VSU players. One hit him, two of his teammates tried to help him. I doubt the VSU player that hit him was alone so it could of been a 3v3 fight which is why it was limited to Johnson’s face. Don’t assume he meant 5-6 VSU players because he clearly didn’t say that.

  • tonja

    I don’t know what you missed out on your reading of the story. These young men from VSU went into the restroom with the intentions of starting trouble. Man code 5 men don’t usually go to the restroom together that 1on1 is VSU’s version of events to save face.

  • Super Patriot

    Angie please read the story again. Stated that there 5-6 guys in the bathroom, not jumped him. Two were his teammates trying to help, one VSU player punched him which brings the total to four and I’m sure he wasn’t alone so there is your other two or three. Maybe the reason he had injuries only to his eyes was because of the help of his other teammates. But we may never know the FULL story.

  • Linda

    The penalty is no different than when you have an ineligible player on the team. The penalty has to hurt or the foolishness does not stop.

  • Melinda Capri

    Every VSU player that assaulted Johnson should be expelled, charged, and sued for any damages he incurs. They really need to hope that VSU, WSSU, CIAA and NCAA do not sue them for damages also.

    • Trojan Man

      You gotta be kidding making that asinine assumption that you should sue vsu players, who we still don’t whether or not they were involve, and you seriously going to allow media and RUDY’s lies cloud your judgement as logically thinking person? Do better

  • The One

    Lets see he was washing his hands and 5-6 vsu people came up to him all the while his team mates was in the stalls??? Why didn’t they hear/help him?

  • SwacAttack

    Angie please wake up. One of the problems with youth, black and white, is that they have no sense of accountability. If these kids did what is alleged we should pray for them as they deal with the consequences of their bad behavior. They will then have learned a life lesson that they can pass on to their children. Please stop apologizing and marginalizing people’s bad behavior just because they are black!!!

  • Suthenbelle

    No one making comments on article was there. And if you know how quickly a fight can start and end you’d understand that all the “why did he…” comments are stupid. Hindsight is always 20/20. How was Johnson to know that he’d be jumped? Johnson was there to eat at a luncheon, not a brawl. He obviously was targeted. By not just one person. Only one person from VSU confessed. He was arrested. More arrests should be made.

    Thus far, the CIAA actions speaks very softly to the severity of the incident. It hasn’t sent a message to other schools within the conference at all. And whom will be the CIAA champions? The game should have been forfeited and the win should have gone to Winston at the simple fact that ALL of this was initiated on school property during an event for the CIAA by the VSU team causing lost revenue and extreme embarrassment to the CIAA conference and ALL HBCUs.

    All news outlets from ESPN, Huffington Post, and more national news outlet have reported that NOTHING LIKE THIS HAS EVER HAPPENED IN SPORT HISTORY EVER. Not cool. And the silence of VSU is just making things worse. Not only for it’s football program, but the entire university.

    And as the media is concerned, it wouldn’t be so public if VSU officials were more involved and cooperative with WSSU, CIAA, and NCAA officials. But because they haven’t given the names of the other players involved in the incident, nor forfeited the game, nor issued an official apology of any sort, they are getting what they asked for.

    I hope the NCAA will do what the CIAA is afraid to do and that includes a range of things: lost scholarships, revoked season, probation for the football team, heavy fines, etc. And I hope they include the response of the VSU officials and the conduct of the VSU coach.

    Then and only then will they send a message to ALL institutions of higher learning. Playing sports is a privilege not a right. Act accordingly even under friendly competition.

    • flsnupe

      “nothing has ever happen like this” freaking Miami and Notre Dame teams fought in the tunnel BEFORE THE GAME STARTED and no one was arrested. Not the first time, nor will it be the last. Be careful believing everything you read in the media, including the “facts” of this QB is sharing.

    • Trojan Man

      White Institutions fight all the time. This happens in every season in every sport. You continue to try to romanticize the fact that Johnson did nothing wrong and this poor fella just got jumped! Bull! I see you are another individual whose thinking has been clouded by the media and its reporting. Its clear here the Rudy is lying and unsure of what happened. Then for him to get jumped by five people and only have a black eye?Learn some sport history and sports behavior before you even think to comment about this situation. Johnson, STOP BEING A COWARD!!!

  • D. Lassiter

    When a reporter asked Johnson how many Virginia State players were in the bathroom, he said “about five or six.”

    Some of you obviously didn’t see this when you read the article the first time.

  • Cherish

    I personally feel like time was wasted doing a News Conference. Yes, it’s sad that the football player was beaten by players of the rivalry team but at the same time there’s so many other bad crimes going on at WSSU that don’t get addressed or a “News Conference.” Time there is something going on with an athlete there’s an issue and it gets blown up to the public and not just at WSSU but any other school. Just privately deal with the issue at hand and leave it alone. What was the point of a News Conference? What are you guys trying to gain from it? Publicity stunts like a news conference isn’t always the best way to get your point across.

  • Ian

    I agree with Angie 100%. WSSU had more to lose if they played and lost the game to VSU. Now you’re allowing the media to play this incident up. It appears to be only one person with any integrity in this whole incident and that’s the young man that confessed to throwing the punch and was arrested. There’s no way in the world that young man was jumped by 5 people and only sustained a black eye. Stop being media pawns people. We are one. We are HBCUs. We either stand together or continue to die a slow death separately.

    • Cherish

      I agree! As I watched this video I was expecting to see more than just a black eye if from five football players. I truly believe there was no cause for a news conference for this. I feel like they really wanted publicity. You are right when you say that the guy who threw the punch was the only honest one. All the things they could have a news conference about and they choose this? It’s ridiculous to me.

  • Jackie Cundiff

    Who ever was wrong should have not been fighting, play ball and then we would have found out who was the best.

  • Sammy

    So, you mean to tell me that five players left the banquet hall and waited for this guy to walk in and jump him while to of his team-mates were in the stalls. That’s a very fantastic story. Now Reaves wants to exploit the situation. He wants that championship so bad that he is salivating. How come he did not speak when Hayes hired an ex convict as a baseball coach? How come he allowed Hayes to collect money in glass jars across MLK businesses? Wondering who pocketed that money? Well, we should forward that information to CIAA and see if he likes the CIAA to sanction him for being corrupt.

    This poor fellow is a joke. He has done absolutely nothing but alienated the city of Winston Salem and now he wants to bully others across state lines. Donald, give it up, we all now who you really are, Stop using the poor fellow by showing his injuries. You really want attention for yourself, narcissistic personality always do.

  • Rodney

    All I want to no is why did the his teammates that was in the stalls let them jump him. If I was in there and I heard one of my teammates say ( I’ll do my talking on the field then I’m going to come out and see what’s going on. Not just stay there and let him get jumped like that.

  • bbrown96

    This is truly sad, the WSSU chancellor is really exploiting this story for all it’s worth. This media coverage of the incident should have ended when they arrested the VSU player as the right protocol. I believe the chancellor is burning bridges with his fellow conference members and has sensatiolized the incident to the point he has created a rivalry that will not be frienldly; but dangerous. In fact, the chancellor should not even be speaking for the player that is the responsibility of his attorney or school athletic director. I really hope that VSU counter complains or files a lawsuit for slander. Appropriate parties were punished so it’s no need for the chancellor to exploit the situation. As HBCU’s, we can’t afford to tear each other down.

  • JMW

    bbrown96 – I have no loyalties to either institution, but in reference to your comments about Chancellor Reaves, I must beg to differ. As the public relations officer for an HBCU, the Chancellor or President is THE SPOKESPERSON. Unfortunately, this incident made national news, thus the leader of the university should have been at the forefront.

  • G

    Can’t wait for the CIAA tourney when everyone gets together, grown VA folks hiding behind posts. VA thugs assaulting then wanting to be put in solitary while locked up…I see how u do it in VA, they should have locked Britt up in Gboro where shhh gets real.

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