Post-season canceled after players allegedly beat opponent quarterback
ATLANTA (CNN) — Virginia State University’s football team is ineligible for post-season play, because VSU football players were accused of beating Winston-Salem State University quarterback Rudy Johnson.
The ruling comes from the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association and follows the cancellation of Division II collegiate championship games this weekend.
“One suspect has admitted to his role in the attack and has been arrested on criminal assault charges,” said WSSU Chancellor Donald Reaves.
According to Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office jail records, Virginia State player Lamont Britt, 22, was arrested Friday on a misdemeanor charge of assault inflicting injury. His bond was set at $7,500. It could not be determined late Friday if Britt had a lawyer.
“The University Police Department is attempting to identify the other VSU players who were involved,” said Reaves.
The alleged attack on Johnson occurred Friday during a Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association pre-championship game awards luncheon held at WSSU.
“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,” said Reaves.
After consulting with the leadership of both universities, the athletic association first canceling both the football and volleyball conferences this past weekend and followed up with a ban on post season football play for VSU Sunday evening.
“We did not make this decision lightly, as its impact is far and wide,” said CIAA Commissioner Jacqie Carpenter. “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.”
Carpenter said the athletic association’s main concern is the safety of the students and athletes. “The CIAA has long had policies to encourage responsible behavior, and must consider what is necessary to assure days like today are not repeated, ever.”
A message posted on the Virginia State University website read: “VSU officials are fully cooperating with the CIAA in their investigation, and as a result, will not be able to comment any further.”