Winston-Salem State University Police Chief Pat Norris, left, holds the door open for WSSU's starting quarterback Rudy Johnson as he enters the magistrates's office Friday, November 14, 2013.
A Winston-Salem State University Police officer escorts Virginia State University football player Lamont Britt into the magistrates's office Friday, November 14, 2013.
Posted: Friday, November 15, 2013 10:25 pm
The much-talked about CIAA football championship game between Winston-Salem State and Virginia State universities was canceled Friday after a player was assaulted at an awards luncheon.
Quarterback Rudy Johnson, who is 9-0 as the Rams’ starter this season, was attacked in a restroom at the Anderson Center on WSSU’s campus by several Virginia State players, coach Connell Maynor of the Rams said.
- WSSU Statement
STATEMENT FROM WINSTON-SALEM STATE UNIVERSITY CHANCELLOR DONALD J. REAVES
“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 arrest 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.”
Working with the CIAA, the decision was made to cancel the entire championship weekend that had been scheduled at WSSU. This includes the CIAA Championship Football game scheduled for Saturday at 1 p.m. and the CIAA Volleyball Championship that was to be played Saturday and Sunday. We will be working with the CIAA to develop a process for ticket refunds.
- CIAA Statement
CIAA Statement Regarding the Cancellation of this weekend's championships
November 15, 2013, 6:55 p.m. EST - 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.
Our singular focus is on the safety and security of the CIAA's student-athletes and those who follow them. It is important that everyone involved in the CIAA embody our mission every day by acting as upstanding individuals on and off the field. We must work together to hold each other to higher standards of responsible judgment and conduct because we must demand that if we are to succeed.
We did not make this decision lightly, as its impact is far and wide - affecting our student-athletes, alumni, fans, sponsors and more. But 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.
We will cooperate fully with the NCAA as it relates to its upcoming Division II national championships.
Ticket holders for the Championship Game should contact the place of purchase for a refund on their tickets. Ticketholders who specifically purchased their tickets through TicketMaster will automatically receive a refund.
For media inquiries, contact Sharon Goldmacher, (404) 386-0500 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or the CIAA office at (757) 865-0071.
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Friday, November 15, 2013 10:25 pm.