WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WTVR) —A title game has been cancelled and one arrest made after a Virginia State University football player allegedly attacked Rudy Johnson, starting quarterback of Winston-Salem State University, during a football banquet, according to affiliates WGHP and the Winston Salem Journal.
Lamont Darnell Britt, 22, a junior running back from Norfolk, Va., was arrested and charged with misdemeanor assault inflicting serious injury, confirmed by Forsyth County Sheriff's Office.
He is being held in the Forsyth County Jail with secured bond set at $7,500 and a court date listed for Monday, Nov. 18.
Earlier reports had claimed as many as 5 Virginia State players assaulted Johnson. But VSU head coach Latrell Scott told CBS 6 Sports anchor Sean Robertson that Britt was the only player involved in the fight, and that other players were trying to break up the scuffle.
Britt is charged with hitting Johnson in the face and head. Johnson had a swollen eye and a laceration above the eye, according to affiliate WGHP.
The magistrate told the paper that no more arrests are expected Friday night.
The banquet, held Friday afternoon, was hosted on the WSSU campus ahead of the championship game between WSSU and VSU.
The fight started between the two players, according to Scott, in a bathroom.
“We don’t know a lot of what happened but we do know our starting quarterback, Rudy Johnson, was beaten up,” Chancellor Donald Reaves of WSSU, said to the paper, “and he didn’t beat himself up.”
Before the game was cancelled it was announced by multiple sources that Johnson, a 9-0 starter for the year, would likely not play in Saturday’s game that was scheduled for 1 p.m. at WSSU.
Pat Norris, the chief of police at WSSU, told the paper that Johnson was treated and released from a local hospital.
"VSU officials are fully cooperating with the CIAA in their investigation, and as a result, will not be able to comment any further," read a statement on the university's website.
Initially the Centeral Intercollegiate Athletic Association was unsure if the game would be canceled. Kevin Manns, Sports Information Director at Winston-Salem State confirmed the cancellation around 5 p.m. Friday.
A volleyball championship game was also cancelled.
The game will not be made up, but it has not yet been announced if a title will be awarded, or if either team will be able to advance to the Division Two playoffs next week.
Chancellor Reaves issued a strongly worded statement that indicated there were other VSU players involved, and said that the university’s police department is still investigating.
“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.”
Students at VSU were shocked to hear the news, surprised that the team would lose an opportunity to play at the championship. They said they are waiting for more information to be released before passing any judgement.
The team, under Coach Scott, had a 9-1 record, with a eight-game winning streak.
***Earlier the records division stated online, and over the phone, that Britt was charged with assault with a deadly weapon. CBS 6 called them to confirm a second time and were told there was a misprint.