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 president were not at the banquet. The team’s coach, Latrell Scott, was the only school representative at the event.
Johnson, who was wearing sunglasses during the news conference, said he was approached by multiple Virginia State players as he walked to 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.”
Johnson said while he was washing his hands in the restroom, a Virginia State player tapped him on the shoulder. Johnson said he was hit as soon as he turned around. Johnson said someone else then hit him as he “squared up” the first person.
Johnson said there were 5-6 players in the bathroom.
“Two of my teammates were in there and they tried to help me,” Johnson said.
Johnson said he could not identify the players involved because it happened too fast.
At 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.