Winston-Salem State QB Beaten on Eve of Title Game

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Winston-Salem State quarterback Rudy Johnson (Photo courtesy WSSU)

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — Winston-Salem State’s chancellor says a Virginia State football player faces assault charges after a bathroom fight left WSSU’s starting quarterback badly beaten during a luncheon for both teams on the eve of their championship game.

Donald Reaves says in a statement that a suspect has admitted his role in the beating of QB Rudy Johnson Friday and that the university police department is trying to identify the other Virginia State players involved.

Both schools say the CIAA canceled the title game set for Saturday in Winston-Salem. The CIAA, which is comprised predominantly of historically black schools, hasn’t commented on the game’s status.

Conference officials say athletes from both schools were involved the fight, but Reaves is blaming the Virginia State players, saying there is no excuse for their behavior.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

This weekend’s CIAA championship football game was canceled after a fight Friday involving players from the opposing schools in which the starting quarterback from Winston-Salem State was beaten, officials said.

A statement posted on the Virginia State website said the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association canceled the title game scheduled for Saturday in Winston-Salem. The CIAA, which is comprised predominantly of historically black schools, hasn’t commented on the game’s status.

Winston-Salem State spokeswoman Nancy Young said the school’s starting quarterback, Rudy Johnson, was assaulted in the bathroom at the Anderson Conference Center on the Winston-Salem campus during a luncheon for both teams. Young says campus police are investigating.

The Winston-Salem Journal reported that five Virginia State players were involved.

Conference officials say athletes from both schools were in the fight, but Winston-Salem State Chancellor Donald Reaves told the newspaper that Johnson was the victim.

“We don’t know a lot of what happened but we do know our starting quarterback, Rudy Johnson, was beaten up,” Reaves told the newspaper. “And he didn’t beat himself up.”

One of Johnson’s teammates told the newspaper: “Rudy was beaten up bad and he can’t play.”

Both Winston-Salem State and Virginia State are 9-1. The Rams lost to Valdosta State in the NCAA Division II championship game last year, and both teams were in position to earn postseason berths this season.

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