Nov 19, 2013 10:22 AM EST
Winston-Salem State QB Attacked In Bathroom By Virginia State Players, Investigations Ongoing
A day before the Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) Rams were to play the Virginia State Trojans for the CIAA conference championship game, WSSU QB Rudy Johnson was jumped by five or six members of the Virginia State football team in the bathroom during a luncheon hosted by Winston-Salem, The Associated Press reported. At least that was the version of events told by Johnson during a press conference on Monday.
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Whereas Johnson said five or six players attacked him, Virginia State head coach Latrell Scott would only admit to the wrong doing of one player, back up RB Lamont Britt, who's been suspended indefinitely, The AP reported.
"I acknowledge that we had one young man who made a bad decision, as young men sometimes do," Scott said Monday morning "during an often-contentious news conference held at his school and attended by many team members and some frustrated parents," according to The AP.
WSSU chancellor Donald Reaves said Scott, who was fired from a head coaching job in 2011 for a DUI, "refused to cooperate and... came very close to be arrested" (for obstruction) following Friday's melee, The AP reported.
"He was more out of control than his players were," said Reeves.
Virginia State parents were also unhappy with Scott and Virginia State President Keith T. Miller when they heard their team was officially disbarred from postseason play. Both the Trojans (9-1) and the Rams (9-1) were expected to make the Division II playoffs. Miller said he understood the decision and hoped to conclude his own investigation later this week.
"Did anybody speak up on behalf of our children?" asked Kimberley Thorpe, whose son, Justin, is the Trojans' quarterback. "Did anybody, did any one person raise their hand and say, 'Slow up. Wait a minute. Stop. Let's have a reasonable, rational conversation.' ... I want somebody up there to tell me that you spoke up on his behalf."
Appearing in sunglasses, which he eventually removed to reveal a black eye, Johnson said (during Mondays press conference) he was asked by a group of five to six Virginia State players if he was the Rams' starting QB. Johnson said yes, but added, "I'm not going to talk a lot of trash. We'll just see you on the field." (A statement he said teammates who were also in the stalls could confirm). As he went to wash his hands, someone tapped him on his back and hit him in the face as Johnson turned. Johnson said he then "squared him up," but sooner after another player struck him on his blind side, causing him to fall to the floor. He felt about "four or five feet stomping" on him and "kicking him" before his teammates left the stalls and rushed to defend him. At that point, the Virginia State players fled through the back door, according to Johnson. See video below
The junior QB took over the starting job in the second game and has flourished since then with 2,076 yards and 22 TDs through the air and 420 yards and 6 TDs on the ground, according to CBS Sports.