WINSTON-SALEM, NC—The findings in a VSU report regarding a bathroom fight contradicts much of what the WSSU quarterback and chancellor said happened on November 15th.
Following the fight, the CIAA canceled the conference's championship football game and banned VSU from the 2013 NCAA football playoffs.
VSU football player, Lamont Darnell Britt was charged with misdemeanor assault inflicting serious injury as stated in an arrest warrant.
In November following the fight, quarterback Rudy Johnson told the media that he was punched and kicked by five or six Virginia State University football players in a CIAA luncheon held the day before the championship game at the Anderson Center on the WSSU campus.
Johnson said, "I go to wash my hands and somebody tapped me on my back of my shoulder. Soon as I turn around I got hit so I square him up and then when I square him up, somebody else hit me in my blind side on my head and that's when I fell and I felt about four or five feet stomping on me and kicking me."
Since the incident, VSU hired attorney Robert Clayton to pursue an unbiased investigation about what really happened in that bathroom.
Clayton sent a 75-page report to the CIAA on January 31. It includes interviews with VSU head football coach, Latrell Scott and eight football players.
According to the report, Lamont Britt was suspended from VSU for the Spring 2014 semester, placed on probation for one year upon his return to campus, complete 30 hours of community service, and take anger management sessions.
According to this report, VSU players said there was lighthearted banter and typical trash talking between WSSU and VSU football players. This indicates that the physical fight was spontaneous as things escalated rather than pre-meditated.
Also in the report, Student H said when he entered the bathroom, Rudy Johnson started talking trash so in response Student H hit Johnson in the face with a closed fist. Then, Johnson backed up and went into a boxing stance.
In a letter from VSU's head football coach included in the report, Coach Scott and several players found Chancellor Reaves' remarks at the luncheon to be offensive. Scott also states that WSSU players were talking trash during the luncheon.
On Wednesday, Winston-Salem State's Chancellor Reaves responded to the findings. He said in part, "The University stands by its assertions that Rudy Johnson was assaulted by more than one of the VSU players."
Chancellor Reaves also questioned the credibility of the report saying in part, "It should not come as a surprise to anyone that those interviewed refused to say anything that would implicate themselves or their teammates. What is hard to believe is that anyone, including the leadership at VSU would not question such denials."
Here is a copy of the remarks Chancellor Reaves made at that CIAA luncheon:
Good Afternoon everyone and welcome to the campus of Winston Salem State University;
It's a real honor to host the CIAA football championship on the WSSU campus, and I commend the CIAA and our commissioner for moving this wonderful event to the campuses of member institutions; that WSSU was the first host is a real honor;
I particularly want to welcome my colleague, President Keith Miller of Virginia State University, and I want to extend my congratulations to Virginia State University, its athletic program, and in particular, its football program for the tremendous success that it has experienced in reaching the championship game.
And to the Virginia State student athletes, who will take the field tomorrow, I extend my congratulations and I commend you for the hard-work that went into your accomplishments.
To the WSSU players, coaches and staff, I continue to be amazed at your accomplishments – amazed at how high you have set the bar for the program and how you continue to exceed expectations – year in and year out.
Tomorrow the two teams will face each other on the field to determine the CIAA football champion, and that game will overshadow everything else. And at the end of the game there will be a winner and there will be a loser. That's the nature of the game. That's why we play.
But before we get to that point we should take a few minutes to reflect on what it took to get where we are today. It took hard work, dedication, sacrifice and tremendous focus. I continue to believe that being a student-athlete is one of the most difficult tasks imaginable. All of you had to do things that were not expected of other students, and you did those things at a level that landed you in the championship game. Take pride in that accomplishment, win or lose, and hold your heads high, regardless of outcome.
With that said, I am the chancellor of WSSU, not VSU, and I do have a favorite in this game. So in closing, I extend, again, to the players from the north my sincere congratulations.
And to the WSSU players I simply remind you of the goal that we are trying to achieve. Tomorrow's game is very important. Winning is a step towards achieving that goal. Many of you have been here before – you know what it takes – so go out there and play Ram football and it will be another good day to be a Ram.