ETTRICK, Va. (AP) — Virginia State football coach Latrell Scott says there was a “rush to judgment” after a fight at last week’s CIAA championship luncheon left Winston-Salem State’s quarterback injured and caused Saturday’s game to be canceled.
“I acknowledge that we had one young man who made a bad decision, as young men sometimes do,” Scott said Monday during an often-contentious press conference attended by many team members and some parents.
Trojans running back Lamont Daniel Britt has been charged with misdemeanor assault inflicting serious injury in the fight involving WSSU’s Rudy Johnson. Britt is the only player to have been charged.
Citing the ongoing investigations, the school declined to comment on what precipitated the fight.
The CIAA also declared Virginia State, which was 9-1, ineligible for postseason play.
“As you all know, things in life happen, and when things happen, right or wrong, you deal with them head on, and we are committed as a university and an athletic department to deal with this situation head on, honestly, truthfully and with integrity,” said Scott, in his first season at VSU.
Virginia State President Keith T. Miller said the school is cooperating with local authorities and conducting its own investigation. He said he hopes to have the results of the probe “in the next week.”
He said Britt is suspended indefinitely pending the outcome on the school’s investigation.
Miller expressed regret that the game was canceled but said he understood the decision, drawing the ire of parents who angrily questioned Miller, athletic director Peggy Davis and Scott about whether anyone had spoken up on behalf of the rest of the team before the conference decided to cancel the game.
“I think the CIAA needs to respond to that question,” Miller said.
When pressed on whether anyone had spoken up, Miller said they had.
“We’re as frustrated as anyone,” Miller said. “We’re as dismayed as anyone. We’re a family at Virginia State University and this has been challenging for everyone involved. Everyone involved. So we’re doing the best we can in regards to responding, but there are a lot of issues still out there, and we look forward to having those issues resolved and having the facts come out.”