Virginia State hires lawyer

RICHMOND, Va. -- Virginia State has hired a lawyer to investigate the fight that led to the cancellation of the CIAA championship game and the university being banned from postseason play.

A release posted on VSU's website states that the school has retained Robert Clayton of the Washington, D.C., law firm Gonzalez Saggio & Harlan LLP.

VSU president Keith T. Miller says that the university is "committed to uncovering the facts surrounding this incident."

Winston-Salem State quarterback Rudy Johnson has said as many as six VSU players attacked him in a bathroom during the CIAA luncheon Nov. 15, the day before the scheduled championship contest.

Miller also says he's standing by his coach, Latrell Scott, who "has exhibited the dignity, leadership and resilience that have characterized his tenure at VSU" in the aftermath of the fight.

Virginia State running back Lamont Daniel Britt is charged with misdemeanor assault inflicting serious injury. Scott has said that four other players were questioned after the fight.

The schools on Monday painted vastly different pictures of what took place in the bathroom at Winston-Salem State where Johnson said he was beaten, and CIAA commissioner Jacqie Carpenter on Tuesday asked both schools to provide the league with written reports about the incident and the details uncovered by their investigations.

Johnson said on Monday he expects to play Saturday when WSSU, No. 4 seed in its region, hosts fifth-seeded Slippery Rock in the first round of the Division II playoffs.

WSSU chancellor Donald Reaves on Monday called for further sanctions against Virginia State and said Scott exacerbated the problem after the fight because he "refused to cooperate and ... came very close on Friday afternoon to being arrested" for obstruction. He also said Scott, in his first year at Virginia State, "went completely berserk" when asked to provide Miller's contact information after the fight.

"On November 15, 2013, one young man made a very bad decision," Miller said in the release. "That bad decision cannot and will not be condoned. However, we wholeheartedly support our head football coach, our football coaching staff, and most importantly our football players."