Duke wide receiver injured in weekend altercation with lacrosse player
A Duke football player and lacrosse player got into a physical altercation late Saturday night, early Sunday morning at a local bar.
Johnell Barnes, a freshman wide receiver, and John Shaffer, a sophomore midfielder, had to be separated at Shooters II Saloon between midnight and 1 a.m. Sunday after both were seen sustaining injuries. Barnes has been seen on campus wearing a cast on his hand since the fight.
No police report was filed, and the Office of Student Conduct is dealing with the incident. The Office of Student Conduct does not comment on ongoing student investigations by policy.
“We are aware of the incident, which is being handled through the student conduct process,” Duke athletics said in a statement through Sports Information Director Art Chase.
Both football head coach David Cutcliffe and lacrosse head coach John Danowski have declined to comment at this time. Cutcliffe did not address the incident or Barnes in his media calls Monday and Wednesday, though Monday he alluded to “surprising” concerns that "popped up yesterday."
Shooters owner Kim Cates said there were four police officers and 10 bouncers on staff to handle the incident, which she did not witness but heard about after.
“It was handled, and it was over with,” Cates said. “They handled the situation the best way possible.”
According to the Duke student handbook, “any physical abuse, fighting, and/or endangerment to an individual or group is specifically prohibited” which includes “physical violence (initiating or responding to) or attempted physical violence against another person or group. This includes fighting.”
Earlier in the day, Barnes had the best game of his collegiate career, catching two balls for 73 yards in Duke’s 38-31 homecoming victory against Troy. He has one prior arrest as a juvenile. The Blue Devils do not have to issue an injury report this week because they are not scheduled to play again until Oct. 12 against Navy.
Shaffer played in nine games as a freshman, recording two goals and one assist as Duke captured its second national championship in program history.
Daniel Carp contributed in reporting.