Duke WR Johnell Barnes reportedly injured in fight at bar

Oct. 02, 2013 @ 10:35 PM

Duke freshman wide receiver Johnell Barnes, the team’s top kick returner this season, injured a hand in an altercation with another Duke athlete last weekend at an off-campus bar.

The Chronicle, Duke’s student newspaper, reported Wednesday night that Barnes was injured in a fight with John Shaffer, a sophomore midfielder on Duke’s national championship lacrosse team.

The incident occurred just after midnight Sunday morning at Shooters II Saloon on West Morgan Street in Durham.

Barnes is wearing a cast on his injured hand. While no arrests were made in the incident, Duke’s Office of Student Conduct is dealing with the case.

“We are aware of the incident, which is being handled through the student conduct process,” Duke spokesman Art Chase said in a statement.

Duke football coach David Cutcliffe has not commented about the case. Neither has Duke lacrosse coach John Danowski.

But, during a conference call on Monday morning, when asked about injuries, Cutcliffe said there were a couple of things that “popped up” since the game.

The Blue Devils are on their bye week and don’t have a game this Saturday. Duke won’t release an official injury report until Oct. 10, two days before its home game with Navy.

Duke’s student handbook states that fighting is specifically prohibited among students.

The 6-foot, 195-pound Barnes, from Lehigh Acres, Fla., has returned 10 kicks for Duke this season, averaging 20.4 yards per return. He has played in all five games for the Blue Devils, catching five passes for 107 yards.

Last Saturday, in a 38-31 win over Troy at Wallace Wade Stadium, Barnes caught two passes for 73 yards.

Shaffer played in nine games, starting none, for the Blue Devils last spring as a freshman. He didn’t score any goals and took nine shots.