When Oregon’s All-American cornerback Cliff Harris was cited for driving 118 mph on Sunday night, most of the chatter was in regards to the triple digit speed. But a report by a local television station has drawn attention to possible NCAA violations that may have led to the incident.
The car Harris was driving at the time of the when he was clocked was rented by a university employee, KEZI in Eugene reported Monday. Police said that Harris was pulled over with two other unnamed Oregon football players and one other friend in a car that was rented from Hertz. KEZI learned from Hertz the name of the woman who rented the car. The woman’s identity was not revealed, though she insists she can prove no wrongdoing.
“So, I rented the car for my own purposes on Friday. Cliff Harris and his licensed friend, who showed me his license, asked to borrow it and paid me the full amount in cash that I paid for the rental,” said the woman, who agreed to speak to KEZI on the condition of anonymity.
The woman, who describes herself as a friend of Harris over the past few months, said she was unaware he would be driving and also said she has proof that the amount she paid for the rental car matches two separte deposits she made into her bank account Friday.
“I do have a copy of my bank statement, showing two deposits Friday of $180 and $120.”
As long as Harris and the unidentified friend can prove no extra benefits were provided in the transaction, Oregon might be able to dodge a bullet this time. Still, it’s not a good look for a national contender heading into the season to face potential violations when it comes to university employees. You have to imagine there will be skeptics here. But if the school and NCAA agree that the woman has done no wrong, the Ducks only suffer the publicity blow of their recklessly driving football players.