Cliff Harris’ 118-mph rental car paid for by Oregon employee
It was reported Monday that Oregon cornerback Cliff Harris had been cited very early Sunday morning after being clocked doing 118 mph -- on a suspended driver’s license.
Today brings word that the university may also have some questions to answer/facts to investigate because of the vehicle in which Harris was driving.
Harris was driving a 2011 Nissan Altima, which was a rental from a local Hertz Rent-A-Car outlet. The potential issue for the school arises from the fact that the vehicle rental was paid for by a university employee.
As noted by KEZI, the television station that broke the latest development in this story, NCAA bylaws strictly prohibit "[a]n institutional employee or representative of the institution’s athletics interests” from providing “a student-athlete with extra benefits or services, including, but not limited to: The use of an automobile.”
A woman who purports to work for the university -- she wouldn’t allow her name or position to be used -- acknowledged in an interview with the TV station that she had initially paid for the rental car, but claimed that Harris and another individual paid her the full amount of the rental after asking to borrow it.
“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,” the unidentified member of UO’s faculty/staff told the station.
“I do have a copy of my bank statement, showing two deposits Friday of $180 and $120.”
If there’s a paper trail as the woman claims, and this plays out the way the woman has laid it out, there will likely be no -- or relatively minor -- NCAA issues for the school. If not, if she’s “tweaked” or engineered for Harris’ benefit the way the actual events went down? The NCAA will have an even greater interest than they likely already do.