Tag:Cliff Harris Suspended
Posted on: December 5, 2011 5:20 pm
Edited on: December 5, 2011 8:24 pm

Cliff Harris dismissed from Oregon football team

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Cliff Harris' career at Oregon has come to an end. The former All-American was dismissed from the Ducks on Monday, according to a statement released by the football team.  

According to a report in The Fresno Bee on Monday night, Harris was cited for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana in Fresno, which led to his release.

Harris had a dynamite sophomore season with Oregon, earning consensus All-American honors as a punt returner (and also being a second-team AP All-American as a cornerback); he was on several preseason All-American lists and was expected to be one of the premier players in the Pac-12 this season.

The marijuana citation was not the first time Harris found himself on the wrong side of the law at Oregon. Harris had several driving incidents plague him throughout his time in Eugene, and he was suspended twice in 2011 for rather flagrant disregard of traffic laws; Harris was cited for going 118 miles an hour in June, and that led to a suspension that kept Harris out of the Ducks' season-opening 40-27 loss to LSU.

A subsequent citation in late October this year  -- for driving with a suspended license, without a seatbelt, and without valid insurance -- led to an indefinite suspension that has lasted to this day. Now, head coach Chip Kelly is content to move on without his star defensive back.

Harris logged just nine tackles and an interception (albeit one returned for 50 yards, against Arizona State) in the six games he played in the 2011 season. He leaves as Oregon's career leader in yards per punt return and one of just four consensus All-Americans in the program's history.

Here is the statement from the program in full:

University of Oregon cornerback Cliff Harris has been dismissed from the Ducks’ football program for a violation of team rules, according to the Ducks’ Head Coach Chip Kelly Monday.

Harris was suspended indefinitely on Oct. 24 and has since been prohibited from all football activities, missing Oregon’s last five games of the regular season in addition to last Friday’s Pac-12 Conference Championship.

The Fresno, Calif., junior had been credited with nine tackles and one interception in six games this season after missing the season-opening loss to LSU while serving another suspension.

The 2010 consensus All-American finishes his Oregon career with 61 tackles in 27 appearances, eight interceptions for one touchdown, and returned 38 punts for a 16.2-yard average and four more scores.
Posted on: July 12, 2011 3:46 pm
Edited on: July 12, 2011 5:09 pm

Cliff Harris pays fines, attends summer workouts

Posted by Adam Jacobi

All-American cornerback and punt returner Cliff Harris may still be suspended from the Oregon Ducks, but he's a few steps closer to rejoining the team later this season. As the Register-Guard reports, Harris has joined his teammates for voluntary summer workouts:

“It’s good to see him back in there,” said UO senior cornerback Anthony Gildon, the captain of Oregon’s defensive backfield. “He’ll be good. He’s a hard-working individual. You know, everybody makes mistakes; it’s not that big of a deal. He’s here to work. ...

“Of course we’re going to try and help him mature as he goes along, but he’s a good kid and he’ll be all right.”

Of course, as these are simply voluntary workouts, Harris has still not been reinstated to the program by head coach Chip Kelly, and he will not play in the season opener against LSU. Further, his eligiibility is still in some sort of limbo as the NCAA continues to investigate the arrangement that got Harris in the rental car in which he was speeding last month. If the NCAA doesn't look kindly on Mindy Schmidling, a payroll assistant in Oregon's athletic department, renting a car for Harris to use, then Harris might have to sit for much longer than Kelly would like.

Also of note is that Harris is paying off the mammoth amount of debt his legal foibles have gotten him into (with a little help). Here's more from the Register-Guard:

A Linn County Circuit Court spokeswoman said Harris’s mother, Lizette Harris, wrote a $1,620 check to the court to cover fines related to a June 12 traffic stop on Interstate 5 near Albany.

In that case, a state trooper ticketed Harris for driving 118 mph with a suspended license.

Harris’s parents wrote two additional checks on Thursday to cover unpaid fines that their son owed to Eugene Municipal Court and Lane County Circuit Court, according to a source close to the situation who spoke with The Register-Guard on condition of anonymity. 

That second article lists over $6,000 of legal fines accrued by Harris, mainly from traffic tickets. Earlier reports had the total around $8,500, so there's obviously some confusion somewhere, but still: it's a big, big number. There's also a minor in possession of alcohol charge and a whatever fees a collection agency tacked onto some unpaid tickets, but by and large this is all stuff that Harris has accomplished in a car. There aren't any DUIs, but there's just about everything else: driving without a valid license (or a suspended license), driving without insurance, failure to stop at a stop sign, and a boatload of speeding charges.

One would hope the light finally turned on in Harris' head after his 118 mph citation, but until he puts together a few problem-free years, all the evidence suggests his habits are getting worse, not better. That's -- for lack of a better term -- an extremely dangerous road to go down, so for Harris' sake let's hope he starts getting his act together behind the wheel, and soon.

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