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Former All-American Cliff Harris Dismissed from Oregon Football Team

Cliff Harris celebrates a punt return touchdown vs. Cal last season.
Ezra Shaw, Getty Images

Junior cornerback Cliff Harris was dismissed from the Oregon football team, the university announced Monday afternoon. The talented but troubled player was a consensus All-American in 2010, but played in just six games this season due to two different suspensions.

He has missed the last five games for the Ducks after being suspended indefinitely by coach Chip Kelly following an October traffic stop, in which he was cited for a variety of offenses. Oregon officials did not elaborate on what led to Harris’ dismissal, only saying he had violated team rules. However, Harris was reportedly cited for possession of marijuana in his hometown of Fresno, CA the day after Thanksgiving.

As a sophomore last season, Harris recorded six interceptions and an NCAA-best 23 passes defended. He also averaged 18.8 yards per punt return and set a school record with four punt return touchdowns.

However, he was suspended for Oregon’s season-opener against LSU after being pulled over last June for doing 118 miles per hour and driving on a suspended license in a rented car that was loaned to him by a university employee. Oregon compliance officials are reportedly still looking into any potential NCAA violations that may have been committed if Harris was allowed to use a car rented by a university employee.

Harris was reinstated, but played in just six games before being suspended again after an October 24 traffic stop resulted in additional charges of driving on a suspended license, driving without insurance and failure to wear a seatbelt.

Harris appeared in court November 17 and pleaded no contest on the October charges of driving on a suspended license and driving without a seatbelt (the driving without insurance charge was dropped). He was entered into a diversion program and ordered to pay $300 in court costs.

If Harris provides proof of increased insurance and has a clean driving record for the next 60 days, the driving on a suspended license charge will be dropped, as well.

Following an All-American season last year, Harris leaves the Ducks program after just nine tackles and one interception in six games this season.

[Portland Tribune]

 

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