The biggest sports story since the Super Bowl has been the renewed focus on allegations that Peyton Manning sexually assaulted trainer Jamie Naughright in 1996 while at the University of Tennessee. Manning contends that the incident was a mooning, while Naughright says he pushed his butt and genitals into her face. Newly unearthed court records suggest a possible motivation for Manning’s actions; Naughright may have accused Manning of academic fraud.
Court documentation refers to the 1996 training room incident as “The Second Manning Incident.” As the Washington Post first reported last night, Manning’s lawyers tried their best to redact all references to something that happened between Naughright and Manning in 1994. While presenting the initial facts of the case, this is how Naughright’s lawyers began to explain Manning’s disdain for her:
Unfortunately, the next three pages of the document were all redacted. Before the redaction, the document states, “Counsel for Peyton Manning has requested that certain exhibits and deposition testimony related to this 1994 incident be designated as part of the ‘confidential record’ and not be publicly revealed.”
But whoever redacted the records missed a spot, and left a crucial bit of evidence in the deposition of former UT athletic director Doug Dickey. Naughright’s lawyers asked Dickey, after establishing that Naughright was a guest lecturer in a course Manning took as a freshman, if he was aware that she accused him of “academic fraud” in 1994.
Tegano—an adjunct professor and athletic department figure who had a dining hall on campus named for him after Manning donated $3 million to the university in his name—told the Post that the the class in question was a one-hour pass/fail class, and the grade was entirely attendance-based.
Jamie Naughright wanted to overhaul disciplinary procedures for athletes at Tennessee, and she also approached administrators and coaches with plans for improving football players’ GPAs. Her approaches were met with scorn and mockery. Head coach Philip Fulmer even gave back Naughright one of her proposals with “11-1, that’s all anybody cares about,” written on it.
If Nauright did accuse star quarterback Manning of cheating when he was a freshman, it could explain why the higher-ups wouldn’t allow her to to write and enforce a more rigorous academic code of conduct for football players. It could also explain Manning’s animosity towards Naughright.
The Post reports that the Polk County Court doesn’t have the original unredacted transcripts, so they can’t simply be unsealed. Only the lawyers and clients involved in the case—the settlement of which included a non-disclosure agreement—do. Neither Manning nor Naughright commented on the report.
Know anything about the case? Contact Deadspin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dickey’s deposition and the facts of the case statement are below.
Correction: This post previously stated that Manning referred to Dr. Naughtright as “Dr. Vulgar Mouth Whited.” That was an anonymous person who mailed her a copy of his book in 2001.
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