Chip Kelly: Cliff Harris situation 'disappointing'

Credit: GoDucks.com

Chip Kelly: Cliff Harris situation 'disappointing'

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by Associated Press and KGW

kgw.com

Posted on October 24, 2011 at 6:03 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 26 at 8:14 AM

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Should Cliff Harris be kicked off the UO football team?

EUGENE, Ore. -- Oregon coach Chip Kelly says the situation surrounding suspended cornerback Cliff Harris is "very disappointing."

Kelly did not comment at length about Harris at his weekly news conference on Tuesday. He said Oregon continues to look into the circumstances of Harris' traffic stop by Eugene police on Monday afternoon.

Video: Nick Allioti on Cliff Harris

Harris was suspended by the No. 7 Ducks just hours after he was cited for driving on a suspended license, driving without insurance, and failure to wear a seatbelt.

Harris, who was also cited by state police in June for driving 118 mph on Interstate 5, is not allowed to participate in any football-related activities for now.Oregon cornerback Cliff Harris was suspended Monday after he was pulled over for several infractions, including driving on a suspended license and driving without insurance.

In a statement released by the school, Ducks coach Chip Kelly suspended Harris pending further review and he will not be able to take part in any football-related activities.

Eugene police said that Harris was stopped on a city street Monday afternoon after an officer noted he wasn't wearing a seatbelt, for which he was also cited.

He faces fines in excess of $952. The car he was driving, which police say belongs to a relative, was impounded.

Harris, an All-American who broke up 23 passes and averaged 18.8 yards per punt return last season, was also ticketed in June by Oregon State Police for driving 118 mph on Interstate 5 on a suspended license.

Harris, who was driving a rented car he says was lent to him by a university employee, was suspended indefinitely after the incident by Kelly and did not play in Oregon's season-opening loss to LSU at Cowboys Stadium.

He was allowed to practice with the team during that earlier suspension and was reinstated just before Oregon's 69-20 victory over Nevada on Sept. 10.

Harris' family paid the $1,620 in fines for the citations. The university compliance office was looking into whether NCAA rules were broken when the school employee allowed him to use the rental car.

Later, a dashboard video released by the Oregon State Police revealed that Oregon quarterback Darron Thomas was a passenger in the rental car. After the trooper smelled marijuana and asks about it, a voice from inside the car says "we smoked it all."

Harris has nine tackles in six games this season for the No. 7 Ducks (6-1, 4-0 Pac-12.) He also has an interception and nine punt returns for 68 yards.

In Oregon's 45-2 victory over Colorado last weekend, the Buffaloes tackled Harris on a punt return in the end zone for a safety. He was also flagged before the game started for taunting, which allowed Colorado to kick off from the 45 to start the game.

As a sophomore last season, Harris set an Oregon record with four punt returns for touchdowns. He became known not just for his explosive speed, but for his colorful quotes: He coined the term "The Natty" to describe the BCS national championship game.

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