EUGENE, Ore. -- University of Oregon cornerback Cliff Harris was suspended indefinitely from the Ducks football program Wednesday following citations for speeding and driving with a suspended license.
Harris, 20, was cited early Sunday morning after police said they clocked him driving at 118 mph on a suspended license in a rental car.
Head football coach Chip Kelly announced Wednesday that the suspension included Harris sitting out a minimum of Oregon s 2011 season opener vs. LSU.
Cliff s future clearly is in Cliff s hands, Kelly said. Earning an opportunity to represent the University of Oregon and this football program certainly rests far beyond a player s ability on the field of play. Our behavior out of the spotlight often is more important and will be held to a higher standard. Until Cliff is able to conform to the same standards all of us must comply with, his status will remain unchanged.
An employee, who does not work in the athletic department, rented the car for personal use, university spokesman Dave Williford said Wednesday. According to an email exchange between the employee and The Register-Guard newspaper, Harris and an unidentified football player asked her to extend the rental and compensated her for use of the car. She was told that another player -- not Harris -- would be driving, she told the newspaper.
Attempts by The Associated Press to reach the employee, identified in news reports as Mindy Schmidling, were unsuccessful Wednesday. Harris was pulled over about 4:35 a.m. PDT Sunday south of Albany, Ore., to the north of Eugene.
Oregon State Police said he was cited for driving with a suspended license and exceeding the speed limit in excess of 100 mph.
The fine for driving a vehicle faster than 100 mph is $1,148.
Harris excelled as a sophomore last season at cornerback and on special teams. He had six interceptions and set an Oregon record with four punt returns for touchdowns.
Known for his entertaining banter with reporters, Harris dubbed the BCS championship The Natty. Oregon lost to Auburn in the title game in January after going 12-0 last season.