Woman confirms she gave rented car to UO football star

Woman confirms she gave rented car to UO football star

EUGENE, Ore. - A University of Oregon employee confirmed to KATU News that she rented a car and let Ducks football star Cliff Harris use the vehicle.

Harris was later pulled over by an Oregon State Police trooper and cited for driving 118 miles per hour on Interstate 5.

The employee, who works in the University’s payroll department, said in an email to KATU that she rented the car Friday night to drive out of town because her car wasn’t running well and was leaking oil.

“Cliff and his friend offered to pay for it in full with cash if I let them use it the remainder of the weekend and informed me that only the licensed friend would be driving or else I wouldn’t have let them use it,” she wrote.

She said the friend showed her his driver’s license. Harris and the friend said they needed to go to Portland to pick something up, the woman said.

KATU News is not releasing the employee's name at this time.

Athletic department spokesman Dave Williford confirmed the woman works for the school, but not for the athletic department. A search on the UO website shows she works in the Business Affairs Office.

Williford said there is a possibility the woman violated NCAA rules by giving Harris the car. He said UO officials have talked with the employee and will continue talking to her.

The school has also alerted the Pac-10 conference about the possible violation.

“Cliff and his friend paid me cash up front for the rental, so I don’t see any NCAA violations and the compliance office will determine that,” the woman said.

Harris was stopped early Sunday morning while driving the 2011 Nissan Altima south of Albany. Harris also has a suspended license.

He emerged as a star defensive and special teams player for the Ducks during their 2010 Pac-10 championship season. He set the UO single-season record for punts returned for touchdowns with four. He also returned one interception for a touchdown.

Football coach Chip Kelly said Monday he would collect all the information related to this incident then determine the appropriate action.