ESPN — An allegation by a former University of Tennessee trainer who accused NFL star Peyton Manning of pressing his buttocks and genitals against her face while she examined his ankle was cataloged in 1996 by a sexual assault crisis center worker as “sexual assault/abuse,” according to documents reviewed by Outside the Lines.
Less than three hours after the Feb. 29, 1996, training room incident, then-trainer Jamie Naughright called a Knoxville sexual assault crisis center hotline and said she had been victimized that evening by a “very well-known public figure … an athlete at UT” and that she had already reported the incident to her supervisor.
According to the document, Naughright did not name Manning and did not want to discuss details of the assault over the phone because she “feared for her job, worried and feared for her life.” Notes written by the crisis center worker quote Naughright as saying, “I can’t believe this … sense there will be a cover-up.” …
The document from Naughright’s call to the crisis center is buried in more than a thousand pages of court documents that were part of a 2002 libel and defamation lawsuit she filed after Manning and his father, Archie, published a book that described the incident as a “mooning” and referred to Naughright (though not by name) as having a vulgar mouth.
I’m going to say something I haven’t had much cause to over the last year or so. And it’ll probably feel sore tomorrow morning, but here goes: Kudos to ESPN. This is an outstanding piece of journalism, and I applaud the effort.
The article goes on to say how the supervisor Dr. Naughright reported the (alleged) assault to was head trainer Mike Rollo. And how Rollo advised her not to go to the police, then testified under oath in a deposition that not only was she genuinely, sincerely upset that night (which was unusual, given that she had always rolled with the jock culture of a major D1 athletic program), but that she never called it a “mooning.” That word, he admitted, came from him. And that she had witnessed “moonings” before and they didn’t bother her in the least. Again, she was no stranger to working with testosterone-fueled, 19-year-old morons.
And ESPN deserves all the credit in the world because Peyton Manning is as holy a sacred cow as they have in Bristol. For almost 20 years the Manning Apology Machine has been firing on all cylinders, excusing his terrible play in big games, his ties to HGH, the bullying/buying off of Charlie Sly and, of course, this incident with Dr. Naughright. So it’s to ESPN’s credit it dug deep on this part of the story because it is truly damning to its Chosen One.
There’s no way for the Manning apologists to polish this turd, no matter how hard they’ll try. Women who are immersed in the environment of a big school athletic program don’t call sexual assault crisis hotlines whenever some dope shows his ass cheeks to some other dope. Gold-digging opportunists (as she’s accused of being by some media bottom-feeders) don’t refuse to name their attacker. And there’s no reason to believe Mike Rollo would have perjured himself if the “mooning” alibi actually came from her.
In court, they have a form of evidence known as an “excited utterance.” It refers to the words the alleged victim said immediately after the incident in question. A 911 call. Statements said to the police when they arrive on the scene. Upset calls to a sexual assault crisis hotline. It’s a way of giving weight to what a person said before they had time to reflect, be intimidated or be bought off.
The fact that Jamie Naughright was so traumatized by what went on between herself and Peyton Manning that she’d make that call is a terrible look for him. And one that won’t easily be explained away by his people. Nor, shockingly, by ESPN. It’ll be interesting to see if after this he has any defenders in the press at all. Because the more we find out about this guy, the worse a human being he seems.
TUESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Pelicans at Wizards, 7 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA: Nets at Trail Blazers, 10 p.m. (NBA TV) College basketball: Virginia Tech at Boston College, 9 p.m. (ESPNU) College basketball: Rhode Island at Davidson, 6 p.m. (CBSSN) College basketball: Georgia State at Georgia Southern, 6 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Alabama at Kentucky, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: LSU at Arkansas, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Temple at Tulsa, 7 p.m. (ESPNews)
College basketball: Rutgers at Minnesota, 7 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Kansas at Baylor, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Dayton at Saint Louis, 8 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Michigan State at Ohio State, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: TCU at Texas Tech, 9 p.m. (ESPNews)
College basketball: New Mexico at Colorado State, 10 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: UNLV at Boise State, 11 p.m. (ESPNU) NHL: Blue Jackets at Red Wings, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
AROUND THE WEB:
— There is speculation that Peyton Manning already has informed the Broncos of his plans for next season, two weeks before the deadline for the team to commit one way or another. However, with the quarterback continuing to get embarrassed in the media over his alleged sexual assault from 1996 and his subsequent treatment of the alleged victim, he continues to lay low.
ESPN reported Monday that the former University of Tennessee trainer who accused Manning of exposing himself and pushing up against her while she examined his injured ankle called a sexual assault crisis center hours after the incident, lending more credence to her version of the facts.
According to court documents, Jamie Naughright called a sexual assault crisis center in Knoxville, Tennessee, the night of the incident and said she had been victimized by a “very well-known public figure … an athlete at UT” and that she did not want to discuss the details because she “feared for her job, worried and feared for her life.” Notes written by a crisis center worker quoted Naughright as saying she sensed “there will be a cover-up.”
Naughright reported the incident to her supervisor, head trainer Mike Rollo, who discouraged her from going to police.
Manning claimed he was mooning fellow athlete Malcolm Saxon, but Saxon denied that assertion. Rollo said in a deposition that he was the one who initially described the incident as mooning, something he regretted. While he said Naughright never told him Manning made contact with her, Rollo said Naughright had seen other athletes moon one another before previously and she never seemed upset about it. This time, Rollo said Naughright “was distraught, she was upset, and it seemed unusual.”
Burfict’s penalty helped set up Pittsburgh for the game-winning field goal in the closing seconds and earned him a three-game suspension from the league.
“I play hard. Sometimes it gets me in trouble,” he told ESPN. “My style of play is aggressive, and [the game has] changed, and I have to change with it, and that play right there, I think if I wasn’t number 55, I wouldn’t have got flagged.”
The oft-fined Burfict, who reportedly met with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell earlier this month to discuss his on-field behavior, acknowledged that he needs to be more careful.
“Like I told coach [Marvin Lewis], I wish I could take that play back because I probably would’ve hit him low,” Burfict said. “I don’t like hitting low, but I have to change because it’s getting flags because I hit him high or hit him in the helmet, and it’s so hard to determine where to hit the offender because they’re going to tuck their body, and you have to pretty much tuck with them.”
Added Burfict: “I tried to pull up at the last second, but it was obviously too late — it’s a bang-bang play.”
— More details emerged Monday about former Cowboys running back Joseph Randle’s latest run-in with the law a day earlier.
Randle, who was arrested Sunday morning in his hometown of Wichita, Kansas, allegedly hit three people with his car while backing out of a driveway after being told to leave a party. None of the three individuals (two of whom were the homeowners) were seriously injured, and they went back into to the house. Randle then returned and broke through the front door.
When police arrived, they said Randle was in possession of marijuana. He was arrested and jailed on $100,000 bond on suspicion of aggravated battery, drug possession and criminal damage to property.
Randle was released by the Cowboys in November after a series of incidents.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Feb. 23, 1972, the Bruins traded Reggie Leach, Rick Smith and Bob Stewart to the Oakland Seals for Don O’Donoghue and which defenseman?
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Whatever curse we have at home, we can’t seem to find our energy or get the tempo of our game up. It has to change sooner than later. We don’t have that much time left in the season to be able to turn it around. It’s pretty unacceptable.” — Bruins defenseman Joe Morrow said, after Monday’s 6-4 loss to the Blue Jackets dropped the B’s home record to 12-15-3
Mikey, Mut and Lenny are talking about Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez, two of the focal points for Red Sox fans coming into spring training and how long of a
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We discuss Peter's article in depth with the author himself on a Monday edition of Dale and Holley.
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