Staffer rented car Cliff Harris drove

Updated: June 15, 2011, 9:54 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

The car being driven by Oregon cornerback Cliff Harris when he was caught driving 118 mph on a suspended license early Sunday morning was rented and paid for by a university employee, a school spokesman confirmed to ESPN's Joe Schad on Monday.

Spokesman Dave Williford said the person is not part of the athletics department, but is an employee of the school.

Oregon State police say Harris, 20, was pulled over after an off-duty trooper spotted him about 4:35 a.m. PT Sunday on Interstate 5 south of Albany, Ore. An on-duty officer clocked Harris and pulled him over.

Harris was cited for driving with a suspended license and exceeding the speed limit in excess of 100 mph. Police had said Sunday he was driving a rental car.

The employee told KEZI-TV 9 in Eugene on Monday that she had given a licensed friend of Harris permission to drive the car after Harris' friend paid for the price of the rental in full.

"So, I rented the car for my own purposes on Friday. Cliff Harris and his licensed friend, who showed me his license, asked to borrow it and paid me the full amount in cash that I paid for the rental," the woman told KEZI-TV 9, adding that she has documented proof that the friend's payment matches her payment to the rental company.

"I do have a copy of my bank statement, showing two deposits Friday of $180 and $120," the woman told the station.

The woman told KEZI-TV 9 that she had become a friend of Harris over the past few months, but says she is not related to Harris in any form.

She told the station that at the time she agreed to loan Harris' friend the car, she was unaware Harris would be driving the car. She also said that he was unaware if Harris' friend was an Oregon football player.

KEZI-TV 9 reported Monday that there were two other members of the football team in the car with Harris when he was pulled over.

Williford told Schad on Monday that the Pac-10 office has been alerted to the incident, but that no determination has been made as to whether Harris received an extra benefit or preferential treatment from the employee.

Williford said the school acknowledges the possibility of a potential violation and that if a violation is determined, the school will formally self-report the violation to the conference.

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.

Information from ESPN's Joe Schad and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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