UNITED STATES—The 18-year career of Peyton Manning has been one filled with great accomplishments, done so with hard work and integrity. He has virtually created a legacy without a single blemish. An incident that occurred back during his college days was resolved, but has since crept its way back into the now.
Days after Manning won Super Bowl 50 and all signs point to him riding off into the sunset and taking his throne at the top of the Hall of Fame, this one allegation arose again to re-open questions about the incident.
It was 1996 and Manning was in his junior year at the university. Jamie Naughright was an associate trainer for the University of Tennessee. During this time she filed a complaint with the school listing 27 specific examples of sexual harassment and discrimination that she claimed to have experienced while working in the school’s athletics department.
Accusation 27 stated that an unnamed athlete, later identified as Peyton Manning, “pulled his pants down and exposed himself to me, as I was bent over examining his foot after asking me several questions.”
An investigative report on the allegations indicated from the Tennessee’s Office of Diversity Resources and Educational Resources found that she was “not subjected to unwelcome sexual conduct,” and that “many of the individual allegations involved conduct that was not sexual in nature. Naughright settled with the school.
In 2000, the book, “Manning: A Father, His Sons and a Football Legacy,” was published by HarperCollins. It was credited to Peyton Manning, his father Archie Manning and ghostwriter John Underwood. In the book Peyton indicates the situation that happened with Naughright four years earlier, explaining his side.
In 2002, Naughright sued both Archie and Peyton Manning, as well as their publisher, for damages in excess of $15,000 resulting from a passage in the book that states that Naughright was “vulgar.”
The case was settled in December 2003 with the terms never being disclosed.
Manning was sued a second time by Naughright in 2005, after a SportsCentury video clip was aired. In relations to the video clip she called it “an attack by innuendo.”
The case stayed in federal court and was eventually closed. Many of the documents remain under seal.
The allegations originally made in 1996 have been brought back into the mainstream almost 20 years later. With a case this old and with all original documents already in the possession of the court, it is hard to say if any new findings or rulings will be found within the allegation.
Manning has made no comment as a new case has yet to be filed.