Just a week after Peyton Manning's victory in Super Bowl 50, the Denver Broncos' quarterback's reputation is being called into question regarding a serious incident that occurred during his time at the University of Tennessee.
According to Shaun King of the New York Daily News, Manning allegedly sexually assaulted Dr. Jamie Naughright, who was serving associate athletic trainer for the Volunteers football program in 1996. The assault is detailed in court documents obtained, dating from 2003.
According to the documents, which were drafted by Naughright's lawyer, Manning allegedly "forcefully maneuvered his naked testicles and rectum directly on her face with his penis on top of her head." The assault occurred while Naughright was examining Manning's foot for a potential stress fracture. She later reported the incident to the Sexual Assault Crisis Center in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Naughright's superior and athletic trainer Mike Rollo stated the incident was an accident that occurred while Manning was 'mooning' teammate Malcolm Saxon. The Denver Broncos' quarterback has reportedly denied the incident.
Saxon denied that explanation and claimed that he lost his eligibility at Tennessee for not going along with the story in a letter sent to Manning, according to King:
First, I have stuck to my same story throughout this drama. I told Mike Rollo the next day and Coach [Phillip] Fulmer a week or two afterwards. I had nothing to hide at that point and I have nothing to hide today. I have never been on Jamie's side or on your side [contrary to what the athletic department was telling you and telling her]. I stuck to the truth and I lost my eligibility for it. My redshirt request sat on Mike Rollo's desk for months as the process was going forward. I'm not angry about it anymore, just getting a little tired of it!!
Peyton, you messed up. I still don't know why you dropped your drawers. Maybe it was a mistake, maybe not. But it was definitely inappropriate. Please take some personal responsibility here and own up to what you did. I never understood why you didn't admit to it.
As part of a settlement, Naughright reportedly agreed to not discuss the alleged incident publicly, and left the university of Tennessee shortly after the alleged assault.
Naughright was hired by Florida Southern College shortly afterward, but lost her job at the university following a book written by Manning and his father, Archie Manning, titled Manning, in which disparaging things were written about her. Per King, Peyton Manning accused Naughright of regularly using indecent language, something several Tennessee football players and colleagues of Naughright's outright denied.
Also, Manning ghostwriter John Underwood said under oath that Archie Manning insinuated to him that "Naughright was going into the dorms and having sex with large numbers of black student-athletes," which was also never substantiated.
The loss of her job at Florida Southern College prompted her to file a defamation lawsuit, which according to King, was settled for an undisclosed amount in 2003.
This report comes on the heels of Manning's expected retirement, although the 39-year old has remained non-committal on his NFL future.
Manning has denied the allegations, per ESPN.com.