The New York Daily News published a story about Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning Saturday (Feb. 13) that details his alleged sexual assault of a trainer when he was playing college football for the University of Tennessee.
Dr. Jamie Naughright, who earned her B.A., Master’s and doctorate from Tennessee and went on to become the director of health and wellness for the men’s athletic program, alleges that in February 1996, Manning forcefully put his naked testicles and penis on her head and in her face while she was examining him for a possible fracture in the training room.
She immediately reported it, but her boss, trainer Mike Rollo, allegedly concocted a story that Manning simply pulled down his pants to moon another student-athlete, Malcolm Saxon. But Saxon swore in an affidavit that that was not what happened and asked Manning to come forward with the truth.
“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,” wrote Saxon, according to the court documents. “Please take some personal responsibility here and own up to what you did. I never understood why you didn’t admit to it.”
The documents also mention both the harassment Naughright incurred at the University of Tennessee, being called a “c*** bumper” by colleagues — in reference to her being a lesbian, which she is not — and an earlier incident between Manning and Naughright from the fall of 1994 that was redacted from the documents.
Naughright eventually left the University of Tennessee per the university’s request as part of a settlement, but the documents say that before she left the University of Tennessee, two staff members, including Mr. Rollo, asked Naughright if she would consider blaming the Manning incident on a black student-athlete, which she refused to do.
Before she left, Naughright testified that Manning reenacted the sexual assault on other student-athletes on two separate occasions and also called her “b****” in front of other athletes.
Naughright went on to have a successful career at Florida Southern College, until Manning and his father, Archie Manning, wrote about the alleged sexual assault in their book, “The Mannings.” Naughright filed suit against the Mannings, ghostwriter John Underwood and publisher Harper Collins for not only violating the confidentiality agreement both she and Manning signed while at the University of Tennessee, but also for lying about the incident in the book.
The book paints Naughright as a “vulgar,” “trashy” and promiscuous, something multiple witnesses refuted in testimony for the civil suit. The defamation suit was settled in 2003, though the terms were not disclosed.
The New York Daily News reports that other than two 2003 articles in USA Today, the sexual assault allegation against Manning and the subsequent civil suit have never been reported on. The documents can be reviewed in their entirety at the NYDN site.