Posted by Adam Jacobi
Cliff Harris' career at Oregon has come to an end. The former All-American was dismissed from the Ducks on Monday, according to a statement released by the football team.
According to a report in The Fresno Bee on Monday night, Harris was cited for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana in Fresno, which led to his release.
Harris had a dynamite sophomore season with Oregon, earning consensus All-American honors as a punt returner (and also being a second-team AP All-American as a cornerback); he was on several preseason All-American lists and was expected to be one of the premier players in the Pac-12 this season.
The marijuana citation was not the first time Harris found himself on the wrong side of the law at Oregon. Harris had several driving incidents plague him throughout his time in Eugene, and he was suspended twice in 2011 for rather flagrant disregard of traffic laws; Harris was cited for going 118 miles an hour in June, and that led to a suspension that kept Harris out of the Ducks' season-opening 40-27 loss to LSU.
A subsequent citation in late October this year -- for driving with a suspended license, without a seatbelt, and without valid insurance -- led to an indefinite suspension that has lasted to this day. Now, head coach Chip Kelly is content to move on without his star defensive back.
Harris logged just nine tackles and an interception (albeit one returned for 50 yards, against Arizona State) in the six games he played in the 2011 season. He leaves as Oregon's career leader in yards per punt return and one of just four consensus All-Americans in the program's history.
Here is the statement from the program in full:
University of Oregon cornerback Cliff Harris has been dismissed from the Ducks’ football program for a violation of team rules, according to the Ducks’ Head Coach Chip Kelly Monday.
Harris was suspended indefinitely on Oct. 24 and has since been prohibited from all football activities, missing Oregon’s last five games of the regular season in addition to last Friday’s Pac-12 Conference Championship.
The Fresno, Calif., junior had been credited with nine tackles and one interception in six games this season after missing the season-opening loss to LSU while serving another suspension.
The 2010 consensus All-American finishes his Oregon career with 61 tackles in 27 appearances, eight interceptions for one touchdown, and returned 38 punts for a 16.2-yard average and four more scores.