It seems as though Dr. Jamie Naughright, the former Tennessee trainer who accused Peyton Manning of sexual assault, did all the right things on the day of the alleged incident, and it doesn’t paint a pretty picture of Manning or the university.
Naughright accused the Denver Broncos quarterback of sexual assault on Feb. 29, 1996, claiming Manning put his genitals on her face while she was examining his ankle. ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” sifted through court documents, and as it turns out, she reported the incident to her boss and to a sexual assault crisis center that same day and was encouraged not to take further action.
According to the court documents, Naughright first went to head trainer Mike Rollo, who she said in her complaint to a Knoxville, Tenn,, sexual assault crisis center told her not to go to the press or police. Rollo confirmed he said that in a deposition and added that he was the one who described the incident as a “mooning,” something he regrets doing.
The notes taken by an employee of the crisis center, whom Naughright called a few hours after telling her boss, have Naughright as saying she was assaulted by a “very well-known public figure … an athlete at UT” and that she “feared for her job, worried and feared for her life” and “(sensed) there will be a cover-up.” And it seems as though that could be what happened after Tennessee classified the incident as “horseplay that cannot be prevented” after a university investigation in 1997.
Skeptics have claimed Naughright is embellishing the story, using the fact that she never said any physical contact was made until a libel suit in 2002 and signed off on a 1996 claim that Manning “pulled his pants down and exposed himself to me, as I was bent over examining his foot, after asking me personal questions.” And while Manning’s side sticks to the quarterback “mooning” Naughright, Rollo said in a deposition that Naughright had seen that behavior from athletes in the past and she was more upset than ever this time.
“That’s what struck me as so bizarre about this whole situation: That she was distraught, she was upset, and it seemed unusual,” Rollo said.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning is surrounded by photographers and media in the closing seconds of the game against the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50 at Levi's Stadium.