Dec 062011

EUGENE, Ore. — Oregon All-America cornerback Cliff Harris, a junior from Edison High, was cited for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana in Fresno last month and on Monday was dismissed from the Ducks football team for violating team rules.

Fresno police Lt. Don Gross said Harris was walking with some friends near Trinity and Tuolumne streets on Nov. 25 when they were stopped by officers.

Under state law, Harris could not be arrested because at the time of his arrest he was in possession of less than an ounce of marijuana — an infraction. He was cited and released at the scene, Gross said.

A spokesman for Oregon would not confirm the nature of the violation that caused Harris’ dismissal, the Fresno Bee reports.

Harris was already suspended from the Ducks and wasn’t allowed to participate in team activities. He missed the last five games of the regular season and last weekend’s Pac-12 championship game.

Harris was suspended by coach Chip Kelly following a traffic stop in Eugene, during which Harris was cited for driving on a suspended license, without proper insurance and without a seatbelt.

Harris was also suspended to start the season after he was cited for driving 118 mph on Interstate 5 in June.

Attempts to reach Harris for comment were unsuccessful. He has one year of NCAA eligibility left.

After the latest traffic stop, Harris provided proof of insurance on the car her was driving and that charge was dismissed. He pleaded no contest to the driving on a suspended license violation and was entered in a diversion program. He paid a $100 fine for the seatbelt violation.

Harris’ family paid the fines related to the speeding incident.

Harris finished this season with nine tackles in six games for the Ducks. He also had an interception and nine punt returns for 68 yards.

As a sophomore last season, Harris broke up 23 passes and averaged 18.8 yards per punt return. He set an Oregon record with four punt return touchdowns.

During his time with the Ducks, he was known not only for his explosive speed, but also for his colorful quotes. He coined the term “The Natty” when Oregon went to the BCS championship game last season, and once referred to himself as “the cheese on top of the nachos.”

Oregon will face Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 2.

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