Harris says, "we smoked it all" after 118 mph traffic stop

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KGW.com and AP Staff

Posted on August 17, 2011 at 6:01 PM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 17 at 6:06 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- Oregon State Police released dashboard video of a traffic stop involving University of Oregon football star cornerback Cliff Harris.  Harris was cited for speeding and driving with a suspended license.

The traffic stop took place on Interstate 5 near Albany, Oregon at approximately 4:30 a.m. on June 12, 2011.  Harris was driving a red 2011 Nissan Altima that had been rented by a friend.

Harris was traveling from Portland to Eugene, Oregon with three friends including teammate Darron Thomas, the starting quarterback for the Oregon Ducks.

Harris was suspended indefinitely from the Ducks’ football program after the citations.

Raw video: Dashcam - Cliff Harris Traffic Stop

An Oregon State Police audio recording contains the exchange between the trooper, Harris and other passengers. Harris had a suspended California driver's license at the time.

On the OSP audio, the trooper asks about the smell of marijuana in the car.

"We smoked it all," someone inside replied.

Then, the officer asked for consent to conduct a search and a person in the car said they did not have anything. The trooper never searched the vehicle and no drugs were seized.

"Why are you guys smoking dope driving home at 118 miles an hour?" the trooper asked.

"Just trying to get home," Harris replied.

"How much did you have to smoke this morning?" the trooper asked.

"Just a blunt."

Oregon head football coach Chip Kelly said he believes Harris, who told the officer in the dashboard video that the marijuana belonged to his cousin.

 "I saw (on video) Cliff go through a sobriety test that the OSP officer let him go on," Kelly said. "He wasn't charged with that."

QB Thomas in Car

Oregon State Police also revealed on Tuesday that star quarterback Darron Thomas was among the passengers in the car driven by Harris in June.

Thomas was not cited for anything during the stop.

Kelly said Tuesday that Thomas would not be disciplined. "I'm not punishing someone for being a passenger," Kelly said.

It's not the first time Thomas has been a passenger in a car driven by an Oregon player who has faced trouble.

Thomas was also with quarterback Jeremiah Masoli when he was pulled over last summer for a traffic infraction and marijuana was found in the car. Masoli, who had earlier pleaded guilty on an unrelated burglary charge, was dismissed from the team by Kelly.

UO player Terrell Irvin drove the car the rest of the way to Eugene after the traffic stop. No one was cited for drug or alcohol charges.

An employee, who does not work in the athletic department, rented the car for personal use, university spokesman Dave Williford said.

According to an email exchange between the employee and The Register-Guard newspaper, Harris and an unidentified football player asked her to extend the rental and compensated her for use of the car.

She was told that another player -- not Harris -- would be driving, she told the newspaper.

Harris excelled as a sophomore last season at cornerback and on special teams. He had six interceptions and set an Oregon record with four punt returns for touchdowns.

Known for his entertaining banter with reporters, Harris dubbed the BCS championship "The Natty." Oregon lost to Auburn in the title game in January after going 12-0 last season.

Kelly said the suspension for Harris includes sitting out a minimum of Oregon’s 2011 season opener vs. LSU.

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