There has been a lot of news lately about a report alleging that Peyton Manning was involved in Title IX violations back in 1996. According to the report, Manning was part of a group of student-athletes involved in sexual assault involving former trainer Dr. Jamie Naughright.
According to reports, a confidentiality agreement was signed. But, it was also alleged that Manning broke the agreement when he wrote about it in his book entitled “Manning.” There are also reports they made another confidentiality agreement soon after, and she broke that agreement by suing just recently.
This post isn’t to lay judgement – simply because there are still a lot of questions.
Firstly, regardless of any confidentiality agreement, why wasn’t this reported on years ago? It could have been reported by the school, Dr. Naughright or even Peyton, himself. Granted he was only a teenager at the time. But, if we are to believe his upstanding character that we know of now, I have to believe that it existed – in some part – back then. His father, Archie Manning has always been thought of as an upstanding individual. Should we believe that he just stood there and did nothing? I find that hard to believe. It may come to pass as true. But, right now, I’m not entirely sure it is. Something had to happen. We can also ask media, “Why didn’t any news companies report about this?” Surely, someone with close ties to the school had to know.
But this also brings into question Peyton’s legacy. It absolutely has to. We can’t talk about the current issue of this report and start thinking, “Was it all a lie?” Granted, many of us – myself included – have often thought of Peyton Manning as one of the most gentlemanly people in the NFL. But, if this is indeed true, his character and legacy will be indeed tarnished. It has to be.
We all know of recent reports of abuse and other problems in the NFL. While this alleged incident happened in college, it directly affects the NFL because Manning has become one of the most popular players in the league. If this happened, people will definitely start asking, “Why didn’t the NFL know about this? If they did, why didn’t they do anything about it?” The next question will be, “Now that they know about it, what is the NFL going to do (if anything)?”
There are still many lingering questions, which – I am sure – will be answered in the coming days. But, rest assured, if any of this is true, Peyton Manning will be looked at very differently.