A former standout player on the University of Oregon football team was found guilty of harassment Friday.
Cliff Harris, formerly of the Oregon Ducks and New York Jets, was arrested three times in nine days in late April and May. The string of arrests started in New Jersey when police arrested him on a charge of marijuana possession.
A few days later, Harris found himself in handcuffs again after a fight with his girlfriend in the parking lot of a Buffalo Wild Wings. Then, on May 7, deputies arrested him on a charge of failure to appear because he showed up two hours late for his court appearance. He had been stopped by a deputy for speeding on his way there, and that deputy called the court to inform the judge Harris would be late. Harris was still arrested.
On Friday, Judge Jim Fun sentenced Cliff Harris to 18 months bench probation with no additional jail time in connection with the incident outside Buffalo Wild Wings. Harris also must perform 100 hours of community service and must submit to alcohol and anger management treatment.
Despite the prosecutor's objections, the judge will allow Harris to have contact with the victim again. Prosecutors also asked Harris receive formal probation, which has more intensive monitoring and a probation officer, but they were denied that as well.
During the hearing, Harris tearfully spoke to the judge in the courtroom, saying he felt victimized because he's a pro athlete.
"I feel like I'm put on a pedestal because I play sports," Harris said.
Harris also questioned the events that led up to his third arrest.
"I still showed up. And they locked me up. The officer already explained I was going to be late. He gave them a timeframe. How was I going to make it when I have no way and no means to get there?" said Harris, whose car was impounded.
Harris is not currently on an NFL roster.
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