Report: Academic fraud allegation may have led to Manning's incident with trainer

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Prior to a 1996 incident in which former Tennessee trainer Jamie Naughright accused Peyton Manning of sexual assault, she may have accused him of academic fraud.

In a lengthy review of court documents by Will Hobson of The Washington Post, a 1994 incident was unearthed in which Naughright supposedly made an allegation of cheating against Manning in a class she was guest-lecturing.

Hobson postulates that acrimony between the two parties began when the accusation was made against the then-freshman quarterback.

Court documents from Naughright's defamation lawsuit against Manning (for comments about her in the quarterback's 2000 book, "Manning") reveal the trainer's lawyers offered the 1994 incident as "motive" for Manning's later actions.

"In the fall of 1994," the document states, "an incident occurred involving Peyton Manning which will not only explain the genesis for Peyton Manning’s dislike for Dr. Naughright, but will be relevant to understanding the 1996 incident."

Tennessee associate athletic director Carmen Tegano, who taught the class Naughright was guest-lecturing, denied any academic fraud, and spoke glowingly of Manning's student record. Tegano claimed the class in question was one in which cheating would be impossible.

"It was a one-hour pass/fail class that was required of all athletes, and under no circumstances did Peyton Manning cheat. The class was based on attendance … It was an orientation class," Tegano said. "Do you think he needed to cheat in a pass/fail class? … We're talking about a man who graduated with one of the highest grade-point averages in his class."

Allegations were made in 1999 against a tutoring program Tegano oversaw in which Tennessee athletes were allegedly allowing tutors to complete schoolwork for them. Athletic officials ignored reports, and Tegano was removed from overseeing the program.

Manning later donated $3 million to his alma mater in Tegano's honor, naming a dining hall after the longtime Tennessee employee.