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Presence of former Peyton Manning roommate at 1996 incident is disputed

USA - SEPTEMBER 20: Peyton Manning of the Tennessee Volunteers looks on against the Florida Gators  on September 20, 1997. (Photo by Sporting News via Getty Images) Getty Images

If the sudden emergence of a new eyewitness to the 1996 University of Tennessee incident between Peyton Manning and Jamie Naughright was intended to provide Peyton with a silver bullet that would eradicate the dark cloud from his ride into the sunset, it missed the target.

Former Peyton Manning teammate and roommate Greg Johnson told Robert Klemko of TheMMQB.com that Johnson saw what happened between Manning and Naughright 20 years and three days ago, balancing the contest of accounts at two vs. two: Manning and Johnson against Naughright and Malcolm Saxon. But this assumes that Greg Johnson did indeed witness what occurred.

T.J. Quinn of ESPN reports that perhaps Johnson didn’t. According to Quinn, Manning teammate Kevin Horne says Johnson wasn’t there.

I never saw him,” Horne said. “I saw that story and I’m like, ‘Greg Johnson?’ I like Greg, but, sorry, I don’t remember that.”

In 1996, Horne told an investigator that he didn’t see what happened between Manning and Naughright but that Naughright did not seem to be upset after that.

“I’m not saying that what they remember is wrong or anything, I’m just telling you what I remember,” Horne told Quinn.

Saxon, who was never questioned under oath but who signed an affidavit and wrote a letter suggesting that he supports Naughright’s version of the events, declined to speak to Quinn about the situation. (Saxon consistently has refused to talk.) Johnson spoke to Quinn, a day after Klemko’s article was published.

“I was there, and I absolutely saw what happened,” Johnson said. “And if those other guys can remember who was in there and who wasn’t 20 years ago, they’ve got better memories than I do.”

Still, Horne insists that Johnson wasn’t there.

As a result, there will continue to be no clarity about what happened, although anyone who believes either side of the situation has enough evidence to justify their conclusions and to support them during arguments with those who feel otherwise. Not surprisingly, those who already had embraced Manning’s version have amplified their positions based on Johnson’s story. And those who saw the circumstances as suggesting that perhaps this was no mere mooning are expressing skepticism about Johnson’s out-of-the-blue attempt to exonerate his former teammate and roommate.

Adding to the skepticism is the complete failure of Johnson to say anything about this matter when Manning was facing a serious piece of litigation from Naughright that clearly made the 1996 incident an issue. While Johnson was serving overseas in the military at the time, Sean Newell of Vice Sports (in a fair assessment of Johnson’s overall credibility and of the manner in which his story suddenly appeared) points out that Johnson was back in the United States while the litigation was pending. Assuming that Manning’s lawyers knew that Johnson could counter Naughright and Saxon, they could have and should have made arrangements to get Johnson’s testimony preserved. At a minimum, they could have obtained an affidavit from Johnson by working through the military; surely, men and women who have been stationed in other countries are required from time to time to chime in on matters within their knowledge pending in criminal and/or civil court.

From Manning’s perspective, he undoubtedly hopes that he can somehow say or do one thing that would make this all go away. Unless there’s a previously-unknown video of what did and didn’t happen in the Tennessee training room, that’ll never happen.

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51 Responses to “Presence of former Peyton Manning roommate at 1996 incident is disputed”
  1. dtp15 says: Mar 3, 2016 7:55 PM

    follow the money

  2. REDSKINSFOREVER says: Mar 3, 2016 8:01 PM

    I dispute the presence of the disputer.

    Check and mate!

  3. dansardo says: Mar 3, 2016 8:02 PM

    Well Archie that wasn’t money well spent

  4. pats are better than your team says: Mar 3, 2016 8:03 PM

    The Taintest will get away with it, but let’s make sure we exhaust all possibilities in the quest for 2 puffs of air.

  5. claydefayette says: Mar 3, 2016 8:07 PM

    Manning family paying people to jump out of the wood works for him. Slimy, scary situation. Makes me wonder what really went down and how egregious it really was and how much Peyton regrets it growing up

  6. revren10 says: Mar 3, 2016 8:09 PM

    Peyton Manning should just retire and go away and let these stories fade away, he did it along with taking HGH.

  7. mackcarrington says: Mar 3, 2016 8:10 PM

    It seems that Team Manning has dug up and possibly paid someone to muddy the waters and inject a portion of “reasonable doubt” into this story.

  8. TheWizard says: Mar 3, 2016 8:10 PM

    shocking

  9. isnotreality says: Mar 3, 2016 8:11 PM

    His head looks a little smaller back then…

  10. massappeal12345 says: Mar 3, 2016 8:13 PM

    I’m hearing that Archie was in the room and that he is siding with Peyton’s version of the events.

  11. ditkainyourbutkus says: Mar 3, 2016 8:23 PM

    quick find a fall guy peypey

  12. prideof10000lakes says: Mar 3, 2016 8:24 PM

    What is the end game of all of this? Convictions? More settlement money? Name smearing?

    Nobody cares.

  13. denverdave3 says: Mar 3, 2016 8:31 PM

    What ever happened to a statute of limitations?

  14. jag1959 says: Mar 3, 2016 8:32 PM

    “Adding to the skepticism is the complete failure of Johnson to say anything about this matter when Manning was facing a serious piece of litigation from Naughright that clearly made the 1996 incident an issue.”

    Ya think??? The idea that this was largely much ado about nothing had a better chance of selling before this episode of sudden recall was concocted.
    Thumbs up if you too are a little ‘skeptical’ of Johnson’s sudden recollection

  15. oiler1980 says: Mar 3, 2016 8:33 PM

    Question… If the air in Brady’s balls is already worth 20 million dollars and rising…

    How much is the space between Peyton’s balls and his butt crack worth?

  16. BroncosCheatedTheSalaryCap says: Mar 3, 2016 8:35 PM

    Manning, Armstrong, Bonds. Three athletes who all admitted receiving PEDs who also had shady off the field issues. Sad stuff.

  17. hrmlss says: Mar 3, 2016 8:39 PM

    OMG, it was 20 years ago, involved a punk college kid horsing around with trainer, who 4 years later sued and got paid. Now she wants more to go away obviously. Let it go. I am not a Peyton Fan, and hate the Bronco’s and have no real cares about the Colt’s, but this is curiously timed, and a repeat of previous material. The off season sucks for the press, but they suck for going with this crap.

  18. switchwitch59 says: Mar 3, 2016 8:42 PM

    denverdave3 says:
    Mar 3, 2016 8:31 PM

    What ever happened to a statute of limitations?
    —————————————-
    There is no statute of limitations in the court of public opinion. Welcome to the social media age.

  19. smitty113 says: Mar 3, 2016 8:47 PM

    First ballot hall of famer and there’s nothing Shaun King or Stephen A Smith can do about it.

  20. gimmeabruschi says: Mar 3, 2016 9:18 PM

    Except we do know Saxon was there because Manning said he was, and Saxon supports the woman’s version, not Manning’s.

  21. greatest dynasty ever says: Mar 3, 2016 9:20 PM

    oiler1980 says:
    Mar 3, 2016 8:33 PM
    Question… If the air in Brady’s balls is already worth 20 million dollars and rising…

    How much is the space between Peyton’s balls and his butt crack worth?

    —-
    His dignity

  22. mogogo1 says: Mar 3, 2016 9:28 PM

    At this rate we’ll be debating the Lindbergh baby case pretty soon.

  23. sariff420 says: Mar 3, 2016 9:40 PM

    Saxon never confirmed the trainers version

  24. jaxon51 says: Mar 3, 2016 9:40 PM

    So at 7:53 pm on the day three judges don’t buy Brady’s reason for destroying his phone this is what is getting written about?
    Lol

  25. mctyboy35 says: Mar 3, 2016 10:02 PM

    (Yaaaaaawwwnn)….must be the offseason again. Writers scrape the bottom of the barrel for anything to write about in the offseason – true…but this 20 year old garbage is just pathetic. Keep diggin up bones TMZ…I mean PFT

  26. streetyson says: Mar 3, 2016 10:05 PM

    OMG! How could all 3 other people who were at this significant event that spawned two legal cases 6yrs apart, a job loss and part of a book, not once remember that Greggy was right there too? Doesn’t make sense -perhaps they were all blinded by the brightness of the moon (or the pungency of that bag of tea). Either way, I’m glad arch-detective Arch finally tracked the guy down, despite such scant details, to help his forgetful son.

  27. yooperman says: Mar 3, 2016 10:16 PM

    prideof10000lakes says:
    Mar 3, 2016 8:24 PM

    What is the end game of all of this? Convictions? More settlement money? Name smearing?

    The end game is having the media chase something that can’t really be proved. It keeps them off the HGH story. The later will ruin his legacy and records.
    Major smoke screen.

  28. THX 138 says: Mar 3, 2016 10:19 PM

    It has also been reported that Manning picked his nose once in the 3rd grade. This story is about as meaningful as this 20 year old garbage, give it a rest.

  29. futures44 says: Mar 3, 2016 10:40 PM

    Peyton will be sending 2 guys in trench coats.

  30. granadafan says: Mar 3, 2016 10:51 PM

    Is the Peyton camp still trying to deny that he tea bagged her? That should never have been under dispute. He and UT paid her off in a settlement. You don’t do that if you’re innocent. She never wanted this story to keep coming up, but it does from the Manning side.

  31. californiaqid says: Mar 3, 2016 10:52 PM

    The Mannings are getting annoying. My Dad would not even defend me for jaywalking.

  32. marlinjackson82 says: Mar 3, 2016 11:21 PM

    You didn’t mention one key piece from that article: “I didn’t think it was a story 20 years ago,” Horne told Outside the Lines. “I can’t believe it’s one now.” So anyway we have a witness who was in the room and side with Manning version.

  33. marlinjackson82 says: Mar 3, 2016 11:26 PM

    She never wanted this story to keep coming up, but it does from the Manning side.

    Wrong. She contacted King and others in the media and wanted them to wright about it.

  34. jshawaii22 says: Mar 3, 2016 11:30 PM

    I know it doesn’t matter in a court of law, but if the 4 participants would agree to lie detectors –
    Peyton, “the Women” and the two teammates that have different opinions of that day, it probably would go a long way in determining the truth in the court of public opinion.

  35. djaehne says: Mar 3, 2016 11:43 PM

    The media is largely controlled by an influence of a few men and lots of money. They only report what they are told to report.

  36. fogisgone says: Mar 3, 2016 11:49 PM

    Maybe the persons that have already made statements didn’t see Greg Johnson in the room! It is possible that they were all pre-occupied while Johnson was walking out of the locker room. He said that was all he seen. This Johnson is a law enforcement officer and he should at least be given as much credibility as any one else in this case, IMHO!

  37. scw1993 says: Mar 4, 2016 12:34 AM

    Manning has been getting into trouble since his teen years, and he’s now 40 years old.

    Seems like there are 2 sides to him; very creepy.

  38. really410 says: Mar 4, 2016 2:30 AM

    Breaking news paytons wife was there and she actually committed the mooning slash assault slash prank while taking hgh so shes not legally responsible . And there dog was not injured in the fabrication of this story . Hell its as good as what espn writes

  39. jrclark1978 says: Mar 4, 2016 5:46 AM

    oiler1980
    Mar 3, 2016, 8:33 PM EST
    Question… If the air in Brady’s balls is already worth 20 million dollars and rising…

    How much is the space between Peyton’s balls and his butt crack worth?
    _____________________________________________

    Goodell should be forced to answer this question.

  40. goattoday says: Mar 4, 2016 7:33 AM

    Can we did up something, anything, on Shaun King?

  41. 2manyconcussions says: Mar 4, 2016 7:47 AM

    Memories are inherently unreliable. This has been proven in numerous studies. This is a silly exercise to be undertaking 20 years after the fact. Whatever comes out of this will not be worth the paper it is written on. Might as well just make it up to agree with whatever you wish it to be.

  42. joker65 says: Mar 4, 2016 8:19 AM

    denverdave3 says:
    Mar 3, 2016 8:31 PM
    What ever happened to a statute of limitations?

    ______

    Oh I see. If something happened in the past that shows someone true character, because its old, we should just ignore it and move on. That’s always a good idea.

  43. dexterismyhero says: Mar 4, 2016 8:30 AM

    is there cell phone video? that would be truly funny!!!!

    Or maybe someone was carrying around one of those huge camcorders.

  44. paulrevereshorse1775 says: Mar 4, 2016 8:32 AM

    jaxon51 says:
    Mar 3, 2016 9:40 PM

    So at 7:53 pm on the day three judges don’t buy Brady’s reason for destroying his phone this is what is getting written about?
    ———

    those same 3 judges don’t buy the NFL’s reasons for determining Brady’s punishment, which is also what Berman decided, which is actually what the appeal is about.

  45. darealsmiley4284 says: Mar 4, 2016 8:36 AM

    Yawn, who cares. Next…..

  46. troylok says: Mar 4, 2016 8:53 AM

    Anyone who knows how the memory works understands that after twenty years everyone will have remembered the events differently. That’s why there is a statute of limitations. Our legal system should shut this nonsense down. It’s just a shakedown for money from an event that may or may not have happened and from which obviously no one was bothered much about it at the time.

  47. mack2x says: Mar 4, 2016 9:24 AM

    You redskin fans should thank Peyton, seems the name change issue isn’t as important as it once was.

  48. charliecharger says: Mar 4, 2016 9:57 AM

    Horne doesn’t remember Johnson being there? I wonder of Horne remembers what he had for breakfast that day. I didn’t think so.

  49. unoduotres says: Mar 4, 2016 10:06 AM

    If any one is interested in saying that they witnessed Peyton’s innocent prank, call Archie immediately.

  50. kevpft says: Mar 4, 2016 10:41 AM

    Passive voice is used in the headline

  51. petedutcherjr says: Mar 4, 2016 11:00 AM

    I think PFT and all these media outlets should be embarrassed in covering all of this.

    You are talking about something dealt with years ago, and now that the man is retiring, you are raking his name through the coals?

    Very unprofessional in my opinion. But then…I]’m used to seeing that in the media, I guess.

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