A 74-page court document filed by Wainwright's attorney in a case later settled out-of-court stated facts in support of his client's case, but a number of pages were redacted from that document by the court at Manning's attorney's insistence. The New York Daily News' Shaun King, who has written extensively about the events from Manning's college years, has promised to publish information about the redacted pages but has so far failed to do so. NBC Sports, by connecting a few dots, suggests the redacted information may have alleged academic fraud against Manning:
Via Hobson, an October 2002 deposition of former Tennessee athletic director Doug Dickey contains an exchange in which Naughright’s lawyer asked whether Naughright had spoken to associate A.D. Carmen Tegano “about the possibility of Peyton Manning having committed academic fraud” in a 1994 course taught by Tegano, which featured Naughright as a guest lecturer.
That question appears at page 63 of Dickey’s deposition transcript. However, at no point during or after the question or before or during the answer does Manning’s lawyer request that the matter be treated as confidential. At page 77, after Naughright’s lawyer presents to Dickey two documents for inspection and questioning, Manning’s lawyer requests that the questions and answers regarding the documents be placed in the “confidential record” of the case.
While it’s possible that, only 14 pages before asserting confidentiality regarding documents relating to the secret 1994 incident, Manning’s lawyers failed to make the same request regarding questions on the same topic, most lawyers don’t allow such matters to slip through the legal equivalent of the five hole. The two documents that triggered the confidentiality request at page 77 of the Dickey deposition had been introduced only one week earlier during the deposition of Jamie Naughright. Thus, Manning’s lawyer was well aware of the sensitivity of the 1994 allegation — and the lawyers undoubtedly were ready to ensure that any sensitive information would be kept out of the public record of the case.
That said, it’s one thing for the lawyers to have asked general questions about possible academic fraud; it’s quite another for the lawyers to have produced a pair of documents that arguably (or actually) substantiated it.
Until someone discloses the details of the 1994 incident that was removed from the 74-page document published last week by the Daily News, it will remain exactly what it has been for the last six days: A mystery.