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Harrison Situation Continues to Raise Questions


The investigation into Marvin Harrison’s potential involvement in a Philadelphia shooting continues to raise more questions than answers. The case has been open for over two months and we have no idea what role, if any, the eight-time Pro Bowl receiver played.

Regardless of the outcome of the investigation, most Colts fans can’t believe that Harrison could be connected with anything close to the accusations that are coming from Pennsylvania. What Colts fans may be shocked to learn is that this seems to be more in line with the Harrison that law enforcement has come to know.

Trouble has seemed to follow Harrison since 2003, but it would take a trained detective to find it. Matthew Prior was a ballboy for the New York Jets and was working the game against Colts on January 5, 2003. According to this New York Times article, Harrison became upset when footballs that were being kicked by punter Matt Turk entered an area where he was warming up. Prior would retrieve the balls and throw them to another ballboy who would return them to the punter. Once, when one of Prior’s throws fell short, it bounced into the area where Harrison and Manning were warming up. According to Prior, Harrison picked up the ball and “gunned it” in his direction. Harrison then proceeded to run over to Prior and accuse the boy of intentionally disrupting his warm ups. Prior apologized to Harrison and attempted to walk away. Harrison then grabbed the boy, threw him to the ground, and placed him a choke hold.

Security was quick to separate the two and Prior was immediately taken to lock down where he was questioned by NFL security. Prior had marks on his neck made by Harrison that had to be checked by the EMS Staff on site. Prior was upset by the incident and threatened a lawsuit against Harrison. According to Prior, he was told by the NFL and the Jets that it “would be in his best interest” to not press charges. Prior was left with the impression that any legal action by him would cost his dad and brother their jobs with the organization. Prior believes that the NFL attempted to cover up the incident. No action was ever taken by the NFL against Harrison.

In 2005, at the NFL Pro Bowl, Harrison again found himself at the center of an altercation. According to a story here published by the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Harrison was approached by some teens that wanted to get an autograph and take pictures of the star receiver. Harrison, who was on the phone, seemed to signal for the teens to wait until he was finished with his phone call.

The article states that two men approached the boys and told them that there would be no autographs and not to take pictures of Harrison. The boys were then attacked by the two men and, according to the lawsuit, Harrison. Once again, according to the article, Harrison placed one of the boys in a “potentially deadly choke hold”. The story was covered only briefly locally and has not been discussed much since.

That brings us to May of 2008. Harrison allegedly got into an altercation with a regular at a bar that he owns in Philadelphia called “Playmakers”. According to several news reports, shots were fired shortly after by a gun that Harrison owns. When police initially questioned Harrison he denied his involvement with the shooting. He claimed that he did own the gun that was connected to the shooting, but claimed that it had never left his house. Once again, similar to his previous encounters with law enforcement, it appears that this story has grown cold. Two months into the investigation we appear no closer to having a suspect or any charges made against Marvin Harrison.

Several questions remain. What will come of the story out of Philadelphia? If Harrison is actually charged, what will that do to the Colts’ season in 2008? What impact will this have on his Hall of Fame credentials? And, perhaps most importantly, were we all deceived by the quiet nature of Marvin Harrison?

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One Response to “Harrison Situation Continues to Raise Questions”

  1. Nick, welcome to NFL GRIDIRON GAB. I am especially happy to have another Colts fan to write here at Colts Gab, as last season I was the lone ranger, so to speak.

    In any case, welcome aboard. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact Matt or myself.

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