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May
03
2016

Ole Miss Launches Investigation Into Tunsil’s Claim Of Cash Payments

LarryTunsil

This is a reader submitted piece from Dave Gardeki. Was the Larry Tunsil saga on draft night cringe worthy or what?

Laremy Tunsil made waves last week at the NFL Draft when a clip of him allegedly smoking marijuana was uploaded unto his Twitter account a few minutes before Thursday’s draft started. After the video surfaced, an Instagram screen grab of a conversation between Tunsil and one of his coaches at Ole Miss where Tunsil was asking the coach for money to pay his mother’s electric bill also surfaced. Since Tunsil is no longer a student at Ole Miss, the leaked picture won’t affect the school’s college football rankings, but it will likely lead to an NCAA investigation.

After the leaked information surfaced in Thursday, a lot of people assumed the leaks came from Tunsil’s stepfather because both men are currently suing each other over an altercation that occurred almost a year ago. Tunsil’s stepfather has since denied having anything to do with the leaks.

Before the video was leaked, Tunsil was considered one of the best draft prospect and a possible number 1 pick before the Los Angeles Rams and Philadelphia Eagles, who were going for quarterbacks, traded for the top two picks.

According to Baltimore Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome, the Ravens were prepared to take Tunsil with their first pick but decided not to after the video went viral. Other teams that needed offensive linemen decided against drafting Tunsil, and he kept sliding down the draft until the Miami Dolphins took him with the 13th pick.

After being drafted by Miami, Tunsil was asked by reporters if he accepted money from his coaches while he was at Ole Miss, and he replied that he did.

When contacted for a response to Tunsil’s admission, Ole Miss athletic director Ross Bjork said the school couldn’t comment because it was working on getting to the bottom of the allegation.

Prior to the draft, Ole miss was under an NCAA investigation and had received a notice of allegations in January regarding violations in football, track and field, and women’s basketball. Ole Miss has not publicly disclosed the allegations that the NCAA said the school violated, but Tunsil was suspended for seven games last season after it was determined that he received several illegal benefits, including the free use of loaner cars.

With Tunsil admitting he received money from the coaching staff while he was at Ole Miss, it is unclear how the NCAA will handle the situation. The NCAA could decide to wait until it is done with its current investigation, or it could start a new investigation into Ole Miss, based on the new evidence that they have.

Despite Tunsil’s claims that both of his social media accounts were hacked, Jason Pack, the spokesperson for the FBI in Mississippi, said the FBI was not investigating the matter, and that he hadn’t heard from anyone involved in the incident.

If the NCAA finds any wrongdoing on the school’s part after investigating Tunsil’s claim that he received money while he was at Ole Miss, expect the governing body to come down with some heavy sanctions.

Despite the negative attention brought on by Tunsil’s actions, Ole Miss still had its most successful draft because three players were selected in the first round for the first time in school history.

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