Laremy Tunsil admits taking money at Ole Miss after crazy draft night

Published: Apr. 29, 2016 at 12:57 AM CDT|Updated: Apr. 30, 2016 at 10:33 AM CDT
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(Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Source: WMC Action News 5)

Chicago (WMC) - Ole Miss offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil's stock dropped during the NFL draft, and it ended with him saying he'd taken money from his coach at Ole Miss.

Tunsil was projected as a top 5 pick, but he didn't come off the board until the Miami Dolphins selected him with the 13th overall pick. Experts estimate that cost him more than $7 million dollars in contract and signing bonus money.

Tunsil's night began with someone posting a video posted to Tunsil's verified Twitter account, showing a person smoking from a mask equipped with a bong.

The video was removed shortly after, and the entire account deactivated about 30 minutes later.

"I don't know why in the world he would even video himself doing that in the first place," Ole Miss student Kameron Simpson said. "I do feel bad for him. I do think that he's made wrong decision, but I don't think that a multitude of others haven't."

Tunsil's attorney Steve Farese said someone was going to great lengths to try and hurt his client.

"I have strong opinions whenever a crime is committed, and one this devious and certainly directed to damage his professional career and livelihood," Farese said.

"You've got to give him some kind of leeway, because everybody does something bad every once in awhile. So I wouldn't hold it against him," Ole Miss student Dylan Crawford said.

Someone also posted text message conversations between Tunsil and Ole Miss Athletic Director John Miller to Tunsil's Instagram account. The messages show both men discussing how to get Tunsil money to help his rent and to help his mother pay some of her bills. Miller tells him to "see Barney," which could mean Ole Miss football staffer Barney Farrar.

Farese said the hacking is the real crime that came to light from this incident and he will pursue legal actions against the person who hacked Tunsil's account once that person is identified.

During a news conference, Tunsil admitted he had taken money from an Ole Miss coach. He was then immediately rushed off stage. Taking money is a violation of NCAA policy.

"I guess the investigation is going to clear a lot of things up, but there's a lot of confusion right now," Simpson said.

A potential No. 1 pick before the Tennessee Titans traded the pick to the Los Angeles Rams, Tunsil was a three-year starter at Mississippi, but sat out the season's first seven games after the NCAA ruled he received improper benefits, including the use of three loaner cars over a six-month period.

Ole Miss released the following statement Friday:

"The University is aware of the reports from the NFL Draft regarding Laremy Tunsil and potential NCAA violations during his time at Ole Miss.  Like we do whenever an allegation is brought to our attention or a potential violation is self-discovered, we will aggressively investigate and fully cooperate with the NCAA and the SEC."

Tunsil's stepfather Lindsey Miller filed a lawsuit against Tunsil after a dispute last summer. Some people suggested he might be the person behind the social media hacks of Tunsil's accounts.

His lawyer released the following statement:

Mr. Miller denies any involvement whatsoever in the events that transpired last night.  When he learned last night that Mr. Tunsil's accounts had been hacked, he was surprised that the posted content even existed.  He condemns the unlawful hacking of Mr. Tunsil's social media accounts and hopes that whoever is responsible is brought to justice quickly.

Copyright 2016 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.