Red flag! Top NFL prospect Laremy Tunsil slid down in the 2016 draft after his social media accounts were hacked, and his verified Twitter account posted a video just minutes before the draft began in Chicago on Thursday, April 28, that showed the former Ole Miss player wearing a gas mask and smoking from a bong.
Several teams passed on Tunsil, who was considered a likely No. 1 overall pick, after seeing the video, and he was eventually selected at No. 13 by the Miami Dolphins. The tweet was deleted a few minutes after it was posted. Tunsil later confirmed to ESPN that he was the person in the video and told the outlet he was “blessed” to join the Dolphins.
Moments after Tunsil was picked, his Instagram also appeared to be hacked, and his account posted screenshots of text messages that showed the left tackle allegedly asking Ole Miss coaches for money on two occasions in 2015. The hacker captioned one of the pics, “Coach freeze and the whole ole miss program are snakes. They cheat!"
The first set of texts, from February 2015, show the football star allegedly saying, “Coach I need help paying my rent.” The recipient, “Mr. John,” says, “See Barney next week.”
About two months later, he appears to ask for $305 to pay his mother’s light bill, and “Mr. John” replies, “I thought we agreed on an amt- that number keeps changing.” The texts are allegedly between Tunsil and Ole Miss assistant athletic director John Miller. Tunsil’s Instagram account has since been deleted.
In a press conference at the NFL draft, Tunsil admitted that he took money while at college, ESPN reported. “I made a mistake. That happened,” he said. According to the sports site, when reporters asked to clarify if he meant he had taken money from a coach, he said, “I’d have to say yeah.”
Tunsil’s admission could lead to some problems for his alma mater, but Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze, who attended the draft with his former player, stood behind him over the bong video. Freeze said the clip is “from a long time ago,” according to ESPN. He continued, “How this came out today, I don’t understand. I don’t know how. He doesn’t deny it. He owned it.”
This is not the first off-the-field problem for Tunsil. He had to sit out the first seven games of the 2015 season after the NCAA found that he accepted at least one loaner vehicle from a sports agent; it is against NCAA rules for players to accept anything of value from an agent.
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