TUNSIL’S TERRIBLE DAY
Three tips for any star college athlete hoping to maximise on a potentially lucrative professional career: one, never smoke marijuana from a bong attached to a gas mask; two, never allow anyone to take a photo of you smoking marijuana from a bong attached to a gas mask; and three, disable all of your social media accounts in the hours leading up to the league’s draft.
These tips come to you courtesy of the nightmare endured by University of Mississippi offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil. Of course, there are some other tips. We’ll get to them later.
A few weeks before the NFL Draft, Tunsil was projected to be taken by the Tennessee Titans as the overall no.1 selection. That possibility disappeared when the Titans traded the pick to the Los Angeles Rams, who were in need of a quarterback. But Tunsil was still projected to go very high.
And then, minutes before the draft started, Tunsil’s Twitter account sent out a video that appeared to show him smoking from a gas-mask bong. The freefall began for Tunsil. When the Baltimore Ravens were on the clock with the sixth pick, they took another offensive tackle, Notre Dame’s Ronnie Stanley; ESPN NFL reporter Adam Schefter later claimed the Ravens would've taken Tunsil if not for that video. The Titans, with the eighth pick, chose an offensive tackle – but it was Michigan State’s Jack Conklin, not Tunsil. The slide finally ended when the Miami Dolphins took Tunsil at 13.
But the drama was far from over. Minutes after he was drafted, his Instagram account displayed screenshots of text messages apparently illustrating Tunsil asking one of his former college coaches for money to pay rent and bills – a violation of the NCAA's amateurism rules.
There was already concern about the mammoth Tunsil, who had been forced to sit out seven games by the NCAA in 2015 because of impermissible extra benefits and just days before the draft had been sued by his stepfather, Lindsey Miller, who alleged had been assaulted by Tunsil.
On stage minutes after he was drafted, Tunsil admitted he was the person smoking from the gas-mask bong – a “mistake” that had happened “years ago” – and said his Twitter account had been hacked. At his formal press conference an hour later, he was asked if he had taken money from a coach while at Ole Miss, and he said, “I have to say yeah.” Oops. That sent some shock waves through the ground underneath NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis.
If the Ravens passed on Tunsil because of the video, then the devious hacker cost Tunsil $8.03 million – the difference between Stanley’s contract ($20.48 million) and Tunsil’s ($12.45 million). The silver lining? No state income tax in Florida.
New Miami Dolphin Laremy Tunsil: how not to do draft day.