TUN­SIL’S TER­RI­BLE DAY

Inside Sport - - ANATOMY OF A CHAMP -

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.

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