Before it started, a frenzy of controversy surrounded him. When it was over, a small “I’d have to say yes,” fueled the fire more. And the lucky winners of this 6’ 5” offensive tackle are the Miami Dolphins.
Before the draft board in Chicago was ever touched, Laremy Tunsil was already losing money, at least from a general manager’s point of view. ESPN reported the star lost about $10 million on “guaranteed” signing bonuses.
Anybody with the ESPN app was alerted of the alleged hacking of Tunsil’s twitter account, leaking a video of the young star wearing a gas mask and smoking from an attached marijuana pipe.
Moments later, small stories about the incident were circulating across sports media.
It hasn’t stopped.
And this is all before NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell shook his hand and welcomed him into the National Football League.
But wait, there’s more.
Later in the night, not even a full 12 hours after being drafted, Tunsil appeared in another ESPN notification.
“I’d have to say yes,” he answered, admitting to reporters shortly after the draft that he accepted money from his coach at Ole Miss. A couple questions after, Tunsil was then asked if he had spoken to NCAA investigators, and, according to ESPN, was then ushered out of the news conference by an official.
But, to be bluntly honest, the signs of misfortune were as blingy as the athlete’s chain. And the trails along his rocky past, apparently had no affect on Miami.
For the first seven games of the 2015 season, Tunsil was suspended by the NCAA, for accepting improper benefits. The perks that Tunsil helped himself to were free rental cars, an airplane ticket purchased by a friend of one of his Ole Miss teammates, along with some money, and allegations that he received an intrest-free, four month loan to make a down payment on a car — wouldn’t that be the life?
But even with that baggage, Tunsil was in the running for No. 1 pick overall. Well, before half the nation saw a 15 second clip of him (he said the video was from years back and someone must have hacked him) smoking a gas mask with a bong attached.
History repeats itself, and this Manziel Jr. has two options.
Things will either start going good, that is after the investigation, for him. Or, quite the opposite.
If skeletons are falling out this early, it’s a safe bet to say his closet is more than full.
The NFL draft is usually a night of dreams, but last Thursday was more of a nightmare for Tunsil and his agent that didn’t seem to advise him on too much.
Ole Miss is in the hot seat now, too, and shortly after Tunsil slipped and rightfully admitted his wrongs, the university released a statement to ESPN, saying they will cooperate fully with the NCAA and the SEC.
Bet you didn’t see that coming.
The investigation is now fully under way, at least for the “hacking” aspect.
Even with all that, the Dolphins still remain confident that the former All-American can do good things for the team that finished 6-10 this past season.
I’m no fortune teller, but if someone asked me if I think Tunsil is soon to be headlining the news, for all the wrong reasons in the future — I’d have to say yes.
Lohr is the sports editor at The Herald. He can be reached at 827-3634, or email@example.com.