The Laremy Tunsil saga was my favorite Draft saga ever. It doesn’t even need snark– just facts.
Here’s what happened, in order:
13 minutes before the Draft was scheduled to start, someone – perhaps Tunsil’s stepfather, who is suing him for some sort of attack and defamation – posted a 15-second video showing Tunsil smoking a bong through a gas mask at an undetermind point in time (but apparently it wasn’t very recent). There was also a confederate flag in the background to round out your visual experience:
Teams begin to pass
As the draft got underway, front office execs targeting Tunsil began to remove him from their draft boards, simply because there wasn’t enough time to determine what exactly was going on– a top draft pick having a video of himself smoking a bong in ridiculous fashion posted about an hour before he’s scheduled to be drafted is not a good look, apparently.
“A GM in the top half of the first round… said that… he never remembers a half hour before the draft, scouts scurrying to him basically saying we have a huge problem with one of the guys on our board. He looks at this video and he sees, oh my God, this looks like Hannibal Lecter. They discuss it… phones are blowing up, they’re calling around asking questions, and finally they just determined we can’t take this guy on our team because there’s just too many questions about him and there’s just no time to try to figure it out. That’s what a weird thing this was with Laremy Tunsil. In real-time, teams were just taking him off their board because they just simply couldn’t figure out what to make of this weird situation.”
Tunsil falls in the draft, and the memes create themselves
tunsil smh pic.twitter.com/I2VUEUjg0U
— cuppycup (@cuppycup) April 29, 2016
The Dolphins draft Tunsil
— KP Trill (@KP_Trill) April 29, 2016
Tunsil is interviewed by Deion Sanders on NFL Network and Suzy Kolber on ESPN
Both Sanders and Kolber question him about the Tweet. He confirms that it’s him in that video and that he was hacked. He says he’s just blessed to be in the NFL.
Tunsil’s Instagram is hacked
Just minutes later, at around 9:50, someone – presumably the same someone who hacked Tunsil’s Twitter, and presumably his stepfather – hacks Tunsil’s Instagram and posts two consecutive screenshots of iMessage exchanges with someone named “John Miller,” who just happens to be the assistant athletic director at Ole Miss, in which Tunsil asks Miller for money to pay his mother’s electric and water bill. Miller tells him to see “Barney,” presumably Ole Miss’ assistant AD for high school and junior college relations:
Tunsil finds out during a live radio interview that his Instagram has also been hacked (the timeline of when this interview took place is questionable– he may have already known at this point)
Tunsil meets with his increasingly inept handlers
After being ushered off podium, Tunsil is now standing behind this door being briefed by somebody. pic.twitter.com/JuKnhXfRdJ
— Emily Kaplan (@emilymkaplan) April 29, 2016
It was less than a half-hour after the Mississippi tackle had been drafted at No. 13 by the Miami Dolphins, and two hours after his life had been rattled by a series of mystifying shenanigans. As he straddled two realities—excitement and humiliation—Tunsil was summoned into this makeshift war room to strategize. How could he explain to the world what the heck just happened? There were at least three people in the room: Amy Milam, who works with Tunsil’s agent, Jimmy Sexton; a public relations assistant from the NFL; and a Dolphins employee. Tunsil also spoke to someone on the phone. The group spitballed ideas.
“You can just leave if you want,” one of the advisors told him. Another said: “You can go back out there and just give really bland answers.” Or, he was told, “You can no-comment everything.”
Tunsil meets with the media and confirms that he took money from Ole Miss coaches
Was there an exchange of money between you and your coach?
Tunsil: I have to say yeah.
— Emily Kaplan (@emilymkaplan) April 29, 2016
Tunsil just denied an exchange of money between him and his coach. Then, asked again, said it happened. Then interrupted, ushered off stage.
— Joan Niesen (@JoanNiesen) April 29, 2016
Tunsil is whisked off stage by Amy Milam, who works for his agent
— Kenny Ducey (@KennyDucey) April 29, 2016
Reporters can’t believe what just took place
“There’s no way I heard that correctly,” a reporter in the front row said. “There’s no f—ing way that just happened.”
A fake statement from Tunsil’s agent begins making the rounds
The Big Lead reports that it’s fake, unfortunately.
And that’s it. Tunsil is a Dolphin. But in the span of just about three hours, his draft stock plummets and he manages to provide the smoking gun in what is sure to be another investigation into Ole Miss football. I NEED MORE.