Laremy Tunsil's Leaked Texts Reportedly Verified by Ole Miss

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMay 12, 2016

FILE - In this April 29, 2016, file photo, top Miami Dolphins draft pick Laremy Tunsil smiles during a news conference, in Davie, Fla. Tunsil and the Dolphins were quick to agree on his value in the wake of his NFL draft freefall. The offensive lineman from Ole Miss signed his rookie contract before joining the Dolphins' rookie minicamp which began Friday, May 6, 2016.  (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

An Ole Miss investigation has reportedly confirmed Laremy Tunsil texted a member of staff about possible improper benefits, though it's unclear if the conversation happened as shown in pictures leaked on the tackle's Instagram account.

Mark Schlabach and Nicole Noren of ESPN's Outside the Lines reported the news Thursday. The texts, which were posted to Tunsil's Instagram account the same night as Round 1 of the 2016 NFL draft, showed a conversation between Tunsil and John Miller, Ole Miss' assistant athletic director.

School officials are still investigating "whether the messages from Tunsil to Miller were altered," per OTL

In the texts, Tunsil asked Miller for money to pay his rent and his mother's utilities.

After the Miami Dolphins drafted him No. 13 overall, Tunsil admitted he took money while at Ole Miss. "I made a mistake," Tunsil said, per Hugh Kellenberger of the Clarion-Ledger. "That happened."

The leaked texts were part of a multipronged hacking of his social media accounts. Just minutes before the draft was set to begin, Tunsil's Twitter account posted a video that showed him wearing a gas mask and smoking out of what appeared to be a bong. Tunsil was viewed as a potential top-five selection for much of the draft process, but the video and text leaks sent teams scurrying away.

Adam Schefter of ESPN (via ESPN.com's Jamison Hensley) reported the Baltimore Ravens would have taken Tunsil No. 6 overall had the video not leaked. The Ravens instead took Notre Dame tackle Ronnie Stanley with the pick. The Tennessee Titans also passed on Tunsil in favor of Michigan State's Jack Conklin. The drop of seven spots cost Tunsil about $7 million in guaranteed salary.

The reports that Tunsil received improper benefits could make Ole Miss subject to an NCAA investigation. Covering expenses of a player or a player's family member is directly prohibited by NCAA rules and could result in major penalties. The university was already in hot water after receiving a notice of allegations in January, though details in that case have not been made public.

Tunsil was previously suspended for the first seven games in 2015 for receiving improper benefits.

Tunsil is currently being sued by his stepfather, Lindsey Miller, for an alleged domestic violence incident in June 2015. His agents and attorneys are also looking into whether a former business manager/financial adviser may have had access to Tunsil's social media accounts.

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