Thursday night's opening round of the NFL Draft was supposed to be some sort of coronation for Ole Miss, the fulfillment of that 2013 signing class, with offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil going in the top five and joined afterward by Laquon Treadwell and Robert Nkemdiche.
Roughly 10 minutes before the draft started, someone posted a video of Tunsil ripping a bong while wearing a gas mask to the OT's verified Twitter account. Jokes were made, there was much commotion and multiple reporters said the Baltimore Ravens -- the first team on the clock in major need of a player at Tunsil's position -- had just taken him off their board entirely.
Notre Dame's Ronnie Stanley going to Baltimore wasn't that much of a stunner, since some considered Stanley superior anyway. But Michigan State's Jack Conklin, who might not even be a tackle, to the Titans? Ahead of perhaps the best player in the draft? Because of some weed?
Marijuana use is safer for you and for society than football is. It'll eventually be legal everywhere. In Mississippi, where Tunsil's video was almost certainly filmed (he and the Dolphins say it's years old, but an Ole Miss Confederate-style flag hangs on the wall behind him), it's somewhat decriminalized. College students smoke weed. Chances are good that you did.
It's against NCAA and NFL rules, though, meaning this is the part where onlookers get to pretend like we never break rules just so we can scold an athlete for doing so.
Less damaging for Tunsil were the posts that went out on his Instagram around the time he was picked by the Miami Dolphins, which appeared to depict "LT" arranging with Ole Miss assistants for money to pay "LT's" mother's bills. Minutes later, during a media whirlwind that included Deion Sanders asking him on stage about the Twitter video and Tunsil finding out about the IG posts during a live radio interview, he appeared to admit to an "exchange" of money with coaches.
That's not damaging to Tunsil because (1.) he was already drafted and (2.) the NFL doesn't worry about Tunsil's NCAA run-ins or rules against players taking a little money, and neither should anybody. Unless you're a fan of Mississippi State, LSU or Alabama, because rivalry clouds all judgment.
If Tunsil arranged for money to pay his mother's bills, that's fine. It happens, there's plenty of money in college sports to go around, and that would mean he took advantage of his status to provide for his family. If you wouldn't break a stupid rule to do the same, you deserve a medal that you can look at by candlelight, because your light bill went unpaid.
It is damaging to Ole Miss, of course. Hugh Freeze's program was already amid NCAA turmoil, partially due to violations for which Tunsil served a seven-game suspension. However, anyone expecting the NCAA to drop the hammer because of somewhat dubious screenshots (one of the time stamps appears out of order, though that could be a phone thing) posted to a hacked Instagram might not be all that familiar with the NCAA's consistency and swiftness in enforcing its silly rules. We'll see what happens!
"The University is aware of the reports from the NFL Draft regarding Laremy Tunsil and potential NCAA violations during his time at Ole Miss," the school says. "Like we do whenever an allegation is brought to our attention or a potential violation is self-discovered, we will aggressively investigate and fully cooperate with the NCAA and the SEC."
Tunsil broke stupid rules. Whoever snitched on him likely cost him millions in rookie contract money and put Ole Miss' NCAA business even more in the public eye. The rest of us can either take a lesson from all this and use better password security on our devices, or we can pretend to be the only humans alive who don't break stupid rules.
Speaking of the NCAA just doing whatever, it's overturned its own stupid ban of satellite camps.
Speaking of Ole Miss drama, read Steven Godfrey's report on Nkemdiche's family and where it all goes from here.
DRAFT GRADES. The early, sad quarterbacks rush meant two of the three best picks went to teams that just sat and waited for Jalen Ramsey and Tunsil. If colleges got grades, we'd give Ohio State an A for sending five first-rounders. (Personal favorite pick: West Virginia heat-seeker Karl Joseph to Oakland. He's every scary thing the Raiders used to be, back when they were good. The Raiders used to be good, kids.)
Cal joins the Multiple No. 1 Picks Club, thanks to Jared Goff. The leaders on that board remain Notre Dame and USC, thanks mostly to No. 1 picks from before the invention of the internet.
The best players still in need of a home include Myles Jack and a whole bunch of Bama.
In newly verifiable NCAA hot water is Bama, which just lost a highly effective assistant coach and recruiter.
Bill C team of the day: East Carolina, which fired a good coach ... and after thinking about it, we're not all that confused by it.
Paxton Lynch went virtually unrecruited out of Florida. Now he's a first-round pick. So yeah, he's bawling.
MVP of the evening: Treadwell's adorable daughter.
Runner-up MVP: Ezekiel Elliott, who added his signature crop top to his suit.
Pleased that my Atlanta Falcons now claim the second-most famous Keanu of all time.