Remember the 2016 NFL Draft, when highly rated lineman Laremy Tunsil fell from the top five to the teens, thanks in part to social media sabotage? And then topped that event in long-term newsiness by seemingly admitting to taking money from Ole Miss officials?
A series of screenshots posted on Tunsil's now-deactivated Instagram purportedly showed the then-amateur asking Assistant Athletic Director of Football Operations John Miller for money to pay his rent and his mother's electricity bill.
That commotion led to the NCAA’s already-old Ole Miss investigation catching a second wind — even as the NCAA delivered a list of 13 charges against Rebels football — and has helped lead to eight new charges, but nothing from Draft night itself has introduced new charges. Tunsil put an even brighter spotlight on Ole Miss, and the NCAA believes it’s found more stuff thanks to that spotlight, but the NCAA appears to lack evidence as far as Tunsil’s specific claims go.
As Ole Miss AD Ross Bjork explains:
Since Draft night, we have investigated other alleged violations alongside the NCAA enforcement staff and they have also conducted inquiries of their own. Consistent with the NCAA’s very strict requirement of confidentiality in all investigative matters, we have not publicized any information related to this investigation before today.
Now that the Notice of Allegations has been issued, and in the interest of transparency, we want to outline the new allegations. Before I do that, please understand that we will release the Notice and our Response once all involved parties and their counsel have had a full and fair opportunity to review its contents, conduct any additional work, and provide their responses. We do not want to jeopardize anyone’s right to a fair hearing by disclosing our full position or providing a review of the evidence during the response period.
As you know, the 2016 notice contained 13 football-related charges. There are now 21 football allegations – eight of which are new, and one allegation from the prior Notice has been expanded. None of the new allegations relate to NFL Draft night.
Ole Miss believed Tunsil really sent text messages like the ones that appeared on his account on Draft night, according to a report by ESPN's Outside The Lines in May 2016.
Whether the screenshots that appeared on his hacked account were altered in any way, however, was unknown at the time, per the report. For what it's worth, a pair of time stamps are out of order in one of the images.