a blog by La Kifo
A school official from the University of Mississippi has confirmed the autheticity of the leaked text messages during the first round of the NFL draft a report from ESPNs Outside The Lines states.
Ole Miss officials have determined that a text message conversation published to Miami Dolphins rookie Laremy Tunsil's Instagram account during the NFL draft did happen last year, sources told ESPN's Outside the Lines, but the school is still looking into whether the messages were altered before they were published.
In the conversations, which supposedly occurred in February and April 2015, Tunsil asked Ole Miss assistant athletic director John Miller for money to pay rent and his mother's $305 utility bill. Miller responds to Tunsil's request by replying, "See Barney next week," an apparent reference to Ole Miss assistant athletic director for high school and junior college relations Barney Farrar.
Farrar told ESPN's Joe Schad last month that he has not given Tunsil money and that Tunsil did not ask him for money. According to Farrar's Ole Miss biography, he "plays a vital role in recruiting, which has helped Ole Miss land three straight top-15 signing classes."
On April 28, Tunsil spoke at a news conference after his draft selection in Chicago and admitted to taking money from an Ole Miss coach. He has refused to address the allegations in two subsequent news conferences in Miami.
Not a good day for the University of Mississippi football program or its fans. While the leak of the video and text messages from his phone did cause the OT to drop outside the top 10 picks. It will cost Ole Miss a lot more.
Look at the SMU Ponygate, the sanctions that came down against the school due to findings of a slush fund paying players under the table. The NCAA imposed what many called the "Death Penatly", when they cancelled the teams entire season following the findings of the investigation. Since the sanctions SMU has had 5 winning seasons, making it to 4 bowl games, in the 27 years. This scandal ranged from the 1970s - 1988.
Then you can look at a more recent scandal, involving Miami. The allegations and findings were the same as SMU. Most cases of scandal in college athletics have to do with money. In this case, the NCAA was a little more lenient, they suspended a long list of players for the 2011 college football season. Travis Benjamin, Marcus Forston, Jacory Harris, Adewale Ojomo and Sean Spence for one game. Ray-Ray Armstrong, and Dyron Dye for four games. Olivier Vernon was suspended six games. The team lost 9 scholarships over the the seasons of 2014-2016. They also served a self imposed postseason ban for the 2011, 2012 seasons as they waited for the official ruling following the investigation.
LaRemy Tunsil is safe with his cushy salary in the NFL. Ole Miss will with a doubt be losing scholarships. I doubt they will lose 9 over 3 seasons, but that all depends on what else the NCAA finds. If all they were doing was helping Tunsil and his family, then I imagine there would still be sanctions, loss of scholarships but it won't be so severe. It goes without saying the NCAA won't be kind, if they find other players receiving pay or benefits.
These situations are hard because it is almost nearly impossible to put blame on anyone. Of course you can put all the blame on LaRemy Tunsil for having his phone hacked, but when it comes to the rest of the situation, it is not so easy. Can you blame his coaches for paying his mothers rent? I mean, it is basically either pay her rent or your star player leaves for the NFL or to get a day job. Can you blame Tunsil for asking? His mom is about to evicted from her home and he is literally a couple years away from making millions of dollars. If she got evicted he might have had to drop out of school to get a job to support her. Can you blame his Mom? Probably, you can probably blame her for not being able to have a job that can sustain her lifestyle. At the same time it can go a lot deeper than that. So you can't really blame her either. It's pretty much a lose-lose situation that the coaches are being put in. I don't envy the fool, but I do pity them. Most of the coaches involved will be fired or suspended, and that's not cool because that is there job.
There has to be a better way. How about the player takes out a loan, or the parents, or the coach helps the kid get a loan. Are they allowed to co-sign on loans? They should be, that way the players can just borrow money then pay it back when they are rich and famous.
Boom. I just fixed college football.
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