Student Well-Being

Laremy Tunsil’s NFL Draft Plunge a Cautionary Tale for Youth Athletes

By Bryan Toporek — May 02, 2016 1 min read
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University of Mississippi offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil arrived at the first round of the NFL draft in Chicago late last week as a presumptive top-eight pick. ESPN.com’s Mel Kiper had Tunsil as his top-ranked prospect, while Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller had the Ole Miss product fourth on his big board. Barring a catastrophe, it appeared as though Tunsil would be selected somewhere among the top 10, guaranteeing himself roughly $15 million over the next four years.

Instead, thanks to an ill-timed Twitter and Instagram hack, Tunsil plunged to 13th overall before the Miami Dolphins stopped his free fall.

Just minutes before the beginning of the draft, a video appeared on Tunsil’s Twitter account of him smoking a bong while wearing a gas mask. Though the video was allegedly from two years ago, according to Dolphins general manager Chris Grier, it may have done irreparable harm to Tunsil’s draft stock nevertheless. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter (via ESPN.com’s Jamison Hensley), the Baltimore Ravens were planning on selecting Tunsil with the sixth overall pick until the video surfaced on his Twitter account. (They selected Notre Dame offensive lineman Ronnie Stanley at No. 6 instead.) Another team, which didn’t know about the video until the afternoon of the draft, removed Tunsil from first-round consideration, according to NFL Network’s Aditi Kinkhabwala. By falling seven spots, Tunsil lost $7 million, according to Schefter.

As if the Twitter incident wasn’t damaging enough, someone also hacked into Tunsil’s Instagram account after the Dolphins selected him, posting alleged correspondence between Tunsil and Ole Miss assistant athletic director John Miller in which the two appear to be organizing rent payments for Tunsil’s family. After being drafted, a reporter asked Tunsil whether he had taken money from a coach, to which he replied, “I’d have to say yeah.” As

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Schooled in Sports blog.